Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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I've Only Just Begun

I have a very clear recollection of staying up late one night, rabidly searching through websites dedicated to window treatments. Late, as in three in the morning, late. I remember how important finding the perfect window treatment for my kitchen felt. I need a roman shade, I told my pregnant self. I can't very well be attempting to breastfeed and pump and store milk in my freezer at all hours while a large kitchen window exposes me to the neighbors like a movie screen. I need this. Question is, do I need a cuffed roman shade or a soft fabric shade?

I was thinking about that night this morning, amused at myself and my justifications. An inability to separate want from need. I still don't have blinds in my kitchen. Don't need them. I have a lovely tree (that SOMEONE keeps trimming too much) that, for the most part, blocks me from exchanging winks with my neighbor.

I cannot tell you how much the seemingly little things have added up. In learning to separate want from need I've removed much of my bullshit spending. Learning how to grocery shop, with a list and calculator, has changed my life, saving me at least $25 on every trip. That adds up to $100 a month! Not coloring my hair saves me about $120 every two months. No cable is saving me $80 month and I promise you I don't miss it. Every now and again I have a hankering for some HGTV or Forensic Files but then I'm forced to pick up a book. I'm reading more. It all adds up! Just the savings I've mentioned here total nearly $3,000 a year. Stick with me here, divide that $3,000 by 12 months and that's just like somebody handing you a check for an extra $250 EVERY month.


If you really want me to nerd out on you... well, okay, fuck it... Here goes: I no longer buy trash mags once a week which saves $15 a week times four weeks in a month equals another $60 in savings per month. So increase that free check someone hands you to $310. See? But I still get my mags. My ladies at work know I don't buy the trash mags anymore so they give me their leftovers. And I read the stories I really want to know about while on line at the grocery store. I could keep going... but if Serge's reaction when I start in with the numbers and the multiplying is any indication then you aren't even reading this anymore. But one more thing!

Dress: $6 - thrift store (Deseret Industries in Utah) You can't tell from the photo but it's a funky brown (not black) and white pattern that I love. It fits perfectly!
Shoes: $9.99 - Payless
Total: $16