essays

Cheap Is The New Black

bike at the beachMy mom loved saving money and could smell a sale a mile way.  While she could be generous with others, she was mostly stingy with herself.  I often joked that Mom elevated personal cheapness to an art form.

Growing up, I rebelled against my mother’s frugal ways.  I made money and I promptly spent it.

However, by my late 30s, life had changed. Suddenly, I was a new parent, a homeowner and I ran a small business.  While I never became as frugal as my mother, I’m also not a spendthrift.  I know what I’m spending and how I’m spending it.

These days who doesn’t like to save a little money?  We’ve gone through five long years of a terrible recession.  It’s been a sobering experience for just about everyone.
Personally, I like to save money and have fun doing it. bicycle basket In the last few years, for instance, I’ve grown to love the word sale, especially when it has the word garage in front of it.  Craigslist is also a great resource (and a bit addicting, I must admit) for those who would rather not pay retail.

When you want a deal, it’s an advantage to take your time.  Also, you may not get exactly what you want.  It’s funny, but the older I get the more I realize that close is actually close enough.

Currently I’m looking to buy a bike.  I’ve been cruising the garage sales and online ads.  I just found one for $60.  A quick online search shows that the same brand and a similar model is available new on several websites for three to four times that figure.  The bike looks gently used.  Now that is a great deal.

Gotta go…have to send an email about that bike.

Mom would be so proud.

Nancy Wurtzel writes about making big changes at midlife in her blog Dating Dementia. Read about Nancy’s often humorous and sometimes twisted journey as a baby boomer, single woman, empty nester, feminist and caregiver.

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