Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eating my Money

It is generally agreed upon that there are two kinds of people in the world. I take that back; depending on what classification system one uses, there could be anywhere from 1 to several thousand types of people in the world. But when it comes to spending habits, people usually fall into one of two categories: either they spend everything they can spare (and some they can’t spare, but spend anyways), and some who choose to save every dime they have. If you ever want to find out what category a person falls into, give them a million dollars and watch their behavior. Their spending behavior. Obviously they’re going to be excited. And no, there’s no government fund that you can apply to get the money for that behavioral test, although I’m sure the American Bailout Fund will be established soon to pay for (or borrow and then pay for) what is becoming a regular habit for our leaders. Anyways, I consider myself to be a saving type of person. I have a good job that I work full time over the summer, and all that money is directly deposited into my savings account. Besides things that everyone needs money for, like car insurance, Christmas gifts, college supplies, and a $200,000 college education (just kidding- MIT was a ton of help- all applicants should definitely look at their financial aid program!), I don’t really spend it on anything. It just kind of sits their earning me about a dollar a month in interest. Yippee! Nowadays I can’t even get penny candy for a buck… My brother, on the other hand, falls into the spending category. He does not have a job yet miraculously conjures money to feed his spending habits. Even when he has no money left, he, like our beloved government, manages to go out and buy stuff. I’m not sure how these people get buy, but if you know someone like this, then you can wholeheartedly attest to what I am saying.

However, I am not claiming to never spend money on things that I want. Once in a while, when something comes along that I’d really like, I can buy it, and I can do so easily and without borrowing from China. This is because I save and do not regularly spend. For example, a few months ago, I purchased a 16GB iPod Touch. I’ve found it to absolutely be worth the money; it is very convenient to have Facebook at my fingertips anywhere there is an internet connection. In addition, I’ve enjoyed many of the classier, high-end apps (all free, of course), such as Lightsaber (it even makes sounds!), Pac-Man, The Weather Channel (with a really good radar!), and Tap-Tap Revenge 2, the iPod’s version of Guitar Hero, which I have mastered. (I actually purchased Guitar Hero: Metallica the same day.) You can see why the device was worth about $300.

More often, however, I surprise myself with the amount of money I spend on more… edible… products. About 2 months ago I figured that I would buy some of my own candy and popcorn so that I wouldn’t be limited to the family stash. My original plans turned into a box of popcorn ($4.50), a 42oz. bag of M&M’s (7.00), and 3 or 4 Lindt and Cadbury candy bars ($10.00). For those of you who don’t share my enthusiasm for mathematics, the total was $21.50. Yes; I spent over twenty dollars on food, mostly chocolate. It’s really my mother’s fault. She’s the one who gave me the gene for absolutely loving chocolate candy. Today, I realized that my supply of candy and popcorn was completely decimated… there was nothing. I could not allow such a horrific situation to go uncorrected, so I remedied it. That means that I went to Wal-Mart and bought another box of popcorn, yet another 42oz bag of M&M’s, but no candy bars. Instead I bought a 3.75lb bag of mints. And, sadly, that is not a joke.

I have someone to blame for this too! During my senior year in high school I took AP English, and it just so happened that my English teacher had taken to purchasing massive bags of hard candy. Scattered among the chocolate mints, cinnamon things, and other assorted flavors were the real jewels: the red and white swirled mints. They were absolutely delicious. At first, one or two were enough for the class. After all, I didn’t want to look like a pig. Next, I decided that my mint-neediness surpassed the need for delicacy, so I ate anywhere from 4-10 per class. After that, I should have joined Mints Anonymous; I would stuff my pockets with the beauties for the rest of the day, occasionally popping in to replenish my supply. At a college fair, I once went to the Harvard Law table for the sole purpose of taking their entire stock of mints. (the mints were good, but it still wasn’t worth it…) That’s why I actually spent money on a 3.75-pound bag of mints. Because they’re DELICIOUS!

But I lucked out; the M&M’s had gone down in price! And not only that, but the bag of mints was less expensive than the numerous candy bars I purchased last time, bringing my grand total to a little more than $15.00. So although you may be reading this and asking why I have put my taste buds in control of both my brain and my wallet, consider this: my sporadic purchasing of food is almost entirely what I spend money on, and it’s not like it’s every day. Well, I eat it every day, but I don’t buy more every day. So it is with confidence that I am still able to defend myself as a person who falls into the saving-person category. Now- 11:11 MAKE A WISH!!! Sorry. It’s 11:11 right now. I usually miss it. What I was going to say was that if you’ll excuse me, I have to leave and make sure that my money was not wasted. More specifically, I’m going to go eat some M'&M’s. Maybe throw a mint or two in there. Maybe a few more mints actually…

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