After I ran my last post in this series, I thought surely I would run out of awkward moments to share. Then I remember that I’m me, and there’s no shortage of awkward moments in my life, finance related and otherwise. For instance, let’s flashback to two weeks ago in my classroom:
I don’t normally eat or drink while I teach–out of respect for the school rules that my students follow and for fear of choking and having to rely on a 12-year-old to perform the Heimlich Maneuver or page the nurse–but I had a wicked sore throat, so I was sipping on plain green tea in an attempt to preserve my voice. I took one quick, inconspicuous sip. Minutes later, I followed it up with a second sip. This time, I managed to miss half my mouth and essentially drool down my shirt. Instead of laughing too loudly, one student promptly raised his hand and assured me that things could have been a lot worse. He promised, “You could have been the teacher who walked backwards and fell into the recycle bin last week!”
While I certainly can’t claim that level of awkwardness (yet), the people in my life have done a pretty outstanding job of making me blush when it comes to finances in the past month. I spend most of my days minding my own business, trying to do my frugal living thing. Yet these short encounters transform me from frugally awesome to awkward in no time flat.
“That’s an Aldi brand.”
Last month, I attended a potluck baby shower for a coworker at another coworker’s home. I brought a homemade Rex Goliath wine, taco dip, and blue corn tortilla chips. Since I know nothing about wine that doesn’t come in a pretty blue bottle and cost $5 at Aldi, I ran into the liquor store and asked the
wine sommelier part-time employee who might make $10 an hour what would be a decent, moderately priced wine that is appropriate for a work party. I left with my bottle of wine–that had an Ibotta rebate!–and headed to the party. For all the effort I put in vetting my wine decision, I apparently didn’t vet my chip choice. When I handed off my goodies to a friend, she quickly looked at the chips and noted, “That’s an Aldi brand.” Then, she promptly put out my taco dip and salsa and tucked the bag of chips behind another bag on the counter.
“Couldn’t you just pay with real money?”
Mr. P and I booked a last-minute trip to Vegas. We weren’t able to travel for spring break, and I signed up for a six-week stint of summer school. So this trip is kind of a farewell of sorts to my break before it begins. Because I spend about as much time on the Southwest site as I do on social media*, I found a deal that was too good to pass up. Three full days in Vegas with a two-night stay at the MGM and roundtrip airfare would set us back less than $550. I quickly put the trip on my Discover card and used my cashback earnings to foot the bill. When a friend inquired how we could afford to travel so often, I tried to let her in on my secret. Once I detailed my cashback payment plan, she replied, “Couldn’t you just pay with real money?” Needless to say, I won’t be telling her about how I’m using MyVegas to score free buffets and free Cirque du Soleil tickets.
“Isn’t that, you know, tacky?”
I recently turned 30. Mr. P threw a wonderful surprise party with my family and friends, and my mom supplied the decor. I’m confident she spent a pretty penny on all the Look Who’s 30 paraphernalia from Party City. Since a friend of mine was also hosting a 30th birthday, I sent her a text message the next day asking if she had any used for some of the decor. She eagerly agreed, lamenting the ridiculous cost of party decorations. When I was packing up the supplies, my traitorous husband asked, “Isn’t this, you know, tacky?” After trying to explain the difference between sending over a used napkin and a tablecloth that was still in plastic wrap, I also reminded him that I was completely honest with the party host and let her know that I simply didn’t want to throw out these items. I’m still not sure we see eye-to-eye on this one.
*Priorities, people. Priorities.
So Tell Me…Any awkward encounters as of late? How do people react to your frugality?