The other day, my roommate accused me of being cheap. You see, we take turns buying certain things for the apartment – dish detergent, coffee, toilet paper. The stuff we both use regularly. There’s no set rule on brands or anything, though if I went and bought 18 rolls of toilet paper, she couldn’t go buy a 4 roll pack when it was her turn. (Well, she could, but then her turn would repeat.) These are, of course, unspoken rules.
Turns out we have very different opinions on toilet paper. I had no idea. She prefers the soft, plush, triple-ply, whereas I always buy Scott One-Ply.
Growing up, we lived just far enough in the country to not be connected to the city sewage system, which meant we had septic tanks in the backyard. For those of you not familiar with septic tanks, I won’t go into great detail, but it meant we had to be careful about everything that went down the drains. That meant that certain toilet papers were a no-go. It also meant not flushing feminine hygiene products and putting hair catchers in the shower and on the washing machine, because all of those things can get tangled up in the motor and jam it or break it. And let me tell you, while a septic tank doesn’t smell at all when it’s working properly, when things stop moving, you’ll know. Nevermind the loud alarm that your neighbors will hear. The whole neighborhood will be able to smell it.
So to me, the cheap toilet paper is the norm. It works fine and it’s cheap. And, as it turns out, it’s even more eco-friendly. (While it would save money, I don’t expect to ever go completely TP-free.) Apparently, my cheapness with the toilet paper has been bothering my roommate quite a bit lately, and she decided to bring it up this weekend because it’s just about my turn to purchase. I told her that I understood her concerns, but well, for me, the cheap stuff works just fine (and the rolls last so much longer), so maybe it’s time we buy our own toilet paper (we have two bathrooms). Realizing she’d have to shell out, she decided to go with my way instead.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.