Author Topic: The compact: Me vs. Hubby  (Read 8433 times)

Simple Abundant Living

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The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« on: July 23, 2013, 11:49:57 PM »
Background story:

I'm new here, just learning the ways of the mustache.  I also follow the non-consumer advocate and other money saving blogs.  I am currently a SAHM with a small part-time job.  I make very little money, but the job was necessary for me to apply to graduate school next year.  My DH is the primary breadwinner, and he does not really like budgets or restrictions.  We make a good income, save for retirement, but we are definitely consumers.   

So, I was talking to my DH today about the Compact.  I asked him how long he thinks he could last without buying anything new.  He thought he could last a long time (my guy that loves new exercise shoes and clothes).  Then he asked why, and I told him I've been thinking about it and whether we should try it for a week or two.  DH is a bit competitive, and he proposes that we see how long we can last.  Exclusions are the normal things... food, socks, underwear, and necessary items for the house we can't get used (lightbulbs and nails, etc.)  He wants our birthday money ($100- he has his eye on some Nike and Under Armour shorts) excluded and an exclusion for kids shoes or clothes if we can't find something they need in good used condition.  (We have tall, skinny kids and we are not in an area with a lot of thrift-store options.)  Our bet is whoever cracks first is the loser.  The kids are taking bets too.  I said they can only wager non-monetary things like chores or services.  It's kind of fun to see the kids have a stake in who will win.  As my daughter said, "Normally, I'd say Mom will win.  But Dad is super competitive."  So it should be interesting...

So I guess I'm posting this for accountability, and to ask any advice.  I'm normally someone who buys most everything new.  Any advice for a newbie to the used scene.  In our area we have two goodwills (but 20-35 mins from home), a large DI (like goodwill, but cleaner, picked over, and overpriced), a Savers (20mins away), and a couple random higher quality clothing thrift stores.  We also have Craigslist and I am a member of a facebook yard-sale for my town.  I almost forgot freecycle.  So I guess I do have some choices.  It just might take some legwork.  The hardest thing right now is to try to predict needs, so I can have the time to find them.  So any advice is welcome!!!  I want to win!!! :)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 07:57:00 AM by Crazyfun »

englyn

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 12:36:11 AM »
No advice here just a word of encouragement - nice one! We're barracking for you!

Rural

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 05:25:52 AM »
One thing I've found over time is that virtually no need is immediate. If you hit on something you can't seem to find used, ask yourself what will happen if you don't buy it today, tomorrow, etc. The usual answer is "not much," so usually you can wait for it to turn up new. Sometimes you even realize you don't need it at all.

anastrophe

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 07:59:32 AM »
One thing I've found over time is that virtually no need is immediate. If you hit on something you can't seem to find used, ask yourself what will happen if you don't buy it today, tomorrow, etc. The usual answer is "not much," so usually you can wait for it to turn up new. Sometimes you even realize you don't need it at all.

This. Anything you think you want, just put it on a list. Give it an expiration date. 9 times out of 10 you end up thinking better of it by the time that date rolls around.

In your case, I'd put the list on the fridge for all to see:)

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 08:39:57 PM »
Update:  DS (14) wants to use his own money to go to Best Buy and get a Lego Xbox game.  I encouraged him to look for it used, and we found that he can trade old, unwanted games at the game store and get the one he wants.  He's not doing the Compact with us, but it's great to see the whole family think outside of the retail box!

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 02:29:05 PM »
Update:

Still going!  I've bought a few things at goodwill that I needed to send my daughter to camp.  I also did some yard sale-ing, but found it very hit and miss.  I bought a hybrid bike for me on classifieds that I am really happy with.  So far, we have been good without buying new.  It's also great to go into Costco and know that we will only be bringing home groceries!  I got a compliment from friends on a skirt I bought at goodwill.  I told them where it was from and they couldn't believe what I was doing.  Not very many of my friends and neighbors shop at thrift stores, so it was great to get the shock factor.  ;)

My biggest struggle and complaint is that I really don't like shopping.  Buying used takes more time and shopping than buying new, so it's something I'm trying to get over. 

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2013, 02:39:23 PM »
One thing I've found over time is that virtually no need is immediate. If you hit on something you can't seem to find used, ask yourself what will happen if you don't buy it today, tomorrow, etc. The usual answer is "not much," so usually you can wait for it to turn up new. Sometimes you even realize you don't need it at all.

I'm finding this is really true!  I wanted to buy a new garden hose at Costco, because I have to take the hose off the garden sprinklers to spot water new trees and plants.  Then I asked myself, what would happen if I don't buy this.  Anyway, I will keep moving the hose off the garden sprinklers.  No big deal!

cats

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 05:04:00 PM »
One thing I've found over time is that virtually no need is immediate. If you hit on something you can't seem to find used, ask yourself what will happen if you don't buy it today, tomorrow, etc. The usual answer is "not much," so usually you can wait for it to turn up new. Sometimes you even realize you don't need it at all.

