Lighten up and order out
When times are tight, small luxuries feel -- or taste -- particularly swell.
This week has been a series of minor irritants, including but not limited to constant rain, leaky apartment house windows, 52 pages of really dense course reading, a hot freelance deadline, and making the 50-minute trip to campus one day only to find that the class had been canceled. (It was pouring that day, too.)
Haunting just about every waking minute is the fact that the undergraduate thesis that's due in mid-December is nowhere close to being done.
Once my wet shoes squished across the threshold on Thursday evening I wanted to lie down and scream, as some of my relatives might say. Instead, I ordered takeout.
That is very unlike me. And you know what? It was sooo worth it.
I'm writing this with a belly full of pizza from Snoose Junction, a funky Seattle restaurant that makes a thin and chewy crust the likes of which I haven't had since leaving Philadelphia. The pie cost just over $20 with tax and I tipped the delivery dude $5.
(Yes, a 25% tip. I wanted to thank him not just for going out in the rain to bring me dinner, but also for not being too good to take the job.)
The pizza that I didn't eat -- enough slices for two more meals -- went into the freezer, in repurposed plastic bread bags. Even in the midst of this mad bacchanal I hadn't entirely lost my frugal edge.
Even so, the frugalists among you may be tsk-tsking right now. Why didn't she look in the fridge for leftovers? Why didn't she pull some things out of that pantry and freezer she's always yapping about?
- Video: El Cheapo Thanksgiving
Because, dammit, every now and then I get tired of soaking dry beans and making soup stock. Tonight I wanted somebody to cook for me.
Besides, I had some wiggle room in my budget. Giving up my car is putting me a little bit ahead each month because I don't have to pay for insurance, gas or oil. (Or, these days, new windshield wipers.)
- Bing: Avoiding frugal burnout
I can't tell you the last time I ordered takeout, let alone delivered takeout. That's part of the reason that it felt like such a huge treat.
An episodic splurge is a brief respite from all that figurative or literal bean-counting. It may even sharpen your frugal focus, once you learn to connect daily money-saving tactics with the eventual manicure or matinee.
Every now and then we need to take a brief vacation from frugality. Just make sure you head on back once you've finished that coffee. Or that pizza.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.