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Spending Problem

It's ironic that given the three-day weekend (President's Day) I did my only substantive blogging on Saturday. There are a number of subjects I'd like to write about, but simply haven't. I spent most of Sunday and Monday reading instead of writing. I'm a fast reader but a very slow writer, which gives my blog-writing time a high opportunity cost.

Speaking of economics — and why do anything else, honestly? — I had a jarring experience while doing a little shopping this weekend. I went out to spend a gift certificate (on Family Guy DVDs) and also bought a CD. Total cost $55.98, but the gift certificate took $25 off.

Nothing unusual there, right? The odd thing is that I hesitated. I thought to myself, "gee, that's a lot of money" and was tempted to put the CD back to reduce the total cost. I've had a regular job for years, but I still spend money like a poor college student. (A financially responsible one, anyway.) It's hard to let go of old habits.

I've recognized this tendency for a while, and tried to fight it last summer by explicitly creating an entertainment budget for myself. I kept track of the fun/frivolous things I spent money on and actually had a spending target that I intended to reach. The experiment didn't last long. I stopped paying any attention to that budget in less than two months and never came close to my target.

I'm the sort of person you'd like to have in charge of some government agency's spending. Except I'd never take the job.

The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem, right? Hi. I'm Kyle, and I have a spending problem. I need your help. :)

Tiny Island