Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

In Leman’s Terms: Financial Crises

As said in one of the many Vines one of my best friends likes to quote constantly, “Merry Crisis!”
On a side note, I find it oddly fitting that I get to reference this particular Vine when yesterday was exactly six months to Christmas, but that’s just a fun little coincidence and not at all the point I’m trying to make.
The point is, I’ve had my first self-induced financial crisis this week. I’m hyper aware constantly of the fact that I’m not a rich person, but I also have a huge tendency to like new things and buy them with the budget of a not-rich-person.
Because of this contradictory situation, I have tried several different ways to restrict my spending habits. I’ve tried only using cash to buy things, but that doesn’t work very well when you don’t have an accessible ATM within walking distance of your school, house or work. I’ve tried weekly checking my bank accounts, but I got bored when they wouldn’t change much during the school year and ultimately forget that it was something I was supposed to check. I even tried a budgeting app, which ironically screwed me over because in an attempt to create a savings fund, it withdrew $50 from my bank account, causing an overdraft and losing me money because of the fee.
So instead I gave up on outside sources and believed I could control myself. Then I went on a spontaneous shopping spree the other day, came home and stared at myself in the mirror with an empty grin and said “what have you done?”
The next day I pulled out all the receipts I had in my wallet and organized them by necessary expenses, quality of life expenses and totally unnecessary and probably mistakes expenses. I calculated the total for each of these and then shamed myself by gently placing my forehead on the table and allowing the burden of my misdeeds to weigh on my soul.
Then I went to see two movies because I learned my lesson and decided I deserved a reward. I have a problem.
In all actuality, my financial situation is glum, but for the long term, I think it’s manageable, which is why spending $100 in one night on workout clothes and Chick-fil-a was probably a mistake, but a couple of movie tickets over the course of the summer is a worthwhile expense.
I’m not going to sit here and act like I’ve got my entire financial life together because that couldn’t be farther from the truth, but I’ll admit that I’m attempting to take more deliberate steps with my expenses. It mostly takes the form of guilt and stealing other people’s Netflix, so if anybody’s got any other ideas, I’m all ears.
Until I figure out how other people have their bank accounts so in order, I’ll probably chain myself to my house to avoid the call of the Target dollar section. I’ll have nightmares of people in red shirts saying in unison, “Three dollar throw pillows, Rachel! They have flamingos on them!” Then I’ll wake up and scream into the toucan pillow I actually bought because I have no self control.

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In Leman’s Terms: Financial Crises