Here’s 3 quick tidbits for you, thus finally cleaning out the CDP‘s backlog of mediocre posts. Thanks for sticking it out with me; a great Lost Friday arrives tomorrow, better material arrives next week.
Tidbit #1 – “$40 In 14 Days.“
(Originally written in mid-September.)
I haven’t been this broke in years.
I work a white-collar job, so I’ve grown accustomed to getting paid every two weeks. This translates to 26 checks a year, depending on when or if I get fired. If you’re like me, you rely on these 2.17 checks per month to handle your bills and living expenses, keeping you out of hock (and your wife’s purse) for another few days. I’ve adjusted my living and bill-paying schedule to work around these two checks per month, and it suits me just fine.
However, because I get paid weekly and not monthly, there are those two times per year in which I get three paychecks in one month. These are what I like to call “free money checks,” or “super terrific happy checks,” and I look forward to them like I do Christmas or a brand new season of Yes, Dear. It’s a chance for me to see what it’s like to have an extra thousand dollars in my wallet to spend completely as I please.
As luck would have it, one of these “super terrific happy checks” fell into my lap in the midst of our move to the new place. This could not have come at a better time, as there were a lot of household things I needed to buy that I wouldn’t normally be able to afford. So I blew that check faster than a drunk on payday, purchasing a new bed, computer desk, bookshelf, barstools, video games, DVD’s, CD’s, escorts, smack, midgets and other various wears that I absolutely needed to survive. I completely obliterated that bonus check, like it wasn’t even there.
In the end, my place looked pretty nice because of it, but it came back to bite me in the rear.
You see, while I was carelessly spending and adjusting to the new Headquarters, the bills started piling up. Because the Post Office was forwarding our mail, they were hanging onto a lot of our mail to send at a later date. On the surface, It looked as if I had no bills to pay. In reality, I was about to receive about a dozen of them at once, and they all needed to be paid NOW!
The day I got my next paycheck, I went out to the mailbox to find over a thousand dollars worth of bills staring back at me. Because of the afformentioned address change, they were all sent to me late, and needed to be paid instantly. I went in the house and wrote many a check, watching my bank balance dwindle out of control. When the dust settled, I was left with $40.
Five minutes after I got paid, I was already down to $40, plus whatever meager scraps I had in my savings account. I had to make this money last two weeks, and God help me if any other bills showed up between now and then.
Granted, I was responsible enough to pay all of my bills in advance, but still, two weeks on fourty dollars? This was simply not going to happen. What about my 4 lunchtime martinis? What about that sushi place I attend on the weekends that lets you eat salads off of naked asian women? What about my secret shadow family?
I was in a lot of trouble.
I knew I was going to have to go into a spending lockdown for the remainder of September, so I decided to maintain a diary to keep me focused. Here then, the results.
Thursday, September 14:
Packed a lunch for work. Already down to 3/4 of a tank of gas. If I have to fill up soon, I’m screwed. Went home instantly after work, didn’t even bother to check mail. Missus went out for dinner with a friend. Laid on floor and watched Hogan Knows Best for three hours.
Friday, September 15:
Packed a lunch for work. Didn’t check gas gauge; too scared. Also due for oil change; will have to wait a few weeks. Went home instantly after work, ate some veggie corndogs, watched Dateline and went to bed by 10.
Saturday, September 16:
Went to Cheese Days festival in Monroe, Wisconsin. The Missus drove and paid for lunch. Sticking to just the essentials, I spend $8.39 on a bottle of Cherry Tart beer from the New Glarus Brewery.
My balance is now $31.61.
Sunday, September 17:
Needing (not wanting) a set of drum kit silencers, I put $60 on the credit card to obtain them. The Missus orders a pizza for dinner, and I purchase WWE Unforgiven on Pay-Per-View for $40. That bill will come later, therefore it does not really exist.
Monday, September 18:
Packed a lunch for work. Went straight home; almost out of gas. Refused to leave the house for the remainder of the evening, despite the Missus’ insistance.
Tuesday, September 19:
Bought a 16″ sub for lunch, go straight home on gas fumes. I’m now down to $23.61.
