My Last $100: an apology to my mom

I remember when $100 was an earth shattering amount of money that would take me months to spend. Going through my last $100, I am more aware than ever how times have changed. I tried to start the assignment early on Saturday and it took me a full 9 hours to actually work up the courage to open up my Bank of America app and face the truth of my transactions. After opening that Pandora’s box I shortly wished I hadn’t. I really had hoped my past $100 wouldn’t reflect so poorly on me as a person but I had a date function this past weekend that really altered the course which my wallet travelled. Bear that in mind as you read.

$4.59 on the dress I bought from Goodwill for the “Prom” themed date function that was so worth it.

top picture is me and my best friend Jon at our sophomore year homecoming and bottom picture us from this past weekend ft. his better haircut and my Goodwill dress

$15.29 for dinner at Trinity+ tip with my best friend before we started getting ready for the date function. I could have taken him to a dining hall because my meal plan has already been paid for but I was not about to submit a visitor to UVA dining food.

$5.00 on the uber to the date function.

$7.oo on the uber back home from the date function that I split with my friend Emily.

$8.28 a hangover smoothie from Integral Yoga that breathed life back into my very soul. I was going to go to Juice Laundry but I remembered that the smoothies are cheaper at Integral Yoga so I went there instead.

it was Berry Bliss and it was life-changing 10/10 would recommend

$2.50 on a block of 60 day aged cheddar from Integral Yoga that I bought because it was an absolute steal and soon after realized that I was definitely not hungover yet but still a little drunk. When I was paying for both the smoothie and the cheese the lady asked me if I had any coupons or discounts, and I said no as it was my first time there. After I paid she told me that if I am a student I get 10% off at Integral Yoga. AFTER I PAID. If that isn’t the snakiest move in the world idk what is. Rude, Debby.

$8.41 on Les Mis on DVD from Amazon. I love this m0ovie more than I love myself and after watching UVA’s University Singers perform it at Old Cabell I was feeling particularly weak (or stronger than ever?) and impulse bought it. I am having a viewing party on Friday night where I will undoubtedly ugly cry for 2 hr 40 min and spend more money on wine.

$49.00 on an amazon prime membership???????? I actually would have never known about this if I hadn’t had to do this assignment because on principal I do not check my account due to a strict “ignorance is bliss” policy I have been following since I got to college. I don’t remember getting Amazon prime so I had to call amazon and apparently I had agreed to prime when I was ordering Les Mis so it was not a cheap price of $7.00+tax but it actually cost me $57.41. I told my parents about this and no one feels bad for me. Ultimately amazon prime is kind of a steal because it pays for itself with shipping costs throughout the year so I was advised to keep it so I did. The $50 hit is not easy to swallow at once, though.

I noticed that all of my spending was done via debit card. When the money is not actually being passed from me to another person physically I felt removed from the process. Over break I would spend more cash because as a server your tips are usually paid in cash so I was more frivolous with my spending because consciously I would think “This $20 I made yesterday after that horrible shift, is it really worth this pizza?” I don’t have that same thought when I use my debit card. ESPECIALLY when it comes to uber, when all I have to do to spend money is tap my screen a few times, the actual mental process of my spending shifts entirely. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t like to face the consequences of my actions so I do not look at my bank transactions that often so when I’m not spending physical cash, I really have no idea how much money I’m spending.

According to Wherry, I am seen as a fool in most of my spending. I am poor by my own standards, the money that I have is money that I made from working over winter break and that is for groceries. Of my past $100, more than 30% was on food and clothes that I didn’t need. It’s money that I spend in the moment without thought that I am not financially stable enough to be spending. They are non-necessities, I could have stayed in and made dinner with Jon instead of eating out, I could have worn a dress I already owned instead of buying one, I could have made my own breakfast and I definitely did not need the cheese. According the Wherry, because I am a student there is a certain social perception of how I should be spending. The position of being a student changes the perception of where I am financially and how I should be spending my money. We are all living in the same socially constructed reality, to an observer I should be more frivolous with my spending because I am not in a position to be spending $10 on a smoothie.

Another thing I noticed about my spending was that throughout the weekend my best friend and I operated mainly my Dodd’s theory of the “mana/gift” origin of money. Money here works as a network of social obligations, it circulates back to you. Our “IOU” system created a binding relationship between the two of us. As Dodd said in the reading there is a certain level of trust that must be there to operate like this. Jon brought drinks for us and I paid for our ubers there and back. He could have asked me to venmo him immediately for my half of the drinks but he knew that at some point I would cover him and the money would circulate back. With this system you don’t need physical monies to settle debts, but it only works when there is trust.

GRAND TOTAL: 100.7

Ultimately, no regrets. That being said, I will be getting a job shortly.

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