A Dollar Saved Is A Dollar Earned

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On Saturday after Treva and I went on a whirlwind tour of RH (Restoration Hardware), we subsequently went through Star Furniture just because I needed a reality check. I wanted to make sure that traditional furniture still was on the market. Truth be told, the last thing we need is more furniture.  It was never our intent when we left the house on Saturday morning to purchase anything.  We were simply looking for a diversion from the routine.  Sometimes that represents good mental health.

I know you’re thinking, “Who are you kidding?  We know you well enough through your blog that ‘good mental health’ isn’t the first characteristic that comes to mind”. While that may certainly be true of me, no one would ever think that of the General.  On the other hand, she’s been married to me forever so that might at least raise a question mark.

At any rate, we were not in the market to purchase anything other than lunch when we left the house on Saturday morning.  We certainly had no intent of buying new furniture.  Part of that is because we never purchase furniture unless we really like it. Secondly, since we really liked it when we purchased it, why would we want to change it?  Honestly, if you walked through our home whatever you see we’ve had forever or almost forever.  

Honestly, shopping for furniture (without the intent of buying) is a lot like looking at new houses.  I am a sales person’s worst nightmare because I haven’t come to shop.  I’ve simply come to look.  Truthfully, I seldom see anything in either venue that I like better than what I already have.

I guess I should also say that I’m not an impulse buyer.  I don’t see something and intuitively think I have to have it.  Even when Dillard’s has a sale, I don’t generally walk into the store and “go for broke”.  I want to take my time and maybe even make more than one trip to the store before I decide to part with the cash.

I wouldn’t describe myself as cheap.  I think frugal is a better term.  Actually, it probably has to do with the role modeling I received from my father.  The only two items he never hesitated to purchase were televisions and automobiles.  Of course mother did all of the shopping for the family with the exception of televisions and automobiles.  The thought of my father walking through a furniture store to pick out furniture is a foreign concept to me.  I can’t imagine him even having an interest in doing so.

In some ways I am so very different than my dad.  Actually that is probably to my detriment. During his childhood years my dad lived through the Great Depression and the impact of that period in the nation’s economy had a lasting impact on him.  On more than one occasion in my adulthood I heard him make the comment: “I’d rather have the money than what it can buy.”

However, he was far from a miser. In addition, he was a man of kindness and generosity.  He just didn’t need a lot of things for himself.  I still don’t know how he managed to have three kids in college all at the same time and someone manage to cover the costs of our education.  He didn’t believe in using borrowed money and he didn’t want his son’s facing the onset of young adulthood with indebtedness related to their education.

My oldest grandson is named after my dad and somehow my dad’s wisdom seems dominant in his life.  For a kid, he is the most frugal and financially responsible person I know.  In fact, he almost opted to miss the 6th and 7th grade dance at school because he considered the cost. When he found out the admission to the dance was $5, he said: “That’s ridiculous!  I’m not going”.  He was his intent to sit out the dance all together and not go, but the offer of his parents to pay his way, changed his mind.  At least he went to the dance.  As it turned out, his posture remained the same.  He still chose to sit out the dance until 9:55 p.m. when he opted to take his last chance turn on the dance floor.  You can ask him about it, but I sense the only response you’ll get is a smile.

Getting back to shopping for furniture, when the General and I were walking through Star Furniture, she paused by a sofa on our way out of the store and said: “I like this.”  Truthfully, I liked it to, but it wasn’t something I would have immediately gravitated toward.  I think most of my reservation was the color.  It was a leather sofa, but the color was somewhere between gray and blue.  It was subtle.  It was comfortable.  It was a good look. Perhaps, the best part is that everything in the store was “on sale” for Columbus Day.

Okay, so I’m a sucker for a sale.  However, my first criterion in any purchase is that I’ve got to like it.  If I don’t like it, I don’t buy it.  At least the sofa, loveseat and chair with an ottoman was something I liked.  The General did as well.  We decided to give it some thought.  Did we need it?  The answer is “No”.  Did we want it? “Maybe” is my best answer.

At any rate as we shuffled furniture around night before last, it was with the probable intent of buying new furniture for the living area.  Yet, I had this nagging sense that what we were looking at wasn’t perfect for our room.  I expressed my concern to the General and she said I needed to be more flexible.  Everything didn’t have to have to conform to my sense that leather needed to be some variation of brown.

Yesterday at lunch, I stopped back by the furniture store to look again.  Sure, it was a good look, but it wasn’t my look.  I wasn’t sure I was willing to do away with what we have for something that didn’t quite work for me.  Yet, was that selfishness on my part?  The General seemed to like it.

At any rate, when I got home and walked into the house, I had the thought, I like this room better without all the furniture in it.  The open space toward the back of the room seemed to draw one’s eyes to the windows and the outside.  Maybe we didn’t need to do anything.  We had already moved a leather loveseat and two very large leather (cowhide) chairs out of the room.  The room looked better with less, but was the dye cast?  The General was expecting the new stuff.

A short time later, she walked into the room and said, “I think I like this room better without all the furniture we had it in.  The openness is nice.  It was music to my ears.  We just saved thousands of dollars. 

All My Best!

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Don

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