Even though this is a “no-spend” month for me, money is still being spent in my household.
Let me explain – Husband and I still have the separate bank accounts and even though we’re very much married, I still consider my credit card debt to be my own and am curbing my spending because I have a problem with needless spending.
God bless my husband’s frugal soul – he doesn’t have that problem. The only debt he has at the moment is our mortgage and although he’s been charging landscaping stuff lately to his credit card, the day that bill comes in the mail he will be able to pay off the balance in full from the savings in his checking account.
Hubby’s latest project is finishing the retaining wall that he put in our backyard last summer. We’re going cover the existing soil (that is particularly sexy, apparently, to weeds and not to last year’s seedlings that I planted) with landscaping fabric. That’s been this weekend’s project, which warranted a trip yesterday to one of our city’s garden centers.
I should have said “no” to that trip to Menards. Menards is one thing, but Hubby specifically wanted to go to the Garden Center which is the Garden of Eden, Disneyland and the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) wrapped into one package for me. Words cannot describe how much I love flowers and although I can usually resist the temptation of the instant gratification of buying annuals, I’m a sucker for perennials. So when we had to go into the Menards garden section a second time to look at some landscaping glue that was “buy one, get one,” I found myself seduced by a sale on some rosebushes. They were three bucks and change per bush and came with a $2 rebate.
So most of the time that I’ve been composing this blog entry, I’ve been debating whether the purchase of gardening/landscaping materials is a frivolous expense. The projects that Hubby and I are working on are going to increase the value of our house. But I have to be honest, my love for growing rosebushes is pure vanity. Rosebushes can be temperamental and they were bought to replace some hostas in our front yard that just annoy me (or as Husband put it last night, our existing landscaping – installed in the 1980s or 1990s is just “tired looking.”)
I’m turning to Judith Levine’s book “Not Buying It” for some guidance about these kind of expenditures. In her book the author and her partner were doing a massive renovation of one of their homes during the year that Judith had pledged to not spend frivolously. This project had started before she decided to go “spend-free” and that wasn’t frivolous.
So what if I want to buy those blueberry bushes that I saw on sale at Lowe’s? (I’ve already done my research, I don’t think that our soil has the proper nutrients to support blueberries.) What about the various pots and containers that we’re going to buy for landscaping? That’s coming from our wedding money, but I’ll be the one who will be picking them out and “buying” them. (Note about container gardening – I’m terrible at weeding, that’s why I container garden. Plus it gives me greater control to “move” landscaping … I’m weird, I know …)
If done right, I’m really excited by the bushes that I bought yesterday. One of the things I like about this type of gardening is that with patience and with time, the work we’re doing in the front yard and the back yard will really show.
Found this interesting commentary at the New York Times about an American expatriate living in Amsterdam and his thoughts about their socialist system. It was interesting food for thought.
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