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.


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.

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