Monday, March 20, 2006

We’re not frugal, we’re downright cheap

One of the downsides to being truly self-employed (that is, no employees working for you) is that there are no employer-provided benefits. No paid vacation. No sick leave. No health insurance. A self-employed person who goes on vacation earns no money for that time. I can afford to take off a week, but if we want to go on a vacation together, then that occupies two weeks. And the lost money adds up. So, we decided it would be a good investment to buy a simple laptop computer so I can take some work with me. I just need it to do word processing, look at PDFs, and connect to the Internet. But then one must have a case to carry the laptop in. We went to Wally World to find a carrying case and the one they had cost $28.88. We didn’t want to pay that much for a carrying case. The next day, I went to the YMCA yard sale and I found a really nice Eddie Bauer soft-sided satchel for $1.50. So I bought it. R said it was the right size, but it needed to be padded. I suggested maybe we could make a bubble-wrap sleeve to put the computer in and then stick that inside the satchel. So, he fiddled with it and came up with a very workable solution. He showed me what he did, and then just sort of shook his head. “We’re incredible,” he says, “this is just nuts – it goes way beyond being frugal.” But, we did save $30

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