It’s never been a secret that I’m not stellar with money. The truth, actually, is not that I’m bad with money, but more that I really just don’t care about wasting it. For a brief period in my early advertising career, I worked with Bank of America. This was during the launch of their “Keep the Change” program, which effectively saves small pennies and cents from each debit transaction and deposits it into your savings account. It sounds all super exciting, and it is, except that it’s not like you’re saving $37,000 dollars a year or something. As a matter of fact, last year I think I saved $96.14–in twelve months.
For me, there aren’t a whole lot of things that are worth the sacrifice. During this hard economy, many Americans are taking a look at their spending and budgets to make certain that they are not extraneously spending. Well, Americans, let me share with you a simple theory for saving money:
Unless your primordial livelihood is going to be directly inhibited by your purchase, who gives a fuck.
I know, Obama is going to call me to Cabinet in just a sec.
What does this enlightened (and probably going to be chastised into blogosphere oblivion) idea mean? It means that savings are only worth something if you spend them on something worth saving for.
If you’re saving $3 on coffee to blow hundreds on booze… it probably isnt worth the mental anguish.
Let’s chat about Starbucks. Now, I should admit that I am not a Starbucks frequenter. I don’t drink coffee and I really think that Tazo Tea is like the white guy in the street gang. You can act like you belong, but we all know you’re white. Take the bandanna out of your hair. Poor delinquent white kids join the armed forces, not gangs, everyone knows that.
Anyway, I hear a lot of talk about people cutting down on Starbucks to save money. One person even told me that they are saving $100 a month on Starbucks– almost $1500 a year. Could I fucking believe it? Of course I can. The hubs and I quit drinking booze for like 3 days and saved almost a grand. Shit ain’t free. What I can’t believe is that your $1500/year savings is going towards heating oil for your house, or teeth cleaning for the Chihuahua in your purse.
I’m especially sensitive to this because people are constantly commenting on my all American brand of consumption. If I like it, I buy it. If I want to eat it, I buy it. If it costs a few dollars, who cares– what I am I going to do with an extra $3?
Well, according to some I could save it along with all the other $3 and then I’d have $500 and then I’d save that and I’d have $1000, and then if I saved all that I’d be pregnant with two kids and a minivan.
Or I could just spend the $3. Because the truth is that saving $3 may make some people feel good about themselves, but for me, I’d rather eat burgers than sushi and save $100 all at once. Drink that you $3 savers. Then at the end of one month I will have saved $500 in eating out expenses and still been hydrated and had the pleasure of I’m married flirting with the boy child who works at the Starbucks. And you’d still be plugging along, saving $3 a day. Could I buy you a coffee?
Last night, when I was too lazy to get up and watch The Biggest Loser on Hulu, I asked the hubs to move the Apple TV to the bedroom so I could just download it. For $2. The hubs was outraged. TWO DOLLARS! They were charging me TWO DOLLARS when I could just watch it for free on Hulu.
I was scared to tell him how little I cared about that $2.
For $2 I can stay under the covers, in my bed, and download my favorite missed shows and watch them on a screen the size of an actual TV. For free I could set my overheated MacBook on the unsteady surface of my jiggly belly and squint to see my mini fat friends lose weight.
That sounds like it’s worth $5, even $7.
I glazed over it, mostly because the Apple TV account is linked to my personal checking account, so it wasn’t like those $2 were going to keep us from paying rent. But then I got to to thinking about it: is something wrong with me that I care so little about the little dollar amounts that factor into my paycheck? It is alarming that if $4 went missing from my account I wouldn’t even waste the time to call Bank of America?
No. Nothing is wrong with me.
I am enlightened. And now I am going to enlighten you.
Remember that peace of mind costs money– usually the least amount of anything. It’s $2 in the morning, or $3 in the mid afternoon, it may even add up to $100 a month, or $1500 a year, but if your bills are paid and your priorities straight (and you’re not putting yourself into debt)…
who. fucking. cares.