1. My grandmother, Alice Brogan Sylwester, was raised during the Great Depression and was significantly impacted by it. This, in turn, affected the way she raised her children and her children’s children. My obsession with saving pennies has been commonly referred to as the “Sylwester gene.” My mother has it worse than me. She cuts open lotion/shampoo/detergent bottles and scrapes out the remaining residue.
2. I realize that I am not always logical about how to save the most money. The Burkes pointed out that if I really wanted to save money, I could walk and bike everywhere….toothpaste and baking soda cost about the same (I have since begun to consider getting a bike trailer for the girls to ride in). Colby said that now it sounds like I am fishing for gifts. How offensive.
3. An important point to note here is that I like to save so that I can spend on something I really value. I try to save money on things that don’t really matter to me (like generic bath products), so I feel justified spending money on a date with Colby or traveling. Seeing new things and new experiences really excite me and are worth the money to me.
4. This has caused a “conflict of interest” in the area of food. Being so concerned about having a low grocery bill, I was tempted to buy generic brands and the cheapest options. Unfortunately, I am starting to learn that if you want to eat healthy you have to be willing to pay for it. Recently we have decided that our health is a priority and it is cheaper to pay for healthy food now than health problems later.
5. Is anyone still reading this? This is probably getting boring…I am just thinking through this issue out loud.
6. Another motivation for trying to save money is the global poverty crisis. I have been significantly impacted by traveling to third world countries and seeing first hand the extreme need. Many times I feel guilty buying something I don’t really NEED because I think of all the children who could have a meal with that money. I have such a strong desire to see things balance out a little in our world…I hate that America is so rich while other countries are so poor.
7. However, its not like I’m totally consistent and send every saved penny to World Vision. Some people think this about me and are insecure around me. I vacillate between wanting everything and not wanting anything (Just like the Caedmon’s Call song: This World).
8.Getting married has challenged this issue in me. Like I said in #3, I don’t have as much trouble spending money on something I value. However, there are things that Colby values that I don’t….take, EXPENSIVE COFFEE. He has gotten A LOT better, I must admit. I have come to realize that not everyone values the same things as me, and the guy deserves a cup of coffee if thats what he wants (He also convinced me that by buying fair trade coffee he is supporting the economy of many third world countries…he sure knows how to win an argument).
9. As a side note, I did not “firmly instruct (Haley) that she better get used to it because if we go to Iceland this is all were going to have” as Colby quoted. I simply suggested that it would be economical to use it in Iceland. After I saw how much that upset her, I apologized and she forgave me (Brooke was there to witness this). Colby said not to get Brooke involved. Anyway, she said she didn’t want to go to Iceland, but it had nothing to do with baking soda. The next day she told me that she did not want anyone to live in our house. She wants to live in this house forever. hmmmm…..
10. Lastly, Thank you, Josh and Jadey, for giving us a 9 month supply of toothpaste…that was very kind and thoughtful (Colby says, “Now we only need to use baking soda for 15 months!!”). haha….