Monday, October 22, 2018

The Coin-less Sofa Cushions

My two daughters had a late night on Saturday, watching movies in the family room. They pulled the sofa cushions off of the sofa, to use on the floor in front of the tv. Anyway, on Sunday morning, one daughter was putting the room back to rights as I was passing the doorway. She asked why we never find money in our sofa, under the cushions. I wanted to answer with something quasi-humorous about us being so poor that even our sofa has no money. But that wouldn't be true. The answer is that we are simply so careful with our money that we take care with even the dimes and pennies. That doesn't mean we don't have an occasional unplanned expense or splurge. But it does mean that we are mindful with our money. We set some aside for those emergencies or repairs, and add an amount into our budget for splurges. And every penny is counted.

Perhaps it would be shocking for you to know that lately we have treated ourselves to lunch out after church each week. We have felt the need to connect at least once per week, as a way of bonding our family and enjoying time spent together. But we also didn't want to burden any one individual with meal prep or planning activities. (Plus, if we do something in our home, it is just too easy for one or more family members to excuse themselves from the group, in order to tend to something else.) Despite spending a little bit of money on this weekly treat, we are still keeping that expense pretty low. We frequent non-tipping restaurants, use coupons, and order judiciously. I think we all realize that it would be pretty spoiled of us to complain about any aspect of our frugal way of eating out. This once-per-week treat is accounted for in our budget. It is never a break-the-bank sort of outing. Yesterday, we spent about $14.50 for four of us to have burgers, fries, salads, and a parfait. The point of our outings is to connect, not gourmet-dine.

Back to the poverty of our sofa. I think if we ever so much as found a penny under its cushions, we'd mount it and hang it on the wall. I've found toys, hair ties, and scraps of paper under there, but no coins. This is a good thing for us, I think. It means that we continue to plan for the future and our expected/unexpected needs, watching the coins as well as the dollars. By doing so, we are still enjoying a treat, here and there, and able to give generously, where ever it is needed.

7 comments:

  1. I like to go out to eat with the family sometimes. I think it forces us to focus on only each other instead of the distractions of home. It sounds like you've found the same thing.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      I agree. When we are in a restaurant, we're kind of stuck with each other! Too many distractions when at home.

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  2. I love this topic because this is where I get lots of money in my house!

    Hubby seems to always have coins in his pocket so when he sit on a chair, couch and even the bed, those coins always fall out of his pocket. They often end up inside the couch, on the floor or just on top of the bed or a cushion. I find these coins and fill a coin jar (it's almost full from about 20 years of coins!). We once bought a chair at a garage sale for our living room. We've had it for 2 years and last month I stuck my hand inside under the cushion and pulled out more than a couple of bucks in coin and a lot of other junk. I also find coin in the washing machine.

    Our youngest child got engaged this weekend so maybe I need to count the coin in the jar to see how much we can help her prepare a wedding for!

    Alicec

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    1. Congrats to your daughter, Alice! How exciting!

      My daughter is very artsy, so my sofa cushions hide art supplies and sometimes I lose a knitting needle in them. :)

      I think the fun of going out to eat, whether for a snack or a meal, is what makes it special--if you feel like it's a "treat", then conversation seems to flow more easily. Glad you have found a good way to connect with your family, Lili!

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    2. Hi Alice,
      Big congratulations to the lucky guy who landed your daughter! And many wishes of joy and happiness to your daughter! Very exciting for your family.
      Your husband can come sit on my sofa any time! And now you have a nice little emergency fund that was painless to create!
      Have fun helping your daughter plan her wedding, Alice!

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    3. Hi Kris,
      I can see how a knitting needle could slip down the side of a cushion and out of sight.
      I think we're having fun choosing each new place to eat. We talk about it a day or two ahead and everyone gets to have their opinion heard. It's working for us, and not having too big of an impact on our budget.
      Have a great week, Kris!

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  3. Hi all, and congratulations, Alice.

    My husband and I also dine very cheaply. We share a take out "plate lunch" where tipping is not expected. The cost per person eaten this way is around $3.50, less than the cost of a fast food burger meal each. To stretch the shared plate lunch, I pack a bento box of veggie side dishes from home. So a mix of home side dishes and the purchased entree. The food establishment doesn't mind us bringing in our own food, at least there are no signs saying we can't. Eating this way has helped us keep our food budget low and our health better nutritionally. We do eat out often whenever we are doing errands.

    As for found money, no such luck in our home too.

    YHF

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