The Author of The Simple Dollar Admits to Being an Idiot

Share Button

crumbelievable.jpgThat’s right, readers, I’m an idiot. There’s really not much more to say other than that. I am capable of coming up with some useful ideas and combining them into sensible plans, but in terms of putting them all together… well, the best I can say is that sometimes you have to learn from your own mistakes.

I thought it might be informative to keep track of everything I did this weekend and see what it amounted to from a financial standpoint. I started at Friday noon and went all the way through Sunday at bedtime to see what sort of financial impact my actions had. I wrote down pretty much every action in a little notebook, simply to keep track of them, with the intent of calculating them up later.

What follows is a list of the spending mistakes I managed to make in one weekend, and what they cost me. As Stephen Colbert would say, “It’s crumbelievable.

Friday, 12:30 PM: I went out to lunch with some people I barely knew who invited me. Meanwhile, I had brought my own lunch and left it in the fridge. I sat at lunch listening to these people talk to each other about each other and barely made a peep. Money lost: $10.12

Friday, 5:30 PM: At the store, I ran into an old friend. He encouraged me to go drink a beer with him and get caught up on old times. My initial reaction was to say no, but I went ahead and went. I listened to his sob story over two beers, bought his beers for him, then played an hours’ worth of darts with him. Money lost: $25.00

Friday, 8:00 PM: I went home and started making supper when I realized we were out of milk, even though I was literally next to a grocery store just a half an hour earlier. I had to run to the local grocery store (wasting gas) and buy overpriced milk to finish making supper. Money lost: $3.00

Saturday, 3:00 PM: My wife talks me into going out this evening for dinner and a movie, against my better judgement. We call up our babysitter and she’s available, so I get enough cash to pay the babysitter. Money lost: $30.00

Saturday, 5:30 PM: The restaurants we normally go to are quite full, so we wind up at an overpriced restaurant with rather bad food. At the end of the meal, I remarked that I would rather have eaten at a local cafeteria or at home, and my wife didn’t entirely disagree. Money lost: $50.00

Saturday, 7:35 PM: We attended an early evening showing of Borat (which we both loved, by the way), replete with a shared large Diet Coke. Money lost: $18.25

Saturday, 10:00 PM: We stopped on the way home from the movie to look at the stars for a while and remember our days when we were first dating… the least expensive and best part of the weekend. Money lost: $0.00

Saturday, 11:00 PM: I was so tired when we got home that I accidentally paid the babysitter $10 too much. Money lost: $10.00

Sunday, 1:00 PM: We forgot our list before grocery shopping and my wife didn’t want to drive back to get it, so we massively overspent at the grocery store. Money lost: $25.00

Sunday, 4:00 PM: While making a bottle, I knocked an almost completely full can of baby formula into the sink. Money lost: $21.89

What can we conclude from this adventure? First, just look at the total. Right there, down below, all on its own.

$193.26

This weekend, my bad spending habits combined with my lack of resolve and my own clumsiness cost me almost two hundred dollars. Like I said at the top, I’m an idiot.

I guess I can take some solace in the fact that I can at least recognize the mistakes I made.

Share Button
The Best Bank Rates
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Loading Facebook Comments ...

7 thoughts on “The Author of The Simple Dollar Admits to Being an Idiot

  1. Next weekend, I’m travelling to visit relatives, so there actually should be very little opportunity for any costs at all outside of travel expenses.

  2. Friday, 12:30 PM: I went out to lunch with some people I barely knew who invited me. Meanwhile, I had brought my own lunch and left it in the fridge. I sat at lunch listening to these people talk to each other about each other and barely made a peep. Money lost: $10.12

    What is gained: But it will later turn out that one of these people will become really good friends with you and offer you a new job in a couple of years at double your salary.
    What is gained: a new career and better life.

    Friday, 5:30 PM: At the store, I ran into an old friend. He encouraged me to go drink a beer with him and get caught up on old times. My initial reaction was to say no, but I went ahead and went. I listened to his sob story over two beers, bought his beers for him, then played an hours’ worth of darts with him. Money lost: $25.00

    But when you were struck with a sudden illness and were stuck in the hospital, your friend remembered how you listened to his problems and he came by to visit you and cheer you up.

    What is gained: A life long friend who cares about you.

