As we have discussed in the past, sometimes it is just our genes that make us so parsimonious. Then we seek to make that into a virtue in spite of numerous examples, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, or that James Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, that give misers a bad rap. But note – not only are these guys stingy, they are rich.
Well, IFO isn’t rich yet, but she’s trying. And this is a good tip if you’re poor, too.
Get a clothesline! It saves on electricity from the dryer and gives clothes a nice, clean smell and crisp texture without having to add extra ingredients to the wash. Health benefits are obvious: while hanging up clothes you get into a serene, peaceful, meditative mood, you breathe fresh air and get a good dose of Vitamin D-rich sunshine. Carrying a basket of wet clothes out to the clothesline gives you a little weight training as well.
When we moved into our cottage, we noticed that it didn’t have this marvel, so we asked our contractor – the one putting up the pole barn for our car to park in – to put one up. We watched as wheels turned slowly in his head. Ummm, clothesline? We explained that he needed to dig two holes, put two posts in the holes, and string clothesline between the two posts. We suspect he had never thought of or done such a thing.
And why should he have? He is from the Baby Boomer generation. They like nothing more than labor-saving devices. Also, we think his mother, then his wife, have taken care of the laundry his whole life. It was a struggle, but after a couple of false starts, he got the job done. We were often reminded of the contractor, Oreilly, who did work on Fawlty Towers, the BBC comedy.
Investment lesson: miserliness can have beneficial effects far beyond simply saving money.