Monday, November 23, 2009

My Middle Name is Frugal.

So, today I've been taking down pictures, clearing off the mantel, putting away accessories and trying to figure out where to put my two huge heavy sets of curtains while we sand, putty, sand and paint over the next couple of weeks. My dining room is a wreck and now my bedroom is, too. I cannot wait for order to be restored to my home! It will be so nice to live in peace again. So, while I was frantically cleaning my kitchen and clearing more clutter from the countertops (see this post on my kitchen clutter dilemma) and getting ready to cook a pot of chili, my doorbell rang. It wasn't a one ding-dong kind of ring like our neighbor's child does. It was a double ding-dong ring so I knew it was someone else. Should I answer it or should I pretend like I am not here even though the lights were on in the kitchen? Well, before I could decide what to do, my kids ran to the front window which happens to be right beside the door. Oh well. That answered that question! I went and opened the door slightly to see who it was. No JW's this time, it was a couple of salesmen. Immediately I was skeptical and ready to shut them down and say no to whatever it was. But this guy was good. He wanted to demonstrate his Kirby vacuum. I have a vacuum. And I have a steam cleaner. Both of them are by Hoover and I like them. When I told him I wasn't interested because we're in the process of sanding trim and painting, he said, "Can you help me out just by letting me demonstrate it? It will help me out right here before the holidays." So, I said, "I'm not buying anything. Will that still help you?" Long story short, he came back with his equipment 15 minutes later and began showing me how this vacuum works. I couldn't believe all the dirt and dust coming up out of the carpet that I had just vacuumed. It was disgusting. While this was going on I happened to look at the price sheet he laid on my kitchen table and I about dropped my teeth. $2495. WHEW! So, the whole time I'm agreeing with him I'm telling him that I would never pay that much for a vacuum. He tried every trick in the book while he vacuumed and then shampooed my entire living room floor. When he was finished, he called his manager (who happened to be in the neighborhood) to come over and try and make a deal with me by trading in my two vacuums and my wallet for this one vacuum. They came down $1500 by the last deal and I still told them no. He said, "Wouldn't your husband want you to make a good investment like this that would save you time and keep your carpets clean and last longer?" I almost laughed out loud. My husband would pass out if I told him I paid that much for a vac without talking to him first. He didn't know who he was talking to. I am frugal by nature. My parents taught me the value of money and how to manage money and be a good steward of what God has entrusted me with. I could never pay for that kind of priceless advice. They were not happy when they realized I was not going to sign my life over to them. At one point, he told me he's had people in trailers write him a check. I told him I didn't believe that for one minute. He even tried dumping baking soda on my carpet and rubbing it in with his shoe then had me vacuum it up with my vac so he could go back over it with his and show me how bad my vac is. Well, that kind of backfired. My vac got nearly all of it up. I don't doubt that his vac is a very nice one, but I could never pay that much money for a vacuum, esp when we're planning to rip our carpet up and do hardwoods in the not-so-distant future. After they left (over an hour later - even though it was suppose to take 20 min) I shut all the curtains in the front window so they couldn't see in if they decided to come back. Well, they came back and rang the bell a few times. I wouldn't answer it. I was a little nervous because they weren't too happy when they left and Hubs wasn't home yet, not to mention they didn't seem to understand the word 'No'. So, finally they left, but not before the man asked me for a tip for doing this presentation since I wasn't buying anything. If I had thought fast enough, I would have given him a tip that my Papaw would have been proud of - 'Never take a wooden nickel.' But I don't think that is the kind of tip he was looking for. I was happy to see Hubs when he got home - and he was happy to have clean carpet for free! ha Oh - and the funniest part of the whole thing is that #3 kept making him read books to her during this big presentation. She thinks anyone that is kneeling, sitting or remotely close to the floor is only there because they want to read to her. She doesn't take no for an answer very easily. I think he met his match. Then, when he was vacuuming, she got her little talking vacuum and followed him around the room. ha
Then, I was checking my email while the chili was simmering and found out I won a giveaway!!! New Every Morning entered my giveaway last week and in her comment invited me to enter hers. I was so surprised to win!!! I never win!! And this is what I won!! I picked the Pimento color. =] Exciting!!
Last, but not least, I'll leave you with a few principles of finance that my dad has taught me.
  1. Always give back to God first. (Tithe) You can never outgive God. I've seen this lived out my entire life. It's not mine anyway, everything I have is only mine because God has given it to me. The least I can do is give him a portion back.
  2. Be a good steward. Budget, use your money wisely (don't buy expensive vacuum cleaners,etc).
  3. Live within your means. If you don't have the money in the bank, don't buy it.
  4. Save money. Make it a priority. When I lived on my own as a single gal, I was not making a lot of money - probably $360 a week take-home - rent was $480, I had to pay car insurance, utilities, etc. and I still managed to save $300/month. God met every need and I did not go in debt. I was amazed by God's provision - and I still am!

My dad has been giving financial advice longer than Dave Ramsey and has kept me from making a lot of financial mistakes. I am so thankful for him and that he cared about me enough to teach me about money matters even while I was young. He's a genius. Hubs and I are trying to instill in our girls financial truths even now while they are young and hope to see them avoid many financial mistakes along the way!


Julie said...

Amen, Sister. I was literally just "laughing" at myself about my own frugality & thinking about Mom & Dad minutes before I read this. And I can't believe you won that giveaway!!! Awesome!

Ice-Family said...

I had those same Kirby people come by our house this past spring and they also did everything they could to try to get me to buy the vac! But you're right $1500 is a crazy amount for a vac!!! Glad you finally got rid of them!

Hen Jen said...

yes, the kirby's are really nice, my m-i-l and s-i-l have them, but we could never really afford to pay that out, it just wouldn't have been wise for us, no matter how good it is! Sorry the salesmen were so awful to you!

sonya said...

I had a lady come to the door and do a demonstation for a rainbow vacuum years ago when I was single. I've always wanted one, esp now that I have kids with asthma and allergies. So a few years ago I looked on ebay and what do you know. Those people that fall for the sales pitch and buy vacuums they can't afford tend to sell them later for much less. I bought a used Rainbow for $200 and I have been thrilled with it!