Elle Severe Presents

Coupon Millionaire

In Life, Musings, Random on August 12, 2012 by Brighton Reyz

If it is free, it’s for me and I want three.

I asked my husband, “If we win a million dollars can I retire?”.  To please me, I’m sure, or possibly pacify me and stop the general battery of questions for the time being, he said, “of course honey”.  Well, this certainly made things more interesting on our usual take out and Redbox movie date night.  He just gave me every “Housewives of insert rich, entitled location here” fan’s fantasy:  Never Having To Work Again.  This kept me very quiet for the next seven minutes.

The possibilities seemed endless as I pictured myself driving my new convertible down Rodeo Drive with my full of needless new clothes filled shopping bags blowing in the wind.  What?  Meet for lunch at Spago later?  Yes, I am free.  And my treat since you got it last time, no, I insist.   This visual eventually stopped when it dawned on Real Life Me that a million is not that much anymore, well, that and my wine glass was empty and I was not able to call out to a butler to refill it.  This reality check slapped Day Dreamy Me across the face to snap out of it  (I assure you none of my personalities were injured in the making of this story).

The truth of the matter is that, by law, I think that I would have to own a tutu-wearing, four pound dog in order to even just to drive in Beverly Hills so it was actually not that much of a let down.

Then I started to do the math and realized had I gone this way, after my new found fortune, my interview on the next episode of “When Windfalls Go Wrong” on Bravo would go like this:  “At one point this lady had a million dollars.  At the very same point she also had two mortgages, what seems like everlasting vehicle maintenance and some credit card debt that she was in denial about.  How long did it take before the dream ran out?”.  People think that when you come into a large sum of money it means that you are now officially a Hilton, I know I just mentally did.   That would be like saying I am going to drive my VW bug into a lake because Herbie did it.  Unreasonable, yet tempting.

Sadly, it dawned on me that I could not just give in to the mental dream of putting in my two weeks notice and believing that getting my nails and hair done would be my new calling in life.  The truth is I have a job in this “sorry we are not hiring” crisis that we are all enjoying and I would rather work now than scan the classifieds in when I should be collecting social security.  Besides, my boss does a great Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation and I would not want to miss that.

So this all brings me to my next thought: Couponing.  I am not talking about extreme couponing for 40 hours a week to get 73 free Tidy Bowl cleaners, although I am sure I could use them eventually.  Maybe even leave one or two behind when I visit a friend.  That would be a nice surprise, right?  A nice, weird surprise.  What I mean is that I do not want to pay full price for the overpriced.  And why should we?  As I see it, we are only going to make a certain amount of money in my life and I want to get the most out of it.  Windfalls (and general denial for those unlucky souls who do not come into money but justify their weekly spending because they deserve it) tend to make people (me) think that they can have whatever they want whenever they want.  This is fine as long as they only want to live like that for a year or two and then subsidize their cash flow by standing on a corner with a witty cardboard sign.   Personally, I prefer an air conditioned office for the time being and a legitimate retirement date that I have earned.  That and I do enjoy seeing that register total drop down.  It is like my own local slot machine paying out.

Now I am a responsible woman who pays her bills every month and has health, life and dental insurance to protect me and my family if something goes wrong but after all that I am not left with much else other than food and gas to get to work.  So in the meantime I will cut, plan and save so I can afford extravagant things like impromptu Las Vegas trips, nice restaurants and even electricity.  With a little time and effort I will have that big house and ridiculous stock pile to avoid being at the mercy of the local supermarket when I run out (lottery or not).  So for now, take that $1.29 Whachamacalit at the check out aisle…I’ll see you when you are free.


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