Why I´m a frugal jerk

Something Grasshopper said the other day rubbed me the wrong way. He is one of those people who love to have the perfect clothes, hat, shoes, travel bag, etc. for every occasion. Apparently he´d been looking for a cool overnight bag for some time and last week he found a very nice leather bag with 75% off at 35€.

While I think this is a great price for such a bag, he justified the purchase by saying he wouldn´t get any snacks during his shift for a week, to make up for the money. That is what ticked me off. He doesn´t have a latte factor, he has a sandwich factor at 5€ per day! That´s 120€ per month! On sandwiches!!


Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

There I was am not buying things I really really need kinda want and he is spending a fortune on eating out by himself. So I tried to let it go but actually let it simmer for a couple of days before I told him that it bothered me. And even though I thought it was nicely phrased and non passive-aggressive (I´ve a tendency to do that), I was actually being a jerk and here is why:

  1. Grasshopper gets 200€ per month in food checks that can only be cashed at certain restaurants near to where he works. He uses those for his snacks, even though he gives me half to spend with my friends. None of his coworkers do that.
  2. He has constantly talks about all the things he wished he had, but last time he bought something for himself was, um, November.
  3. We have a fully funded emergency fund, that I imposed, saved his entire Christmas bonus, and save a minimum of 10% of our combined income a month.
  4. I´m not really the buying kind, so it´s not like I´m missing out on buying experiences, I just choose not to buy.
  5. I sometimes am an irrational Frugalzilla. Oh yes, and a jerk.

(Sigh), maybe this is something I should add to my list of things I need to improve.

Have you ever blown a little expense out of proportion? Did you feel silly too?


All dressed up and no job to go to (or how I can´t just do nothing)

I have done exactly what I said I would not do. I finished my degree in the middle of October and have been job searching since then. I am just applying for jobs in my field but most of them require at least 2 years experience or they offer no pay at all. I wasn´t too worried because I had some money saved up and am working a few hours a week tutoring a kid and a couple who want to learn English.

It has been great not having a fixed schedule, because Grasshopper´s work hours are random, so we have been spending some much needed together-time. However, the rest of my day is just frustrating. I keep filling out the same “Work with us” web page, watching TV, re-reading books, and knitting. And suddenly, I have gone from being a college grad, to being a grandmother. Actually, both my grannies are way cooler and much more busy than me. Oh, the shame.

It doesn´t help that people keep telling me that the only answer is to move to Germany, where apparently all the jobs have gone. Seriously?? What did people work in before the Crisis? Have all the jobs just gone north for the winter?

Anyways, my original plan was to job search until January/February and then just get whatever job I could find because, if I want to move in with Grasshopper next year, the emergency fund needs to be full and I need some kind of stable job to sign the lease for the flat.

But I couldn´t handle the not doing anything at all part of the job search. So I looked for other options. I always thought that I think Master´s degrees are for people who are already established in a career and want to further their knowledge or advance at work. Someone with no experience can´t possibly benefit as much from what is taught in such degrees. I still believe that, but I also think that, if it takes me 6 months (hopefully not much more) to get a job and they ask me what I have been doing since I finished University, I have a much better chance of proving I´m productive like my CV says if I have actually done something I can prove, rather than just tell the truth.

The subject of degree I´m doing is broad enough to be understandable by a non-specialist but in-depth enough to be quite useful to a company. And it´s a distance course by a reputed university so I could still finish it should I manage to land a job. As you see I´m quite excited about all the things I´ll learn.

So I am officially a student again. Sigh. Wish me luck and willpower.

I would like to thank Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net for the great picture.

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