I am one step closer to never having to leave my home. Ladies and Gentlemen, even though it has been around for at least a couple years now, I have just discovered online check depositing. No more racing up to an ATM late at night and glaring suspiciously at the person coming up behind me. I can do drive-by glaring for nostalgia’s sake from the safety of my own car.
In preparation for hefty mortgage payments to come, I’m doing something I’ve never done in my entire life: budgeting. How does anyone get to nearly age 35 and never had to budget? Growing up, my family was not rich, I was the free lunch kid throughout grade school. However my family opened our first tiny restaurant when I was 11 and I’ve always helped out, so I was always given spending money. Investment guides will tell you to only spend cash because you will think twice about putting down some twenty dollar bills, this does not work when you’ve been spending cash since you were 11. The emotional attachment to green paper is just not there.
Without looking at my historical spending, I can pretty much tell you after tax and rent, I spend about 50% of the rest at REI and 25% at Amazon.com. It’s a disease that I half try to hide with Snoopy Band-Aids over self-inflicted wounds. One year my REI annual refund was $550, mind you, their refund is for 10% any items NOT on sale minus 2% if you use a non-REI credit card. The scars are raised, bumpy and ugly.
Needless to say, when the budgeting santoku comes out, I have to begrudgingly put back the athletic gear and books that I don’t desperately need. I’ve already used up my budget on books this month, actually, I’ve used it up since the beginning of the year from two pre-orders. I was desperate! They’re Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Martin Seligman’s Flourish. With Tina Fey’s book, well, it’s TINA FEY! With Seligman, he’s a psychologist that I’ve always loved. It pains me that a lot of my favorite psychologists have to get published by self-help books, but it does make the data more digestible for someone not up for dry case-studies.
I should get an eReader, books would be cheaper after the initial investment, except I can’t because I am an ADHD reader. I channel surf when I read, pausing to watch old favorite reruns or absorbing new cool facts from some History Channel show. This attention deficit kid needs pretty book covers to grab my attention. As I’ve mentioned, I’m on a finance book binge. Good, right?Except most of my finance books are from ten years ago because I’ve been flipping between Comedy Central, History Channel and Discovery Channel when surfing. A lot of the advice are pretty outdated. ”You can easily find CDs at 5% or higher.” Yeah, of course. “Real estate is the best investment vehicle.” I laugh with a most unladylike snort. This is almost funnier than Tina Fey’s book except instead of her life being the punch-line, it’s our economy.