If Money Go Before, All Ways Do Lie Open

I’m trying not to spend money I don’t have to this weekend. Here, let me tell you what I’ve already spent money on, and you tell me how I’m doing on my goal.

Friday night, I met my friends for happy hour. I bought a HH burrito and two beers. With tip, that was $26.00. Maybe I could have eaten cheaper, perhaps I could have just gone home and eaten what was in my cupboards, but I did get to hang out with my friends for several hours.

Oh, I also paid my friend Ken back for a ticket he bought me to see Spoon at the Crystal Ballroom in December. $47.00. 

This morning I drove to Bertie Lou’s Cafe and got breakfast. Again, I could have eaten at home and saved on both food and the gas I used driving there, but I eat at home during the week, and I enjoy the ambiance.

I filled up my tank with the cheapest gas I could find in the area. It was $3.079/gallon, and my tank was nearly empty, so the total was $36.40. Why did gas go up? My last fill-up was exactly a week ago, and it was only $2.899/gallon. Did we piss off some oil-producing country or something? But with a full tank, I’ll be getting to and from work all week with some to spare. It’s a necessary purchase.

Then I drove to the Apple Store at Washington Square, for the sole purpose of seeing the new iPhone 11 Pro in person. I compared it to my current iPhone 7 in size. I already think my 7 is too big, but I also want to get a new phone, so I’m taunting myself by looking at the new phone. 

The 11 Pro is, indeed, larger in nearly every dimension from my current phone. It’s a little bit taller, a little bit wider, a little bit thicker, and significantly heavier. I was not prepared for how hefty it feels in hand. That’s a turn-off for me. The single selling point in its favor for me is the camera. The camera is very nice. I love the idea of zoom, Night Mode, and the whole camera upgrade.

I’m torn, though, on the size, as mentioned. Ugh. Why no small phones, Apple? Other drawbacks: Face ID seems more fiddly than Touch ID. I did not get a chance to try Face ID because these were demo phones. 

I’m neutral on the longer battery life; that’s a nice-to-have but not a must-have. My current phone mostly lasts my whole day, and it’s three years old. So I’m okay there.

In the end, I have not yet upgraded. So the only money I spent there was driving to the store. Then I drove across town again to Andy & Bax, a military surplus store. I wanted to price a Navy pea coat; I’m looking for a winter coat, my current one is long in the tooth, and I’ve fattened up to where it doesn’t quite fit me any longer. Alas, they did not have any pea coats in stock.

While I was there, I also tried on a pair of medium waist BDUs. I like wearing BDUs because they are super comfy, and they’re loaded with pockets. My current pairs are size Large, and they’re baggy on me. I hoped a Medium would fit better. Alas, also, the Medium is slightly too small. I could button the top button, but it was not comfortable: maybe if I lose a bit more weight. 

I left Andy & Bax without spending any money. The next stop was Red Castle Games, where I had a pre-order for a board game called Dune. It has not yet shipped, so I left without the boardgame I have already purchased.

Next, I arrived at WinCo. I picked up some breakfast foods, including basically a month’s worth of bacon and oatmeal, paper towels, frozen burritos, salsa, some spices (cinnamon, mmm (I spilled a bunch of cinnamon on myself and the counter at the bulk spices area))… I can’t recall what else I bought. Some almonds? A jar of aspirin? There had to be more; my tab there was $68.12. But I don’t remember what I got. Oh! Some black beans and some red beans and some canned chicken; those make super easy meals. And cans of diced green chilies and diced jalapenos. Anyway, I’m now well-stocked for food for the next month. I feel that it was a good purchase.

I got home and put the groceries away, and then started laundry. I paid for a month of CBS All Access because I want to watch the Short Trek episodes they’re dropping now. I will drop that after a month unless Star Trek Disco starts up soon. That month cost me $9.99 (the plan with no commercials).

By then, I realized that I had left my wallet in my pants. When I fished it out, I had the bright idea to try to dry the leather wallet in the microwave (I removed the cards and money first). Hey, if you ever have that idea, don’t follow through. The leather shrunk and curled up, and the wallet was ruined.

Bundling up my driver’s license and debit card with a rubber band, I drove to the nearby Ross Dress For Less, where I bought a new leather wallet for $10.99. That was a necessary purchase, and a reasonably frugal one—except that it was due to my negligence. I know how to score that one.

Lastly, I went to Fred Meyers and bought a big old bottle of hand soap. I’ve been out, and I just wanted to refill the bottles I have. I purchased the coconut smelling one. I like coconut. I also got a silver polishing cloth to polish my Green Lantern ring, which has tarnished, and severely. I got some cash back with my purchase, so the total at the self-serve register was $50.98, but $40 of that was cash. I then spent $3.00 on lottery tickets for tonights’ drawings. Y’know, dream a little. I’m never going to win, but dreaming what I would do if I did win is worth three bucks to me (as the Twitterers say: don’t @ me).

My total expenditures for this weekend come to $212.48. I’m mostly okay with that: the gas and food will definitely be used; the hand soap was also a pragmatic purchase. Eating out twice, and a concert in December, are entertainment purchases I did, and will, enjoy. The wallet was to fix a mistake I made. The lottery tickets won’t break me, and could also be considered an entertainment purchase. 

When I total it all up, though, it does seem more significant than I would have thought. Maybe keeping track is a good thing?

And also, seeing that I spent that much is a strong deterrent for me going to a strip club tonight.