Tuesday, August 5, 2008

To discuss searching for spare change...

"No, it can't be," I thought as I stared at the two quarters and eight dimes in the palm of my hand.
I looked back at the Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie on the shelf. "Little Debbie, you price gouging piece of..."

Let me take you back to what happened leading up to this ominous, heartwrenching retail experience with America's Favorite Snack Cake.

As a 25-year-old working professional living on his own, I've come to grips with the fact that it will be a long, long time before I can afford, say, a decent-sized house, on my own. Any of you who are recently out of college probably feel the same, unless you are working in Big Business, and then you sold your soul anyway, so we'll call it even.
I'll never classify myself as poor, because there are actual poor people out there who can't afford to feed their kids or go see a doctor. So understand that- this isn't the same...
But there definitely is a subcategory of life, mostly for people in their 20s, I'd think, that is all about the struggle. You pay your bills, hopefully often, and you can afford some things in life, but you never feel like you're getting anywhere, right? You probably worry about money, say, I don't know, all the freakin time?

Ok, so that's the context. Back to this morning. After a slew of some unexpected and expected bills-- paying to register your car and get its annual inspection is a forced tax, don't you think?-- I had been tiptoeing the past few days. My rent check was turned in a few days ago. My pay day is Wednesday. I had enough to cover it as of Monday night, but by Tuesday morning, I dipped about 25 bucks below what the rent is.
No problem, I figured. As long as they don't cash the check by oh my God they cashed the check today... Negative 23 bucks in the hole. Triumphantly with my chest and chin held high, and my full trenchcoat and sunglasses on, I went to the bank to use an old bank account debit card I hadn't used in a year or so to get the 25 bucks remaining in it, and transferred it to the new account. A nice humbling experience- the teller makes the deposit and eyeballs your account balance as he hands you the receipt: $2.27. Nice!
Now since I hadn't bought groceries in a while because of said cash flow, I didn't have much with me at work to eat other than a basic lunch. By afternoon, I've got a sugar itch and want to pick up a snack.
With absolutely no paper money left, I rummage in my car for what's left of my spare change. I go to the store, get an iced tea ($1) and eye up the sugary sensation of Little Debbie. It's 35 cents. I can't afford it.
You know you are a broke, broke man when 35 cents crushes your budget.
Fortunately, I had a hearty dinner to lift me up.
A hot dog and Ramen.

BTW- The best blogs I read are the ones with brutal honesty, cause, well, no one is ever really honest about how they are doing (there can't be that many people who really are doing "fine"). So I'll give to you, if in exchange you know that I'm going for entertainment and not sympathy. Now, if you have a Little Debbie snack cake you care to share, that's another thing. And hey, I get paid Wed., so it'll be at least another two... um... weeks... until I could face a similar situation.


SavvyD said...

OMG!! You totally crack me up from your blog title and subtitle to this post. If you need a dollar, I got your back, man. Just be careful with all that sodium, you can take it at 25 but by 35 you'll be on blood pressure meds! Another expense you don't need~!!

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

This was my life last winter...oh the joys of the check juggling, "If I mail in my check 2 days before it's due, it won't clear until 2 days after it's due and by then I'll have money." whew! That's why I decided to get a roommate and sell my soul to work and get an additional 2 jobs at a whooping 60+ hours a week. Read all the exciting details in MY blog :)

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