Chastity Belt for Wallet Needed

Posted on February 22, 2011

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Hello dearest blog. Let’s talk about me.

The first thing on my mind right now is financial jargon. New category to follow on my blog! We’ll call it ‘Bank Rush,’ after what everyone did when the stock markets crashed during the Great Depression, and to describe how often I spend when I’m rolling in Benjamins.

BANK RUSH – Every semester, I get a check for $2,000 from a $16,000 scholarship that I obtained for my grades in high school. Additionally, I receive financial aid through FAFSA like every other student at San Diego State. This totals up to around $3000 that need to be horded jealously and spent only on things that I need to get by. Or so I say. Looking at my bank account says otherwise about my spending habits, and boy do I get frustrated looking at it. My three big problems- making purchases for school (necessary), making a few huge purchases, and making dozens of little purchases that all add up.

School purchases are perhaps the only truly necessary cash drains here. Text books can cost anywhere from $200 to $600, depending on how much your teachers want you to read and whether or not you can grab used copies. I just bought two books online for $80 for my ISCOR310 class, $80 that I didn’t really want to spend all that much but had to if I want to pass said ISCOR class. Oh well. Then, we’ve got my trolley pass that I use to get around San Diego (since I still don’t have a car). That’s $151. So we’re at about $600 spent this semester on books and the pass. Fun!

Then, there are my recent string of rash purchases that so far I’m not regretting. In order to get around, I decided to get a new bike. My old bike, one that I’ve had for ten years, is an irreparable shell of its former usefulness. It has a small colony of spiders living it up in its wheel spokes, near the deflated tires. The chain is fused with rust. Getting it fixed would probably be pricier than getting a new bike, not to mention I’ve already dumped about $150 into getting new tires and wheels for it in the past. The new bike, a 2010 Navigator 2.0 from Trek, is awesome! 3 major gears, 7 minor gears, comfy leather seat. It cuts all of my travel time to and from campus/work in half. Additionally, I bought tickets to Sasquatch, an Indie music festival in Washington. All of my housemates are going, and I’m going to visit a friend I haven’t seen in a long time in Seattle. The experiences that I will gain from that will be stupendous and there is no possible way that I can be upset about buying those 4-day tickets. Last on that list, Valentine’s Day was expensive because I’m an awesome date and took a good friend out to dinner at Harbor House in Seaport Village for roughly $200 for lobster and steak.

However, that’s another $600 dollars that I’m out. Yeesh. So we’re at $1600. Then, remove $600 for rent and utilities. I should have $1000 in my bank account, not including money that I make from my day job at Panera.

So why do I only have $650?! Where did that $350 go?!

The culprit- little purchases here and there and everywhere. And all of those little purchases are at restaurants! Argh! It’s really easy for me to put it out of my mind when I’m buying meals. I’m hungry, I want to eat, here is a place that can give me food, sounds like a deal, I’ll put down money, om nom nom this food is delicious, no longer hungry. Do this at least three times a day for a week, though, and you spend about $200. Now, I don’t normally eat more than two meals a day, and usually I eat at work. Panera gives me a hefty discount and sometimes I get to snag free stuff anyway, so that cuts out a huge chunk of change.

The problem is that I take friends out to lunch and dinner and coffee and drinking entirely way too often. It’s one thing if I’m taking the girl I’m seeing out to dinner once or twice a week. It’s another if I’m buying EVERYONE I KNOW another round at a bar or covering my friend’s sandwich and chai tea latte in the name of being a good friend. That changes what should be cheap $5-10 meals into $20-30 meals for two, possibly once a day for a week.

So, goal for the week- curb spending! If I want to treat my friends to good food, I should just make it. Instead of going out for coffee, I have plenty of it at home that I can share with my housemates. I will cook dinner for my friends or make them sandwiches or whatever I need to do in order to fulfill that ‘good friend’ feeling while still getting people fed. Buying groceries to replace what I’ve used on friends is much cheaper than buying them their meals at any restaurant anywhere.

Plus, it’d give me an excuse to work on being a better cook, as per ‘Master Chef.’

We’ll see how that goes…

Posted in: Money, School