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How Not to Spend Your Birthday Money

Published by Novie in Life
June 2nd, 2007

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but birthday money seems to cling to your wallet as if it takes root there. What do you do when you have it to spend but don’t have anything to spend it on?

Until recently, I had no idea how difficult it can be to try to buy something for yourself using birthday money. One of my friends wrote me a check for $20.00 and another gave me a gift card for the same amount. I thought it would be a lot of fun spending my friends’ money, but I was soon to discover that there is more to it than simply slapping down the cash. There is also a little problem known commonly as “now that I have the money to spend, there is nothing to buy.”

I went to town all aglow, wondering what I would buy with my $40.00 windfall, only to find once in the stores that there was nothing there I was willing to blow forty bucks on. I looked at tee shirts, and couldn’t find one I liked. I looked at costume jewelry, and decided I already have enough of that, and I looked at videos and decided there was nothing there that I wanted to see bad enough to slap down $19.98. Strange…when I earn the cash myself through my own hard work, I can toss it away just like that, but give me gift money, and I will hang on to it for years.

It’s an interesting new version of “catch 22″, having the dough in your hand and wanting to spend it, but being totally unable to do so on the spur of the moment. Spur of the moment has always been my favorite way to shop, finding stuff as you stroll down the aisles and just tossing it into your cart. It is not necessarily the most frugal method of shopping but it beats wandering up and down the aisles, looking for the one thing on your shopping list that you absolutely must have RIGHT NOW, which you will never find again in life because it has been discontinued.

I thought I might enjoy a brand new book, but found to my dismay, that I could not buy one, because I am totally spoiled by my local dollar store, where I can buy full sized, hardcover novels for a buck. Going into a store and buying the same thing for $24.95 just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I mean, so what if the novels I buy are a couple years older than dirt? So what. At least I got it for a buck, and that’s the frugal thing to do. My only concern now, is the fact that I too have published a novel. I wonder if I will someday find shelves of it for sale at the dollar store? A sad thought indeed.

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2 Comments
  1. Boo
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

    You have a problem- this is not normal.

  2. Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    You are the one with the problem, Boo. I was using humor…none of this article was based on reality. Sheesh.

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