The following is a guest post from my wonderful husband Tony about how he plans to save money while I’m away.
Karen has joked that I’ll be “living the bachelor life” for four days while she’s away at a conference in New York, which isn’t entirely true, but it does have me worried. The “bachelor life” to me never meant many of its stereotypical elements, but before I met Karen, I will say that the “bachelor life” certainly meant spending money frivolously. I’m worried about spending time apart from her (the first time in almost three years!) and how that might lead me to spend money where I don’t need to.
I’m determined to keep costs down, so here’s my plan, as much for you as it is for me:
Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers.
Anyone who reads here regularly knows that I’m a bit of a foodie, and my greatest financial vice is wanting to spend a bit too much at the grocery store. I like trying new foods, and in the past this has run up our bill. My plan for the days Karen is gone will be stick to our go-to meals and focus on leftovers. Pasta that could feed both me and Karen lends itself to two (at least) portions of leftovers. Without splitting it with her, I’ll have four meals for myself. That’ll help cover lunches and dinners.
No Trip to the Theater
Movies are passion of mine, and I’ll admit that at first I thought one of the ways I could pass my time while Karen is gone is to take in a matinee one day after I teach. But still, even paying only for myself, that’s an expenditure I don’t need. I’ll focus instead on the campus library, RedBox (which has some newer releases I haven’t yet seen), and our trial membership of Netflix.
Talking to Friends and Playing with Our Dog
When you’re alone, you seek out conversation. I’ll have friends and family I can call, but there is the pesky matter of being on different networks and having to use my minutes before 9 p.m. That’s why I’ve begun using Gmail’s video chat feature to talk to some of my friends back home. It’s user-friendly, completely free, and as long as you have a camera and a microphone, you’re set to go.
Also, I’m a little worried how our dog is going to react to just me at home, so I’ll be making sure he gets a lot of exercise to keep him occupied — and that’s absolutely free.
Just Another Week
I think one of the most important things to consider when you’re regular schedule is upended is to tell yourself: this is just another week. Yes, I’m going to miss Karen tremendously, but if I tell myself something is “okay just for this week,” it’s going to get me in a lot of trouble. I’ll still have classes to take and teach, so it’s not like I’m going on a vacation or anything.
Whenever something comes up that I want to do because I’ve got nothing else to do, I’m going to ask myself: would we do this on any other weeknight?
Now, I know I’m going to go a little stir crazy being alone for four days, so I do have a few activities planned. I’d like to try a southern barbecue restaurant that was recently voted the best in town, so perhaps I’ll go there for lunch one day (since the lunch menu is cheaper).