Yes to this.  If you think you "need" something, just wait a while.  There are sooooo many things that I have failed to buy through sheer laziness.

Good luck to both you and your husband!  I'll be curious to hear how things conclude.

Gin

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 12:13:34 AM »
Update:

Still going!  I've bought a few things at goodwill that I needed to send my daughter to camp.  I also did some yard sale-ing, but found it very hit and miss.  I bought a hybrid bike for me on classifieds that I am really happy with.  So far, we have been good without buying new.  It's also great to go into Costco and know that we will only be bringing home groceries!  I got a compliment from friends on a skirt I bought at goodwill.  I told them where it was from and they couldn't believe what I was doing.  Not very many of my friends and neighbors shop at thrift stores, so it was great to get the shock factor.  ;)

My biggest struggle and complaint is that I really don't like shopping.  Buying used takes more time and shopping than buying new, so it's something I'm trying to get over.


As a fellow person who doesn't like to shop the time it takes to find clothes is why I don't shop thrift stores.  Once kids are back in school I am going to give it another try.  At some of the thrift stores near me they organize the clothes by color not size.  I don't enjoy shopping so going though every green shirt looking for my size is not appealing.  If you can do it so can I.  Well I will at least try :)


Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 11:34:06 AM »

As a fellow person who doesn't like to shop the time it takes to find clothes is why I don't shop thrift stores.  Once kids are back in school I am going to give it another try.  At some of the thrift stores near me they organize the clothes by color not size.  I don't enjoy shopping so going though every green shirt looking for my size is not appealing.  If you can do it so can I.  Well I will at least try :)


It's nice to hear I'm not alone in that feeling!  I keep trying Goodwill whenever I can, and I have found some great things.  I got a cordless phone set($10) that I was skeptical about, but it has been absolutely perfect!  I even found a shirt that my 17ds was excited about!  I'm a work in progress, but it's becoming easier now.  Yard sales seem to have great prices, but are hit and miss.  I think I went to about seven different sales a couple weeks ago before I found anything I was interested in.  So, I'm thinking about the gas to drive around for that.  :(

We are still going on the challenge.  We have kids going back to school, so I have purchased some school supplies they need new.  I did find a good binder at Goodwill, but spiral notebooks, markers, pencils have not appeared on the thrift store scene yet.  I've just tried to look at what I already have and only purchase what we really need.  Thanks for the encouragement!

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 01:46:06 PM »
Your son will most likely get more money from selling his used games online rather than the paltry amount of credit they give in stores. It could also be the start of a side business/job or at least a good experience for him, who knows.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 05:13:26 PM »
Your son will most likely get more money from selling his used games online rather than the paltry amount of credit they give in stores. It could also be the start of a side business/job or at least a good experience for him, who knows.
Thanks!  I'll have him look into that.

tomsang

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 06:14:45 PM »
Have you looked into various local groups give or trade used stuff? 

There is a facebook page for a neighborhood one that is constantly having items given away or requested.  I am sure if you google, you might find something that is close to your location.  I am pretty sure that Craigslist has stuff to give away and for sale.

http://www.freecycle.org/

Good luck!

markstache

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 09:59:15 PM »
First, I applaud you for making a game of it. The life is fun, let's make it so. (I should remind myself of that more often.)

Second, I glad you got a bike. I got hooked on MMM when someone on my book group posted his "Plan to Save the World" post. So true.

I wish the used economy had less friction. The time spent going from Saturday morning sale to Saturday morning sale is not in-consequential. Craigslist in my area is hardly used (so it seems). The thrift stores have "high standards," much to my disappointment (I should point out these are not fashion standards. Ugly, pristine shirts are thought to be spun from gold.).

Thread jack: what other opportunities are there? I've tried to impress upon my wife that the other families with kids just older than ours would be great sources of clothes (no luck -- though we do have two young giants).

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2013, 04:57:25 AM »
Have you looked into various local groups give or trade used stuff? 

There is a facebook page for a neighborhood one that is constantly having items given away or requested.  I am sure if you google, you might find something that is close to your location.  I am pretty sure that Craigslist has stuff to give away and for sale.

http://www.freecycle.org/

Good luck!

I have used freecycle in the past, I need to get back on now. I like to declutter, so it's a great way to give your junk a new life. I like the Facebook idea, because you could see pictures right on your feed. Maybe I'll start a free one in my area!

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2013, 05:08:13 AM »

Thread jack: what other opportunities are there? I've tried to impress upon my wife that the other families with kids just older than ours would be great sources of clothes (no luck -- though we do have two young giants).

