When I first met my accountant husband, I was widowed with three children and he was raising a son after a divorce. One of the ladies in his office always said he courted me with free vouchers he won from radio announcements in the 1990s. As money was a bit tight, he listened closely to where the ‘Black Thunder’ cars were positioned around Sydney on certain days and made sure if those radio cars were in an area close to his work, he scored meal vouchers for us to use on date nights.
As fortunes improved over the years, you would think the penny pinching would have disappeared. Although we have had wonderful overseas holidays and purchased investment properties, have modern cars and spent 11 years travelling around Australia in our motorhome, the mindset of “saving every penny you can” – at the risk of been called a miser – has never faded, almost 30 years later.
I’m the opposite though. I’m too generous with family or can’t be bothered saving on shopping. If I want something, I get it. After spending a lot of years watching every cent, my life is too short to worry about saving a few cents here and there.
Hubby shops at the cheapest men’s stores – and now he is a senior the senior’s card gets a good workout. Fresh bought flowers are frowned upon – “a waste of money, they die” he says. He resents paying at car parks, especially at our local private hospital where I seem to have spent a lot of time recently. Everyone in sight is asked to validate his parking ticket for a discount, some departments don’t, but that doesn’t stop him asking. In one department recently he asked about four different people only to be told by each one it’s not done. All the while I’m almost fainting on the chair waiting on a bed for my surgery. As soon as I was settled he left before the next hour’s pricing ticked over. It hurt the purse strings when he had to buy a weekly parking ticket while I was in hospital, I’m still hearing how expensive it was.
I remember years ago, we put in an in-ground pool and the salesman told hubby he could do a deal on a second-hand motor, which of course was then a done deal. That motor was never strong enough to pump water around the pool though and caused us nothing but trouble.
We holiday in the most budget cabins in caravan parks. For the sake of $10 per night extra, I would love a queen size bed, but instead we squeeze ourselves into a double in a room so small you couldn’t swing a cat. They are always the oldest and darkest cabins too. If my daughter and I go away for a couple of days we splurge and pay for comfort.
Restaurants are too expensive, but we do enjoy coffee mornings frequently and hubby is very generous in buying me what I want (if it’s at the right price).
I learned many years ago to pay cash for groceries etc. because he would check the docket against his bank reconciliation and I grew tired of being quizzed at how much I spent or having to justify why we needed a particular item.
Of course, I love my husband and despite his miserly ways he is the most loving human being I’ve found on earth – seriously! I’ve learned to laugh at his ways, and other members of our family like to give him stick for it too. We know what he is like, and he was after all an accountant when we met.