The Author of The Simple Dollar Admits to Being an Idiot

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.