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.
$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.
$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.