Thirty-Four Dollars

And some small change is my current available monetary collection. Brushing quickly aside the relative value of that in other parts of the world and all the many people for whom this is a weekly occurrence, it isn’t a hell of a lot of money but it needs to last me the next few days. Actually it needs to last two people the next few days.

But, let’s start at the beginning.

Act 1

I am born on what is likely a hot, bright day (though the sun hasn’t come up at 2:30am) on July 31st, 1984 in San Jose, California, into what is not a privileged family but certainly an overall happy one and with enough members to support each other. Fast-forward a little under 18 years.

I am, not quite freshly as I hadn’t attended for about a year, out of high school but I graduate nonetheless and end up with a job as a web developer that plays well to my computery history and gives me a good platform for learning this whole web thing. In addition to that I am working occasional jobs in catering and in directing cars to their likely parking spots at the local big concert venue. I am also living in a house with another young programmer and going to school full-time at a local community college. Monthly amount of money left over for food after paying rent, utilities, phone bill and gas was in the range of $200: we ate a lot of pasta.

A year or so later I discover that the company I work for is spamming people, I am bored with all the programming classes available at my school and I somewhat randomly end up at a conference where I get offered a great job in Vancouver, Canada. I take the job but am dead broke for the first couple weeks. Coworkers are wonderful and support me during those couple weeks and one says to me, “Don’t worry mate, this is the last time you are ever going to be broke.”

-Punchline enters stage left-

Little did this friend know how horrible I am with money.

Act 2

I have made a good amount of money in my life and I have spent nearly every penny of it. Not counting a couple things like the deposit on my house and money that is in a 401(k) I have just a bit over 3,400 pennies left. That doesn’t concern me too much in the long run, I like to tell people I’m investing in myself, or indirectly in the internet because I’m fairly sure that as long as it is popular I’ll have a job, but it does provide a plethora of day to day concerns for the usually short (but unnervingly often) periods of time where I have over-planned my budget.

Things also change significantly when you have somebody else whom you are for many practical purposes responsible for. Knowing that I can happily live on rice alone (I’ve upgraded from pasta) does not mean I want to force that upon somebody else, and poor planning can put me in a position where I have very little alternative. Caring for somebody else’s well-being is a wholly different beast from caring only for your own.

Act 3

Whether I actually change my habits based on these most recent monetary outages is yet to be seen, I obviously haven’t ever done much about it before (except attempt to get larger amounts of money at a time) but I do somewhat feel like maybe I am getting too old for this. Scraping by is all fine and good for a 25-year-old but at 26? I should learn some sense.

Full-time employment (more on that later) will shortly solve the current situation but while I sit at home for the last couple evenings of this two month deficit I can’t help but think of all the things I could do to run into this issue less often.

I should probably double my rate.

5 thoughts on “Thirty-Four Dollars

  1. I hear you bro. I’m horrible with money and I’ve always thought that it’s “emergent”.

    However, when you are 34, running a company that is barely floating financially, you look some of your past actions and wonder would life be a tad more easier with some savings left.

    But on the other hand: Fuck that. It’s in genes anyway.

    It was fun while it lasted and something will emerge.

  2. You write really well! Enjoy the money dance, I’m sure it’ll all come right again soon 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *