Reining In Spending, Kickin' It Old-School

Michelle made the comment to me on Monday that she’s been happy to have done a better job than usual over the last couple weeks to check her weekend expenditures.  Going out or socializing in general will typically carry a hefty price tag, and we’ve both been making concious efforts to do fun stuff that doesn’t cost a lot (yes, I can hear you as I type this– baseball season not withstanding).  I had a bad habit within the past 12 months or so of carrying a small balance forward from month-to-month on a credit card.  Not the end of the world, but it’s hard to get yourself caught up when one of the first things you have to pay out for at the start of the month is that $100 or so that you overspent the month before.

I finally have gotten to where I’m not carrying that balance anymore.  It has come at the expense of some of the stuff that I like to do for fun, though; I don’t go out for wings on Thursdays with the Mundschaus as much anymore, and I’d like to take Michelle out for dinner and entertainment a lot more often than I do.  I’m trying to come up with ideas for fun that are much lower cost, but still entertaining.

One of the things that we used to do in college that was cheap and lots of fun: playing cards.  We had a sheepshead night at the apartment on High Ave for the better part of a year or two, I wanna say.  Over the years that have passed since college, I’ve made occasional efforts to get some people together to play online, and for maybe a month or so when I lived in Bozeman (5 years ago now), it worked.  After a while, finding a time that worked for all parties got complicated and we sort of gave it up.

So there are a couple problems.  It seems like the vast majority of Americans who play cards right now are interested exclusively in poker, which holds absolutely no interest for me.  I like to gamble a LITTLE bit, but the whole point of a card game is to do something that’s affordable.  Even playing a quarter-a-point at sheepshead means you can probably have a good time for several hours and spend under 5 bucks.  Another thing is, you really need to have 5 people to have a good game, and I think 6 (where the dealer sits out) is ideal.  I wouldn’t mind getting a group together again, but somehow, everyone’s schedule is always really flaky.  Maybe the answer is to have a group much bigger than what you need for a game (like get 12 people to commit to a night per week, so if everyone is there, you could have 2 tables, and if not, you wouldn’t be in a position to have to cancel).

So if you live in the Milwaukee area and might be down with a card night, let me know.  I sort of have visions of this bygone time where our grandparents got together with friends at someone’s house and enjoyed the evening very affordably.  No reason we can’t get back there, if you ask me…

4 thoughts on “Reining In Spending, Kickin' It Old-School”

  1. I know I’d be one of those who would have to “flake out” quite often, but I LOVE the idea. I know what you’re saying about the grandparents thing. Lucky for them family and friends were usually living very close.

    I’m on board.

  2. I know I personally suck, but you may be able to get some of the Joe-Raul connection to join. I’ll play too – hell, maybe I’ll actually get better.

  3. K-Man– I was kind of thinking of an “in-person” group, but if we could muddle together enough peeps to play online, I would be down.

    Wordy– I have taught many, many people to play. Even Lorch. I thought you weren’t really into cards..?

    Jen– Like I was saying, I think a dozen or so people would be a good group.

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