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Marilee J. Layman

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03:21 pm: Pants Measuring, IRS, and Frugality
The woman who is going to make me summer pants that fit has just left with a pair of the current ones to generally work from. I showed her the fabric I planned to buy (crinkle cotton in red, lavender, blue, white, and black) so she knew the width and then we measured. When I buy commercial pants, in order to get something that has the loosest crotch seams (that will still pop open), I end up with very wide legs, like harem pants. So now, for 2/3 (labor & material) the price of those pants, I'll get pants made just for me. Definitely a good deal. And I showed her that my winter pants are the same pattern, just knit cotton, so when we get closer to that, I can start looking for those colors online.

After she left, I called the IRS again and was on forever. There is no way for me to get the ACH trace number; the person who helped me can't even contact the place that handles money. So the IRS is sure I've paid and the credit union is sure the check hasn't been deposited. Looks like I have an extra $99.00.

The WashPost Business section recently added a column pretty much aimed at women in the Business section. It's called Small Change and two of the female reporters bring in bits from their same-named blog. I almost always end up raising my eyebrows at what they consider frugal. For example, they've started drinking wine at home instead of going out for cocktails every night. Yesterday, they had home recipes for salon/spa items from a woman who said "People spend an average of $25 a week on a manicure and pedicure." Uhhuh. There's no info on the statistics -- that it's one person's average a week or the general population's average a week -- but I doubt I know anybody who spends that much. And then when I skimmed the section fronts this morning, one of the Small Change reporters has an article about how people are now trying to keep up with the saving neighbors instead of the spending neighbors. But the examples are things like how people are calling one woman to get her home-made pizza recipe because it's as much as $20 less than the delivered variety. Duh. And it praises the Coupon Mom who now has a publicist. Am I wrong here? Are there really that many people who spend/spent that kind of money regularly?

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[User Picture]
From:cakmpls
Date:June 5th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
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I suspect they mean something like "People who get regular manicures and pedicures spend an average of $25 a week on that." Anyone who has it done every two weeks, at just an ordinary place, with tip, will spend that average.

Edited at 2009-06-05 08:40 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:skylarker
Date:June 5th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
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If someone says, "People spend an average of $25 a week on a manicure and pedicure." you know that her concept of who fits the definition of 'people' is vastly different from yours or mine. i.e.: she's certainly not counting all the people who are too poor to even consider such an expense.

Edited at 2009-06-05 07:54 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:fledgist
Date:June 5th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
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That seems about right.
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From:green_knight
Date:June 5th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
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I do not think I know a single individual who has a weekly manicure/pedicure, and a significant number of people I know _never_ have one. (This is very much a gendered thing, too, I should think. I'm certain there are men who do, but I don't think I know any.)

And congrats on finding someone to make custom pants - that sounds like a fabulous solution.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 6th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I've been looking for a while and found this woman (who works at a fabric shop) through friends in the bookgroup.
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From:agent_mimi
Date:June 5th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
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I suspect they're talking about a certain economic class of people; they assume that if you have enough money to save significantly, you also have enough money to go out drinking every night and get your nails done professionally. There's also a thing people have about avoiding coupons that I don't understand, but I see it a lot. We've never had much money but my husband refuses to use coupons for restaurants. He won't even do the "2 for $20" specials at places like Applebee's because he's so afraid of looking cheap.
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From:mjlayman
Date:June 6th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
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My problem with coupons is that most are for brand names and I buy a lot of store products because they're cheaper even without the coupons and just as good. But I do go through the coupons to see if I can use any.

I'm a little uncomfortable using the restaurant coupons when I take someone else out, like when I took lizzibabe out after she put my new table together, but then again, she knows I don't have that much money. Restaurant coupons for just me, or specials? No problem with that. The restaurant is doing that to bring me in so I might as well take advantage.
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From:serge_lj
Date:June 5th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
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they've started drinking wine at home instead of going out for cocktails every night

I know how she feels.
Poor woman.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 6th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
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LOL
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From:capemaynuts
Date:June 6th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
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Those people I know who are regular nail/beauty salon visiters spend at least $100 a month. ANd that doesn't include hair cuts. And actually making pizza from scratch isn't all that cheap, since you have to buy containers of all the individual ingrediants. Much cheaper (and faster and easier) to buy the pizza in the supermarket dairy case. My store sells an 18 in pie for only $5.99 as opposed to the $12 smaller 14 in pie the pizzaria delivers.
And I don't drink wine, so that save even more money LOL
But I love coupons! Its so much fun to watch the total go down at the register, instead of up.
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From:mjlayman
Date:June 6th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
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I think they assume you have most of the pizza ingredients. I was remembering last night that there used to be some kind of pizza ingredients in a box -- the flour mixture, cheese, pepperoni, and sauce -- all in individual bags. I don't think I've seen that in a long time. And since my Giant regularly has Celeste Pizza for One on sale at 10 for $10 (and you don't have to buy 10 to get the deal), I get my pizzas even cheaper and in a one-serving size.

Those and Bagel Bites have turned out to be handy when I get to the end of the day and still need about 20gr protein. The 50gr isn't just a maximum, I'm to aim directly at it so I get enough protein to rebuild cells.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 6th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
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How wonderful you found somebody to make you custom pants. That should work out much better than storebought.
Those columnists must have other women in mind than the ones I know. Even when I still got manicures (and pedicures), I never went regularly and the salon recommended manicures every two weeks. I gave up when there was an epidemic of bacteria in the footbaths and I'm quite happy with my own manicures and pedicures. Mine last longer!
Funny thing, though, some of the magazines that used to promote this salon or that spa, now have tips on how to do your own hair color etc. etc.
Doris
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 6th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, one of the reasons I would never get a professional manicure and pedicure is that there's too much risk of infection. And I can cut my nails pretty well myself!

I'm really looking forward to having pants that fit!
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 7th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I'll just know it's there for an emergency. And it will annoy me because it isn't cleared.
From:don_fitch
Date:June 8th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
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That sounds like the feeling I get when looking at the advertisements in The New Yorker -- "This is meant for people who live in a different world than I do". (I get the same feeling when driving from Los Angeles down to San Diego -- miles and miles of fancy (but cookie-cutter) houses that almost certainly are marketed at about a million dollars each.) But then, I ceased getting haircuts when the price went above two dollars (including tip) -- which happened several decades ago.


[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:June 8th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
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Unfortunately, I can't stand up long enough to wash my hair if it's long, so I have to get it cut. But we have those very expensive houses here, too. I just think there are a lot more people like me!
From:diatryma
Date:June 10th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
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I read Real Simple in waiting rooms, and it's bizarre. All these things about saving that aren't so much saving, because I already don't spend that money. It's also weird seeing what they consider 'worth the money'.
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