Wednesday, September 20:
Call in sick. Must use $20 to buy gas. Eat nothing until dinner. I’m now down to $3.61
Thursday, September 21:
Packed a lunch for work. Went straight home, spent nothing.
Friday, September 22:
Packed a lunch for work. Went straight home, spent nothing. I’m dead inside.
Saturday, September 23:
Walked around local stores, looking at things to buy once I get paid. Went home and watched Wrestlemania DVD’s until midnight while the Missus was away. She’s presumably spending time with a guy who has money.
Sunday, September 24:
Watched football and went grocery shopping. The total at the supermarket was $218. The Missus paid for everything and I broke my 3-day fast. Instantly threw up and passed out.
Monday, September 25:
Packed a lunch for work. Went straight home. Thought about all the disappointing and overrated CD’s I wasn’t buying.
Tuesday, September 26:
Packed a lunch for work. Went Straight home; Missus ordered a pizza and didn’t share.
Wednesday, September 27:
Paycheck arrived in mail. Resumed life of excess and folly.
Not only did I survive, I actually had a few bucks left over. It made me realize that I was more than capable of saving my money for things like vacations, student loan payments and returement.
Screw it, I’ve got 14 albums to buy.
Tidbit #2 – “The Electric Green Routine.“
Every day, I work harder to better resemble the man that my wife wanted to marry (Johnny Depp). Failing that, I simply try to keep a good routine for myself as to not get stale (read: fat). Here’s an example of what I typically do during the week:
6:00am – Wake up and get ready for work. Shave, brush, wipe, pick and scrub as needed. Repeat.
6:30am – Eat a small breakfast of cereal and toast. Milk, juice or booze is optional. Watch news.
7:00am – Leave for work. Sing loudly and constantly forget to use turn signal. Terrify pedestrians.
7:30am – Arrive at work. Sit in dark; as office doesn’t officially open until 9am. Take first nap of day.
9:00am – Work. Organize paper clips by varying size, shape and taste. Do the same for all pens.
1:00pm – Eat lunch. Fruits, carbs, veggies and pudding are all for the taking. Eat a sub instead.
1:45pm – Continue to work. Re-arrange cubicle for the hundredth time; order new ergonomic stapler.
4:00pm – Leave work. Sing even louder and attempt to pull wheel from column. Succeed and crash.
4:30pm – Get home. Clean lightly, feed the cats and check the mailbox. Throw out any bills and cats.
4:45pm – Exercise. 20 minutes on arms, 20 minutes on abs, 20 minutes on treadmill. Repeat until sexy.
5:45pm – Wife arrives home from work. Jump into shower and change pants. Don’t reverse order.
6:30pm – Eat dinner in front of television. Watch TiVo’ed shows from last week. Converse with Missus.
8:00pm – Freestyle. Usually consisting of leaving house and spending money on something I don’t need.
9:45pm – Wife goes to bed. I continue to watch TV in rumpus room while writing my next awesome post.
11:00pm – Go to bed, feeling dirty, sad and confused over what just transpired. Forget to set alarm.
The exercise portion of the routine was just added after a two year (and 15 pound) absence. The primary goal being that I’d look a lot sexier in t-shirts if my arms were bigger and my gut was smaller. Done. My limbs are hurting right now, but I’m hoping to see results in a few weeks.
Part of this routine has me eating a daily multivitamin that’s roughly the size of a child’s shoe. This multivitamin is causing me, for some reason, to urinate 8 times a day in a strange shade of electric green. However, if that’s the price to pay for larger arms, I’m standing firm, green pee and all.
Tidbit #3 – “Let’s Get Charitable!”
Never let it be said that the CDP doesn’t care about the little people. Not dwarfs, though; they scare the crap outta me. Here’s what I’ve done since the birth of the CDP in 2004:
In 2004, the CDP donated over $100 to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
In 2005, the CDP donated over $150 to HospiceCare National.
In 2006, the CDP will donate at least $100 to a chosen charity. But which one?
I’m not asking you to donate money (any money donated to the CDP goes directly into my pockets, no questions asked, so go up to the sidebar and take care of that, won’t you?), I’m asking you to tell me who to donate to. Give me suggestions in the comments section or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks much.
Lost Friday arrives tomorrow. I feel cleansed and ready to tango.