My mom always called it "frugal."
Anyway, I helped my parents with a garage sale yesterday and it had me feeling cheap - and annoyed. We'll skip the annoyed part and go straight to the wallet.
I've been saying for awhile now that the price of everything is ridiculous. I mean, it cost me $40 to fill my eight gallon gas tank Thursday! It's now five bucks for a bowl of soup at the restaurant down the street and we all know the price of home heating and cooling is downright heinous.
I've never really paid much attention to gas prices before. I don't drive much - and when we go out of town, my husband sits behind the wheel. Yes, the gas money is out of the same account but I just never paid attention to how much we were literally burning... until now. When I filled up the tank in my tiny purple Kia, I had an epiphany: In many cases, it now costs more to actually drive to a concert than buy a ticket. Sure, my seats for Cruefest are more than the gas to get to Cincinnati, but when you consider how much it's going to cost to transport my crew to George Michael in Philadelphia...it's about a wash.
Even with gas prices the way they are, I still do and go where I want. I go out to eat, go shopping, take bass lessons and get my hair dyed every month. Of course, as the price of gas continues to rise...so does the cost of every other luxury I enjoy.
During the annual garage sale, I was subjected to the same negotiations as every year: people asking if I'd take a dollar for something marked ten. People want more for their money and are willing to try to make pennies stretch wherever possible.
At some point, the high cost of life is going to completely destroy the music industry. Literally, at some point we'll all ask "how much is too much?"
When will we start balking at $300 concert tickets and everything associated like $50 shirts, $20 parking and $9 beer?
The economic situation in America is getting a little grim, and this has me amazed that bands still try to tour the club circuit. Don't get me wrong, I love club shows. The crowds are small and therefore the chances of talking to the band members is very great. Still, I always wonder if the bands are actually making any money during these small gigs. If an L.A. based band gets in their van and drives all the way to Dayton, Ohio to play a show...you have to admire their determination. Even playing a lot of clubs between L.A. and Dayton is still no guarantee of a comfortable living.
So, I ask you..."how much is too much?" At what point do you shut your wallet and say "no more" to music-related luxuries like CDs, concert tickets and band merchandise?