    Saturday, 3:00 PM: My wife talks me into going out this evening for dinner and a movie, against my better judgement. We call up our babysitter and she’s available, so I get enough cash to pay the babysitter. Money lost: $30.00

    What is gained: The baby sitter will use this money to help pay for her college. She will become a great doctor and save many lives. If she hadn’t been at your house tonight she would have been with her loser boyfriend doing drugs and gotten killed in a car crash that night.

    Saturday, 5:30 PM: The restaurants we normally go to are quite full, so we wind up at an overpriced restaurant with rather bad food. At the end of the meal, I remarked that I would rather have eaten at a local cafeteria or at home, and my wife didn’t entirely disagree. Money lost: $50.00

    What is gained: Nothing bad food is bad food.

    Saturday, 7:35 PM: We attended an early evening showing of Borat (which we both loved, by the way), replete with a shared large Diet Coke. Money lost: $18.25

    What is gained: You laughed all night and that help reduced your stress level. That heart attack you were going to have at age 45 has now moved to age 52.

    Saturday, 10:00 PM: We stopped on the way home from the movie to look at the stars for a while and remember our days when we were first dating… the least expensive and best part of the weekend. Money lost: $0.00

    What is gained: Passion

    Saturday, 11:00 PM: I was so tired when we got home that I accidentally paid the babysitter $10 too much. Money lost: $10.00

    What is gained: see above.

    Sunday, 1:00 PM: We forgot our list before grocery shopping and my wife didn’t want to drive back to get it, so we massively overspent at the grocery store. Money lost: $25.00

    What is gained: By not going back for the grocery list you avoid being in a collision with a drugged up maniac who ends up dying along with the babysitter that used to take care of your kids.

    Sunday, 4:00 PM: While making a bottle, I knocked an almost completely full can of baby formula into the sink. Money lost: $21.89

    What is gained; It turns out that milk can was recalled due to some possible contamination with salmonella and it spared your loved one from a horrific visit to the hospital.

    -A hypothetical explanation from the man above

  3. By taking your wife out to dinner and a movie, and actually enjoying life, you’ve probably saved a messy divorce and half your assets. And you’re worried about $30?

  4. I often realized that the best time spent with loved ones usually involved spending little or no money. Kudos on a lovely night of stargazing with your partner!

  5. I enjoy saving money as well, but how could you look at the experience of attending a movie that you “loved” with your wife (whose company I assume you enjoy) as money lost? What is the point of money?

    I went to No Country For Old Men, which was 2 hours of blood and IMO a horrible movie. My wife, brother, grandmother, aunt and uncle all agreed it was horrible. That was a waste of money, right? I thought so. But even that movie, which was so bad, was a shared experience for all of us and got us all talking about different issues than we were talking about before the movie. Worth the $6 ticket? Maybe. I still would have preferred to spend it on a movie that I loved instead.

    Same comment on the buying a drink and listening to a friend’s sob story…if that was a true “friend”, that’s not money lost. If it is an acquaintance, then maybe it is a different story…but then again I would imagine you would head home to spend time with your wife and family if it was an acquaintance. So it was probably a good friend.

    I hope my friends don’t view helping me when I need it as money lost. I’ve been out of work before and had friends pick up lunch for me…and I do the same when any of my friends are out of work, even if we spend the whole lunch strategizing about how to get them a new job. That’s part of a friendship and being a good friend. Again, what is the point of money?

    My company doesn’t throw a holiday party, so my wife and I took the day off and cooked a nice meal and entertained 10 people at my home last night. Yea, it cost me around $150-$200 dollars (including flowers which I never buy), but my team had a nice holiday experience. They are more likely to think positively of me, the company, and each other. Again, what is the point of money?

    I make money but I’m not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t spend more than I make. I max my 401K. I don’t pay debt except mortgage and some student loans left from university. I try to save as much as I can. But every individual needs to look at their values – and money shouldn’t be at the top of the list. Things like enjoying your time with family and being a good friend are much more important.

    Now I might consider “lost money” as spending more than you needed to get the same experience, i.e. taking your friend to a restaurant that had $30 per plate entrees or your wife to a movie theater with gold plated toilets that charged $20 per ticket. That is money lost. You could have had the same experience for less. If you feel that stargazing for 2+ hours would have given you the same enjoyment as the movie, then, perhaps that is money lost. Personally, I like looking at stars, but both my wife and I would take a good enjoyable movie any day over it.

  6. Forget these guys, I understand the point you’re trying to make. I love opening my e-mail and reading your new posts. Keep up the good work.

    Before I forget, do you have any ideas on how a single guy can go out and have fun without spending too much?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>