That's a great question. I wonder if you could post a "wanted: gently used clothes for two young giants". If you found someone willing to sell/ give away appropriate items, you could work out a deal to buy a bag of clothes twice a year from them(summer/winter wardrobe).  I'm super lucky that my sister gives me all her hand-me-downs from her one well-dressed daughter. My little girls love wearing them. It's just like Christmas when a new bag shows up.  Sis also sends me clothes for my son, though I think that's nearly at an end now, due to size differences. (My kids are stick-thin giants).

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2013, 11:11:52 AM »
Update:
We're still going.  It's becoming more normal now.  I have had nightmares where I bought something without realizing it and lost the bet.  There's no real consequence, so I have no idea why this is so scary in my dreams!

We are coming into a time of year where we have a lot of birthdays coming up.  I think we've decided to just give the kids $xx and they can spend or save it how they want.  The kids are learning from this and they are getting more used to the idea that no amount of begging will get them whatever they are asking for.  We just suggest that they save for whatever it is or ask for it on their birthday.  We are also suggesting used items where their money could go a lot farther. 

How do you guys handle purchases for the house?  Our family room carpet is old and bad and we would like to replace it, rather than keep cleaning it.  I think that a certain amount of upkeep and maintenance is required in home ownership, but I'm sure some die-hards would think this carpet has another 10+years.  ;)  The wood floors also need to be refinished, and I'm not sure I'm up to the DIY...
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 06:32:28 PM by Crazyfun »

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2013, 11:08:09 AM »

How do you guys handle purchases for the house?  Our family room carpet is old and bad and we would like to replace it, rather than keep cleaning it.  I think that a certain amount of upkeep and maintenance is required in home ownership, but I'm sure some die-hards would think this carpet has another 10+years.  ;)  The wood floors also need to be refinished, and I'm not sure I'm up to the DIY...

You're still going to have to clean a new carpet...or at least vacuum it once in a while ;)  Three options here, maybe?  If it's not a health hazard, live with it.  If it's not a health hazard but you're avoiding using the room because it's so ugly, might want to start thinking about saving the money to replace it.  If it's a health hazard, rip it up and refinish the floors once you've saved the money to either DIY or pay someone....

Anything for the house we do the research, save the money for a full-cost expense, and then go shopping for savings and see how much of the saved cash we can avoid spending....which then becomes the starter kitty for the next home improvement project.  It usually involves waiting for the right time to catch sales and/or discounts on products and services (for example, if we are planning a roof replacement we'll save cash over the winter and then go talk to roof companies in attendance at the local home and garden show in the spring, because they offer home-show specials for stuff like that).  Long-term saving for a project also really narrows down what you're willing to live with and what you're not...like your carpet.

Your competition is a great idea...glad everyone's on board.  What an awesome way to train yourself to new habits of not buying new.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2013, 03:59:15 PM »
Over:
I win :(

DH informed me on Thursday that he had lost the bet and bought a shirt he really likes. Frankly, I can't believe he lasted almost two months!  I'm sad, but I am keeping to the spirit of the contest. I just believe its the right thing to buy less and reuse more. I think my dh is changed by this, as well. He will never be anti-consumeristic, but he is seeing the value of being low consumers. Also, the financial bonus is real, and it's great to see how much we can save if we only purchase needs. It was a great experiment!

ender

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2013, 08:08:23 PM »
I think it's ridiculously awesome you did this.

mariarose

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2013, 12:45:31 PM »
Are you disappointed it is now over?

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2013, 01:37:13 PM »
Are you disappointed it is now over?

Absolutely!  Although I will be continuing to live like this.  I actually feel better about myself because my values are not in harmony with a very materialistic lifestyle.  It's still a struggle with DH.  He wants to build a deck and a pool next summer.  And other varied projects.  He's not materialistic for show (drives a 1998 Toyota Sienna), he just likes things that we can enjoy as a family.  He makes good money and I understand him wanting to spend some of it.  I try to say "we'll see..." and hope that I can put him off.  I also hope he starts to see the fruits of paying extra principle on the mortgage or saving/investing extra money we have by then. ;)

TrulyStashin

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2013, 01:41:22 PM »
Reboot and do it again for round 2.  If DH is, as you say, super competitive, then he will REALLY want to win round 2.

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2013, 05:05:11 AM »
Then make it best of 3:)
etc

Lina

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Re: The compact: Me vs. Hubby
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2013, 04:57:28 AM »
Maybe you can find a compromise by continuing your savings in some fields to finance the pool and the deck? Then your hubby can get his pool and you will be achieve a less wasteful living while you have the money to keep paying extra on the mortgage.