Saturday, December 27, 2008

Magazine Subscriptions Don't Help The Household Budget

Magazine Subscriptions Don't Help The Household Budget

My wife loves her Oprah magazines and she stacks up all these magazines around the house, like waist high, and to be frank, I doubt she reads all the content inside. It is causing me lots of frustration, but that is besides the point. Our housekeeping is not the main gripe today.

She is a die-hard fan of Oprah Winfrey (who isn't?), hence the regular subscription to Oprah Magazine. For your information, the half-inch, monthly "booklet" for women does not come cheaply but as I mentioned before, we do allow some indulgences in our household budget.

But ever since my wife is retrenched, she is slowly coming over to the idea that magazine subscriptions are non-essential items which should not exist on a smaller household budget.

I am actually less concerned about the magazine subscription fees than the content. It is alright if you just read and chuck the magazine aside but what if you are enticed to buy from all the ads inside. That will surely burst any household budget.

And Oprah Magazine has a nice chunk of ads that tells you what to buy if you want to look good, rejuvenate, or stay healthy. I waded through 50 pages of advertisements before I got to the text of the actual magazine.

The text is not devoid of temptations either. It recommends stuff (thanks to the helpful editors), that is cool or must-own for a family... heart shaped pillows, classic necklaces, interior design accessories, etc.

My wife is also told what kind of fashion items that are "in" this season. The satin dresses looks stylish in every wardrobe and those in our closet are a disgrace (by the article's standard).

The price for the satin dress is a cool $1800. If ever a dress like that is bought, I could be having only plain sandwiches and water for lunch every day of the month.

Thus, I have always told my wife that we need to cut ourselves off from all these magazines. In this way, we resist strong pressures to purchase, all in the name of following current fashion trends or looking cool and youthful. What for??

It requires immense self-discipline to balance a household budget when all the temptations are laid before your eyes. Remember, we humans are impulsive animals. Fortunately, my wife has self-restraint. Sure, she give into the pressure once in a while, but mostly on low-priced items, and never on a $1000 evening dress.

But now that she is willing to forgo her subscription, I am more than happy. Our household budget is safe from "adverse influences" and guess what, our house can finally look more tidy without all these magazines lying around.