I started Northern Cheapskate nearly 5 years ago on a whim. Since that time, we’ve gone through a lot together. The kids have grown, I’ve added some fine writers to the staff, and I’ve gotten to know some of you as you comment and send me e-mails.
Today I thought I’d share 10 things you might not know about me… partly because I just can’t help oversharing… and partly because I hope you’ll share something about yourself in the comments so that we can all get to know more about each other!
So, here’s my list of 10 things you may not know about me (a.k.a. The Northern Cheapskate):
10. I don’t text.
I have a smart phone, but I’ve never sent a text and don’t carry a texting plan on my phone. I figure that if you’re in a situation that you can’t call someone in, then maybe you shouldn’t be texting either. I may trip while walking, but it won’t be while texting!
9. I have never mowed a lawn.
I can hear a collective groan on this one. Lest you think I’m a pampered princess, I will have you know that I’ve done my share of yard work over the years – from stacking wood to raking to cleaning up dog poop. I’ve just never been taught to work the lawn mower, and since others have always done it, I haven’t had to do it.
8. The last time I had an alcoholic drink was in 2004.
I didn’t set out to quit drinking forever. I quit drinking when I was trying to conceive, then was pregnant, and then was on anti-depressants for severe postpartum depression. From there I had two more kids, and I was starting my frugal journey, and well, buying the spendy fruity drinks I used to enjoy just didn’t seem like a smart expense to me anymore. I don’t miss it at all.
7. I rarely carry cash.
A lot of personal finance experts will tell you that you need to use cash instead of debit or credit cards. The theory is that once your cash is gone, you can’t overspend. For whatever reason, I’m actually worse with cash. I’m far more likely to fritter away cash on dumb stuff. It’s easier to skip out on those little wasters of money if I have to swipe a card. I know retailers pay a fee to process the cards, so I always feel guilty if I have to swipe my card for some tiny purchase. I’m sure the thief that stole my wallet a few years back was pretty disappointed not to find any cash.
6. The first time I have ever flown on a plan was this week.
My family didn’t travel much as a kid, and then, since money was tight, it was never in my budget to fly anywhere. The thing is, when you wait 36 years to take your first airpline flight, you have MORE than a tiny bit of anxiety. I made my husband fly with me to Atlanta for the Savvy Blogging Conference. He didn’t actually go to the conference. His job was to keep me calm on the flight. Worth every penny!
5. I’m really an introvert.
I’m capable of being outgoing and social, but I much prefer to be by myself or only with a few close friends. I don’t like crowds. I’d much rather share my life through the written word than make a public appearance. I much prefer the peacefulness of the woods over the amenities of the city.
4. I’m an only child.
When we attended the funeral for my great-grandfather when I was five, I remember watching relatives fight over rights to his belongings. It was pretty ugly. I told my parents, “I’m glad I’m an only child because when you die, I get everything.” Now that I’m older, I look at all of the stuff they’ve accumulated and think, “OMG! I get everything. WHAT am I going to do with all this STUFF?” A few siblings might be handy when cleaning out the ol’ estate.
I have loved being an only child. My mom and dad are two of my best friends in the whole world. They’ve been there for me and my family and I am so grateful for their love and support.
3. I don’t wear makeup.
I don’t like to wear makeup. The only time I do wear it is when I’m trying to hide pimples or under-eye circles, and that’s done quite sparingly. I don’t own mascara. I don’t own lipstick. I didn’t even wear makeup on my wedding day. I hate the feel of it. I hate the expense of it. And I’d rather sleep for 15 more minutes a day than apply makeup.
2. I don’t always use a coupon for everything.
A lot of people assume that since I’m the Northern Cheapskate I use coupons for everything and I’m a super tightwad about every expense. The truth is that I don’t always use coupons on every shopping trip. I don’t always buy the least expensive option. I look for the best values. I value what my time is worth. Sometimes I just end up spending a little bit more.
1. We’re debt-free except the house.
In 2001, we made a vow to pay off our debts. Over the next 6 years we paid off more than $68,000, in debt, and were able to build our dream house on a lake in the woods. Since we’ve been debt-free (except for the house), we’ve paid for two cars cash, as well as a series of home improvement projects and repairs. We are FAR from perfect when it comes to managing our money, but we’re not doing too shabby.
I don’t share this to brag, although I am pretty proud of our accomplishments. Instead, I hope that it inspires you to live a debt-free life. I never knew freedom until we paid that last car payment. I don’t ever want to be in debt again. And my mission is to help you experience the same freedom!
So. There you have it: Ten things you may not have known about me.
Now it’s your turn! I’d love to hear at least one thing I didn’t know about you!