About Me

Simply Susan - Sweet Love Stories

I’ve always loved telling stories. My favorite is the one where I sent the wrong letter to the right boy. We were married the next summer. I attended LDS Business College where I earned an Associate’s in Computer Technology and Brigham Young University where I should have majored in English. I live on a lush farm in the heart of Virginia complete with rolling hills, two rivers, more trees than I care to count and a haunted house overlooking two cemeteries. When I’m not busy writing, I can be found chasing cows, fireflies, my four adorable children or my extremely hot husband.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Counting Change

I think I'm going to have to disconnect the radio in my husband's work truck. It's ruining our marriage.

Stinkin' Dave Ramsey.

Have y'all heard of him? He's this Southern Baptist financial Guru talk show host dude. And he's wicked smart. 

Right now, I hate him.

Like my husband wasn't enough of a tightwad already--he had to start listening to this guy.

This month, Husband wants to use only cash for everything. One of Dave's ideas. If you set aside a pre-allotted amount of cash and don't go over, you're forced to stick to your budget. 

Sounds like a great plan, doesn't it? Except for when it's not.

So last night after we took the kids to Coldstone (with a gift card that someone had given us) Husband drove us over to Walmart so I could run in and get two gallons of milk. Because we drink a lot of milk and the worst thing is to find out on Sunday that we don't have enough to make it to Monday. We can't function without it.

I hopped out while he and the kids stayed in the car. It was raining and cold. As I was walking back to the dairy section I realized-DANG!-I don't have any cash. I knew Husband had some but there was no way I was going back out in that weather to ask him for six bucks, especially when I wasn't sure where he'd parked the car. 

So I thought about it, guys...using the forbidden Debit Card.

But then I weighed the wrath of Husband and knew I should try to pay for at least one gallon with cash. I dug through my purse and realized, hey, I might have enough change to pay for both gallons. Woot! Woot!

I stepped in the express lane and set my purchases on top of the cooler next to the counter. The guy in front of me was buying a years supply of Reese's Cups. I pulled out a handful of change and started pushing quarters, dimes, and nickels around. And then I realized proudly that yes, I did have enough. Husband was going to crown me Wife of the Year.

I started recounting because there is nothing more embarrassing then finding out you don't have enough money when you thought you did. Especially when you're paying in change.

And then I squirmed. Another nickel, another dime. My neck was twitching. Because Peanut Butter Cup guy was watching me. Every few seconds he'd glance my way. I made sure not to make eye contact.

He swiped his card, grabbed his bags and then stepped out of the way so I could scoot up. 

As he turned toward me, my brain was screaming, Don't say it! Just walk away and shove a candy in your mouth!

"So, I saw that you were counting your change. And I wondered if I could buy those for you."

I wanted to be irritated but how could I? My heart hiccuped and I melted into a puddle.

Because how nice was that? Isn't it awesome that people still do things like that for other people? Sometimes, when I turn on the t.v. I feel like I'm covered in nasty muck when I'm done. Desperate Housewives, Political Debates, the news*. And I forget that there are people all around me that are good and kind and worried about others.

When I got in the car and told my kids they got all excited and asked if I let the guy buy our milk? They'd never heard of such a thing.

"No," I said. "I told him about Husband and his decision to use only cash, except I forgot the cash, and that my debit card actually had plenty of money on it and how sweet that was of him, and thank you anyway."

The guy smiled and walked away. He probably slept like a baby. I know I did.

But I doubt I'll forget his six dollar generosity anytime soon. I don't want to. As a matter of fact, I'm going to keep my eyes open for People Counting Change. And maybe I'll ask for a little divine help in finding someone this week. 

But first, I'm going to put some cash in my wallet!

*I don't actually watch any of those. I stick to Food Netwook. It's family friendly.


Rob said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It's the little things. It always is.

And, Dave Ramsey is an equivocating jerk. His advice is for people who have lost the connection between money and taking stuff from stores, who use credit cards as though they were not the promise of indenture.

If you're able to manage a debit card in your wallet, use it. Every bank worth its salt will a) decline the card if there's no balance and b) record the transaction more quickly than you can swipe the card. Exactly. The same. As Cash.

The store, in turn, has already built the price of the d*** things into what you just bought.

Lynne Henshaw said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I was in Dollar General a few weeks ago, and behind a young woman in line at the check out. She was having trouble coming up with the money for her purchase. The faulty machine wouldn't take her debit card. She quick ran out to the car to see if her husband had the cash, but he didn't. She had to leave without her item. I wished at that point that I had had some loose cash to help her pay. When I got home, I got a small envelope, put my name on the front in the middle of it, enclosed one of our LDS pass-along cards, and put it in my purse. If I ever have the opportunity again, I want to be able to put the needed cash into the envelope and give it to one who needs it. She (or he) can repay me, having my address, if they desire.

Becca said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That? Is a really good story. Way to go, you. Also, way to go, PB cups guy.

Rob said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

The machine didn't take the card? The checker is supposed to know how to type the 16 numbers in by hand...

Still, that's a really good idea with the pass-along card.

Toni said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That's really cool. If you can't stick to a budget, the cash idea is good. We almost never use cash but still stick to our budget.

Susan said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We stick to our budget just fine--cash or debit card. Bryan is just always trying to see how much less we can spend--no matter what the budget is already set at.

Rob said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Susan, that's an interesting exercise to try! Does he have a wider goal than moral austerity in mind? Something to do with the saved money? (There doesn't have to be any goal for it already to be a good idea; I'm just curious)

The thing you're depicting, by the way, very closely resembles my wife's attitude toward money. Just without Dave Ramsey's fervor. She apparently got her attitudes from the myriad talks given by Mormon leaders about debt.

In that sense I concede Bryan has a point. No debit card in your pocket = no chance to spend it = no chance to waste it. Except through currency inflation.

I'm going to think about that some more.

Jo said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What an amazingly sweet thing for him to offer... it's so nice to know that there ARE so many good people in the world. We just don't hear about them as much as we do the people that... aren't so nice.

Melanie Jacobson said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh, this story is a great note for me to go to bed on. Love it. (P.S. Still love your blog, hate your captcha. I can't ever read them. Grr.)