I know from an experienced fact that if you don’t take a lot of money along with you when you go out, you won’t be spending any extra money. You will only spend what you take along with you. I was meeting my daughter and granddaughter the other day and I promised my granddaughter I would buy her an ice cream cone. Last time we all were at our new meeting spot, I noticed an independent ice cream store, making a mental note that if we ever came back to this town, I’d be buying an ice cream cone.

That opportunity came to me yesterday when I met my family back in this smallish town. So, I packed a $10 bill in my wallet knowing full well it was more than enough to buy my granddaughter an ice cream cone. Until I got in to an argument with my hubby. He told me $10 wasn’t enough. I should take more. “If I take more money” I said “I’ll spend it“. “No you won’t,” was his reply.

One of the great qualities of getting older is that you have a lot of experience to rely on. I know from past experiences that if you pack a lot of money, you spend it. Period. Plain and simple. So when we all met in this smallish town and the chance came up for ice cream cones I reminded my granddaughter that I was buying her an ice cream cone. “Can you buy me one too?” asked my 40 year old daughter. “Sure” I said as I handed her the $20 bill. Naturally, of course despite advising hubby NOT to have an ice cream cone because we had 3 half-gallons of vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan home in our fridge (plus a box of waffle cones), he ordered an ice cream cone anyway.

I gave the counter person a tip too” was my daughters response as she handed me back the change. When I looked down, all I saw were two single one dollar bills. Three scoops of ice cream just cost me $18. Ouch! (It was five dollars per cone, plus a three dollar tip!) As predicted, if I had only taken the ten dollars cash as I wanted to, I’d only be out the ten dollars. Hubby would NOT have gotten himself an ice cream cone and my daughter would have tipped from her own money stash. Not mine.

All of this just proved my case. But I already knew, from experience, that you just don’t carry more cash around than you need to. Also, these minor cash splurges are never to be put on a charge card, so that argument is moot. I’m not a killjoy or anything. On the contrary. I’m a retired senior living on a fixed income. I know exactly what and how I should spend my money. I always keep an eye out on the future. Overspending now creates future problems.

My husband comes from the mindset of spending all your money now with never a thought about his future. Now in retirement, he confessed to me that not once did he ever think nor plan for his retirement days. Meanwhile, I’m obsessed with it. When they say opposites attract, they’re not kidding. He and I are total opposites from each other. Hubby comes from a very poor family that when the father died, they didn’t have the money to bury him. His sister called and asked hubby to cover the expense. Hubby had to tap in to his retirement fund and withdraw the money to cover his own father’s death. On the one hand, that was very nice of my husband. On the other hand, I was the one who set up hubby’s retirement fund and I didn’t appreciate the fact that he so casually withdrew a few thousand dollars out of the account. It’s not our problem that his own father didn’t prepare for his own death. But it now became our problem that hubby’s future retirement account just took a loss.

As for me, I come from a very wealthy family. I am first generation of an immigrant. My family learned the hard way how to earn money and the importance of saving said money for their future. I often say this very hurtful comment to my husband, but he usually always deserves to hear it whenever I see him waste money:”That’s why your family is poor and that’s why my family is rich!”

My biggest fear is that I will die long before my husband does and he will quickly squander whatever capital we were fortunate enough to save. I suppose he will have to learn the hard way. Being old and poor is going to be a very painful lesson to figure out. I should have also known not to change my spending plan despite what my husband said. I shouldn’t have listened to him. I knew better but didn’t follow my own gut. Ten dollars was my budgeted spending plan. Twenty dollars lost will cause a future problem. Which is, I am meeting my other granddaughter and older daughter this Mother’s Day with ten dollars less than I had originally planned. I have no idea how I am going to meet this new challenge. Living on a fixed income is hard. Very hard. If you’ve noticed, I didn’t have an ice cream cone when we were out. I knew better. I suppose this grandma will have to go without something in order to make up the deficit.

So, this Mother’s Day I have decided to forgo a pedicure and a manicure. I had been looking forward to indulging myself on these two things. Instead, I did the work myself and pocketed the cash saved. Mothers are always sacrificing for their family, aren’t they? Perhaps my satisfaction is knowing that everybody else had a grand old time. As for me? I will continue to plan for my future regardless of external pressure and cut expenses when ever and where ever I can.

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