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Monday, February 10th, 2014
3 months, 2 months.
Something I will take pride in is teaching you how to dress appropriately. For example, when you want to impress (or intimidate) someone, wear a necktie.
My (secret) goal is to always “outdress” every other man in the room; particularly in the office. I blame it on the Italian in me.
However, there are certain times in life where that concept completely doesn’t matter at all. The most obvious exception is when you go to Walmart.
Son, you can pretty much wear whatever you want when we go there. I have found the culture there to be extremely accepting.
And that’s exactly what happened last weekend. As Mommy and I are preparing to buy a house later this year, we are prepping our current townhouse to rent. We needed to check out the selection on toilet seat covers- and on a rainy Saturday night, Walmart was the perfect place.
Oh, and of course, we let you have a 98 cent Hot Wheels car and an 88 cent container of bright blue Play-Doh.
With it being all rainy day, you had been in your PJs for most of it. So we figured, why make you change?
After all, considering there is a website called People Of Walmart, which functions as a collection of “the best of the worst dressed” who are secretly photographed by other customers, I figured no one would give you a second look if we carried you around in your doggie pajamas.
I was right. You fit right in.
No need to wear a necktie to Walmart, in other words. But even if you did, I still don’t think you’d get a second look from anyone.
Everyone is accepted just as they are at Walmart. There’s nothing pretentious about it.
Sometimes, that’s actually pretty refreshing.
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Saturday, January 25th, 2014
3 years, 2 months.
To say we are a frugal family is an understatement. While some might consider the term “penny pincher” as an insult, I would take that as a compliment.
For the fact we don’t have smart phones or cable/satellite TV, it sets us apart from mainstream America. I realize that.
It means we’re a bit removed from modern technology and entertainment; and to a degree, we’re a bit removed from society, as well.
But on the flip side, we get to put that money in savings each month; which will help with down payment for the house we plan to buy later this year…
I actually consider being frugal as one of my hobbies. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but Mommy and I worked our way out of nearly $60,000 of debt and become debt-free last summer. There’s no way our perspective on money can or will ever be the same.
So I’m always looking for tricks that will help us save money. One example is knowing when not to buy retail items; and more importantly, the best time to do so.
My full-time job is in the HR side of freight logistics for a transportation company. Yeah, I know that sounds pretty random, but it’s a real thing; and it’s the main way I contribute to our family’s income.
I know that the next-to-the-last Tuesday of the month, until the first Monday of the next calendar month, is the best time for people to buy stuff cheap. I see it happen every month at my job; enough so that I predict logistics decisions based on that concept.
During that two week period, stores drop their prices in an effort to move the product out before the new month begins, which helps them avoid having to pay taxes on the merchandise they don’t sell by the end of the month.
That is why yesterday, our family met up at Old Navy after work and school. “Good Freight Tuesday,” as I call it, was just a couple of days ago. This is the best time of the month to buy retail products.
So we did.
We found the best items on clearance; as the store wants the “old stuff” off the racks to make room for the new stuff for next month, which begins next week.
Here’s how I look at it. I don’t want to be the sucker who pays full price for anything… ever.
One way I can accomplish my goal is to only shop for merchandise once the next-to-the-last Tuesday of the month occurs.
(I also recognize the importance of shopping for seasonal and holiday items after the season or holiday is over, or coming to an end.)
And just as important, I avoid doing any shopping, other than food and gas, during the first two weeks of the month, when stores are in no hurry to clear their shelves.
While we’re not eager to buy a new car, I will keep this in mind the next time we do; hopefully years from now.
If at a dealership, we will go during the last two weeks of the month, when I predict the salesman will be more desperate to meet his sales quota.
I feel that money management lessons are one of the best gifts I can hand down to you to eventually prepare you to adulthood, as the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad teaches.
So stick this lesson in collection: Don’t buy stuff until the next-to-the-last Tuesday of the month.
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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
I haven’t been brave enough to take you to the mall since the first time Mommy and I tried well over a year ago.
It was such a test of my patience then, that I remember making some sort of declaration to Mommy afterwards, like, “We are never doing this again!”
But hey, you’re nearly 3 years old now, I was up for the challenge again last weekend.
I just wanted to make sure that none of us would become physically exhausted from the trek through the huge Opry Mills mall in Nashville.
You’re definitely too tall and heavy now for Mommy or me to carry you around that far and for that long.
And the thought of you holding our hands in the midst of all those people, while we tried to shop for clothes, just sounded impossible.
So I had to ask myself, is it okay to take our jogging stroller to the mall? It’s the only stroller we have now and it made more sense than the Radio Flyer wagon.
The answer: most definitely.
It was so practical, like my Honda Element. I was able to stuff our purchased items under your seat as we rolled from store to store.
The tires made for a nice smooth ride as we politely swerved our way through the slow moving traffic and outspoken salespeople in the middle aisles, saying to us, “Excuse me, sir. May I ask you just one question?”
So let me explain why you’re wearing a bear hat in these pictures, by the way.
As you watched Mommy and me update our wardrobes at the Gap Outlet, you found a bear hat that you felt would be a great asset for your wardrobe as well.
And because you behaved so well during our mall trip, and allowed us to get our shopping done without any major issues, letting you have a random bear hat was no problem.
You got it.
In fact, you loved your new bear hat so much, that you insisted on wearing it not only to Target the next day, but to church as well.
I loved seeing the looks on the faces of other parents who instantly laughed to themselves once they saw you in your bear hat. It was as if to say, “A young boy in a bear hat, for no apparent reason. I get it… I like it.”
Our family mall trip was a success. The jogging stroller was a good idea.
And out of the deal, you got a random bear hat, that you love to wear out in public but privately treat as a pet bear.
Just another normal story in parenting…
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