Our water dispenser is, unsurprisingly, breaking. Unsurprisingly because everything is breaking. Unsurprisingly because we’ve had it for something like a decade and use it constantly. Unsurprisingly because it’s birthday and Christmas season, and isn’t that when all the unexpected expenses crop up?
The dispenser has an ice cold side and a nearly boiling side. For about a month, the nearly boiling side has been dripping, when it isn’t supposed to. I’ve tried to simple-fix it, but it’s not a simple fix – the thing is falling apart. It’s not a big deal, but we are losing about 16 ounces of water a day to the constant drip drip drip.
So it’s breaking and I am trying very hard to turn off the firehose of money that’s been shooting out of our house and in many ways, failing. I spent too much for Christmas, we’re going to Disney World in a few weeks, Viv’s birthday party deposit is coming due and soccer signups are coming due and shooooooot it’s time to order our yearly photo book.
At any rate, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I can be, as a girlfriend once told me, “the cheapest person [she’d] ever met.” She said it as a compliment, and I took it that way! Another friend recently noted that “of course you won’t go to the extra gymnastics meet, it costs money, and you refuse to spend any money.” She meant it as a good-natured jab, but again, I took it as a compliment. However, lately, it just hasn’t been true.
I’m much worse at saying no to the kids when we are walking by a gift store (note: I try to never, ever walk by a gift store for this very reason). If we have a day off, I think “hey, let’s go to the zoo,” without considering the cost of gas or the ice cream on the way home (they know better than to ask for food inside the dang place). I basically bought the kids everything they wanted for Christmas, although most of what they wanted was things I would have gotten them anyway (clothes for next year made up the bulk of their presents). Oh, and even though I have parentheticals for each of the other things in this list, there is no mitigating the money I have spent on sweet-smelling candles lately.
But instead of just buying a new dispenser, which is a good investment (we don’t buy plastic water bottles, and the refilled bottles cost $1.95 for five gallons. It’d be cheaper from the tap but not by a lot and the ice cold/nearly boiling hot water options are worth that cost), I’m making it work as it is. We need to draw the stinking line somewhere and stop buying things, at least for now. Sixteen ounces of lost water a day isn’t that big of a deal.
Except! Because I’m a motherflipping genius, I realized that I can catch the water that is dripping with a cup, then, every time I’m walking by, dump that water into my Keurig. No water lost, and also, I don’t have to refill my Keurig basically ever, which is a boring tedious task.
Eventually, I’ll just get a new stinking water dispenser. For now, though, I’ve managed to put off one non-essential purchase, and make it work for us. Now to convince myself to say no to all the other 8 million non-essential purchases.