We’re just over half way through the month and I’m about ready to throw over “Frugal February.” At least part of it. I was hoping to save money on groceries by simplifiying our meals and eating through our pantry. I do my grocery shopping at ALDI. It’s a German owned grocery store chain that has the best prices in town. I’m a serious fan child, and have several times considered writing the company and begging them to build one in Salt lake. But I digress. I’ve found most items at Aldi to be a third if not half as cheap as Heinen’s- the fancy gorcery store around the corner from us. We never shop for Heinens- except in emergencies. Well, thanks to my frugal attempts we’ve had many more “emergencies” this month. Oops! No eggs, and we’re in the middle of a recipe that requires them- off to Heinens. We’re throwing together pizza for V-day and- What?! No cheese- off to Heinens. Sure we’ve only added a few extra dollars to our grocery bill, but it was unnecessary, and it wasted time and threw a wrench in things. Plus, it reversed all my penny pinching this month. 
However, there have been a few frugal triumphs. I’m teaching an Early Childhood Music class next week, and I’ve been gathering the supplies- rhythm sticks, bell wristlets, egg shakers. I went to Lakeshore Learning (love that store) last week to purchase the sticks and eggs, and to check out their drum. I purchased the rhythm sticks but decided against the eggs because I thought I could get a better deal online. I returned home only to read further and realize the cheaper eggs online, were indeed cheaper and inclined to break open. “Darn it! Why am I so cheap?! Why didn’t I just buy those eggs? Now I have to drive another 30 minutes round trip again.” It was looking to be another incounter with penny pinching stupidity, EXCEPT this week Lakeshore ran a sale-  their egg shakers: HALF OFF! I saved $20.00 on two bags of eggs. SCORE! 
In honor of Frugal February I’ve also been reading Suze Orman’s Book “The Money Book, for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke.” First off, let me say, I love being called fabulous every few pages. If you want to make my day, throw that one into your descriptor of me. (Wink, wink!) But really, it’s an insightful book. I was most struck by these ideas:
When you’re starting your career don’t focus on money, focus on placing yourself on the pathway towards your dream job by working hard, becoming in demand, and learning the necessary skills. Suze suggests taking the lower paying job that will allow you to work up to your dream job. Oops. I definitely didn’t take this approach and it stung me. I had the opportunity to be the musical director for a summer program with 50 kids. The opportunity thrilled me, but when I added up what I would actually be making an hour, I gave it up. “I’m worth so much more than $5 an hour, I have a Masters degree. . . ” Who cares! Looking back, I wish I would have done it. Sure it wasn’t close to my dream job, but it was a step in that direction. Now, with a chillen’ in toe, it will be so much harder to get that experience. Shucks, wish I’d read the book when Pam gave it to us years ago! 
Suze really focuses on the importance of setting a firm educational foundation for yourself. She’s not against using the credit card to pay for the necessities so you can get the training and experience you need. I regret that at times I didn’t take the opportunities that made experiential sense because they didn’t make financial sense. I chose to work through college, and thus didn’t take as many opportunities to perform, for example.  I didn’t take auditions because they were too expensive. But the past’s behind me, what about now? Reading the book propelled me to finally dig in my heals and teach a Early Childhood Music (ECM) class. I’ve been thinking about it for about a year, but I kept coming up with excuses. With Suze behind me, I didn’t worry about the money, set a cheap rate in order to attract a good class volume, and determined to put any money I made back into the program. (I’m super excited about it- but that’s all for another post.) I feel teaching an ECM class is a smart career choice for me. I believe in the power of music, I love children, and I love being silly. More importantly I can teach ECM with Scotland. In fact it will propel me to do, what I already want to be doing with Scotland, but don’t do enough. It is something I can do during the day, where teaching I mostly do after school hours. While money isn’t the intent this go around, in the future teaching ECM classes is a smart financial choice. Group classes allow one to cater towards a different audience while still gaining a good hourly wage. 
So, throw over Frugal February?- perhaps not. Maybe I’ll just admit that we’re already at rock bottom with our grocery budget and focus my efforts on gaining the skills to increase my money making abilities in the future, and wait patiently for deals! 

2 Responses

  1. Love you post, Kjirsti. The things we learn through trying and finding a better way. Nice to hear about your life. Hamilton Road and Avalon seem like a long time ago. Your music class sounds like a great time! Good luck with it all.

  2. I just successfully printed a picture of Dr. Thomas Foutz to share with my sisters,
    Ann and Dorothy. Our brother, Robert, would be so proud. Ann and I visited “Bob” and Cathy in Arizona a few years back and had a wonderful time seeing Adrienne, Cassie and Tom, who was nine or ten at the time. I hope Cathy and Tricia are doing well. Thank you so much for sharing, Cousin Martha Pettijohn Morrise

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