Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sharing the Waste, Sharing the Wealth

So, if you've read my blog for a while you've probably gleaned, or been hit over the head with, the idea that I like to save money on some things so that I can enjoy certain other things. For instance, I can't stand to pay full price for groceries or clothes when I know that, with a little research, I can save enough on those two things to pay for a fine dinner out with my husband. We also economize in order to pump up our retirement savings, our kids' college funds, and our "rainy day fund" (recently re-titled, "our rain-coming-through-the-old-roof fund"). So we drive our cars into the ground, never buy anything on time (i.e., with interest), hang-dry clothes, shop second-hand, etc. Yeah, I guess you could call me cheap. Fine.

Last night, I was reading through The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn, and came upon a money-saving idea I had never thought of: split the cost of garbage pick-up with a neighbor. So, for example, my neighbor and I would decide that she would get the contract with the collector, and then I would walk our garbage over to her bin (ten steps from ours) on pick-up day. When she got her quarterly bill, we'd pay half of it. Brilliant. Those ten steps alone would save us $135 a year. The problem: I don't think neighbors particularly want to talk garbage with each other, much less finances. Is a short-term discomfort worth $135/year to you? I'm giving that one some serious thought.

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