Getting In Touch With My Inner Pioneer


The news here at my library is bleak. 

Foreclosures in our township are in the double digits and that means that a large chunk of our tax base has been eliminated (the state of Michigan has also cut a very large amount of funding to libraries).  That also means that the library is cutting lots of stuff including staff hours and services. 

This is no easy thing for my employer, which has been rated the busiest single unit library in Michigan.  It’s also no easy thing for me or my co-workers.  Expected furlough days and no extra pay means that I need to do some serious budgeting. 

Ironically, this is where having been broke back in college will come in handy.

Don’t laugh – I’m being serious here.

Who knew that being a poor college student might be useful at some point in my life?  While I didn’t  have to cut up the dining room curtains to use as clothes and claim that I would “nevah go hungry again”, getting through college wasn’t easy.  Every semester was a new adventure.

Come to think of it, being young with a new baby was an adventure too.

So, instead of lamenting my forced budget, I’m trying to remember living simpler times.  I’m trying to recreate what we did when we truly didn’t have extra money to spend. 

It’s all coming back to me in spectacular detail.

Cutting coupons – check
No eating out (except special occasions) – check
Peanut butter and leftovers for lunch – check
No impulse shopping – check
Starting Christmas shopping early – check
Buying only the things listed on my shopping list – check
Limiting home improvement projects – check
Spreadsheets with budgets, spending and projected savings by Banker Husband – check
Paying off credit card debt – check
Visiting re-sale shops – check
No more Coach bags – check
Using my local library – check
Not spending as much money at Target – hmmm…. Wait for me, Target.  I still love you.

As always, things could be worse.  I still HAVE a job and my family is healthy.  I’ve lived this before, I can do it again. 

I’m just going to miss my fast food, impulse shopping, credit cards and last minute Christmas shopping.

I may have to make an exception regarding Target.  After all – all budget and no spend might make Amy a dull girl.

Here’s how YOU can help (yes, you… I’m including you in on the solution).  Share your favorite recipes with me, your favorite money saving tips, your penny pinching secrets.  (In the words of Rosie the Riveter – We Can Do It!)


4 thoughts on “Getting In Touch With My Inner Pioneer

  1. I admire your positive attitude about your budget. You’re right, college was a penny-pinching time and most of us got through that fine. I am, however, hoping that I can get through this mess without resorting to ramen noodles again.

  2. In my impoverished grad school days I found that duct taping holes/ flapping soles of my shoes extended their little shoe lifespans for months and even YEARS.

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