Monday, January 9, 2012

Comics, Coupons, and Negotiating

When we first moved to Ohio 7 years ago, I bought a subscription to the local paper in an effort to get to know the flavor and flaws of the area better.  It did help tremendously for both of those things, but after a couple of years, I switched to just the weekend papers so I could still get the coupons.  At the time a subscription only cost me about $5 each month.  Two or three years ago, they increased the cost of receiving a weekend paper to $13 and change/month!!

I started tracking the benefit of the coupons I clip and use each month.  It averages out to about $9/month.  Not enough to pay for the paper anymore.  Yesterday, I announced to the boys that I would be cancelling our subscription.  Benjamin and Caleb were horrified.  Nathaniel was, too, initially, but then he figured out how much the paper cost each year, and decided he could just get comic collections from the library for free.

Benjamin was ready to sign over his first born right there and then if I promised to keep getting the paper.  We came to an agreement that I would pay $8 each month for the paper, but it would cost him $5 each month.  He was willing to pay more just for the chance to read the Sunday comics, but I tried to use the moment to teach him about negotiation.  (He is historically awful at negotiating.  Nathaniel on the other hand seems to have a little Tom Sawyer in him.  I caught Benjamin doing Nathaniel's chores the other day, just for the chance to play Nathaniel's DS.  Benjamin owns a DS, too, but couldn't find it at the time.) Caleb wanted the comics, too, but knew Benjamin would pay.  So he disappeared for the negotiations saying, "Well, I don't care that much about comics."

Benjamin is good about earning money.  He's willing to work hard for it.  But once he gets it (after he puts a percentage in savings and tithing) it burns a hole in his pocket.  Ah, well.  I feel like he will learn the lesson eventually.  And probably sooner rather than later.  Smiths seem to be genetically predisposed towards accounting or other financial services.  In the meantime, I will try not to take too much advantage of him.


Mom24 said...

I canceled the paper after the rates went WAY up, (we got the daily), and I found out they had outsourced customer service to another country. I was sad to see it go, I still feel a little guilty about letting it go, but those two things really upset me.

Jacob and Rebekah miss the comics a lot though, I never thought about having them pay...

Do you use online coupon sites? I've done it from time to time. It's like anywhere else though, sometimes it feels like the things there are coupons for are not the things I tend to buy for our family.

So funny about Ben. I hope he either catches on or his brothers and sister grow up and not take advantage. ;)

Emilia said...

I use a few online sites. I always get the WF coupons each month and have a source for the online Gluten free coupons, too. Other than that, I mostly use the ones for almond milk, bread, eggs, and toiletries. It's true that when you shop the outside of the store, there's not much by way of coupons.

Susan said...

We could probably work something out for you to get our paper, if it is worth the drive yo High Street to you. I stopped trying to use coupons a while ago.

Emilia said...

I like the idea, Susan, but the logistics aren't easy enough. That's a good idea to pose to the neighborhood, though. Thanks!