Pinching Pennies to Spend Dollars

It’s the time of year when I have to think about what projects I can get done during the summer. Recent flooding rain and rapid-growing weeds have made the choice clear: fill in low spots, fix drainage, and create some weed-free zones where water collects. (And replace the shed… hoo boy!)

Unfortunately, there are costs involved, including hiring a surveyor to figure out if my neighbor’s fence is on my property and where the new, smaller shed can go since the township has decided to enforce zoning laws.*

I am reining in discretionary spending.

One of the usual culprits is eating out. I live in a tourist area with wonderful restaurants, so I could eat out every day per month without a repeat visit. The bonus is that, with a culinary school nearby, the food tastes great and healthy options abound.  Just yesterday, Baby Bro and I enjoyed an Irish-style pub dinner.

The downside is the cost of eating out instead of dining in, which Simple Dollar explains well here.

Another surprising cost is what I call “hobby costs”: materials, tools, and classes for things I rarely do. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new container of stripper and later found a half-full container in a cupboard. In the last few months, I’ve purchased drawing paper, new pens, and an extra ink cartridge because I couldn’t find my existing supplies.

I will spend a bit more time hunting in closet corners “from here on out,” as we say around here. I’ll also make gardening my chief hobby until it looks presentable.


*If I haven’t told the story of “Jerkface MacGuyver and the Builders Without Permits,” I will try when I’m feeling stronger. It’s like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” but with township officials in place of the bears.