Better than a Diary

I hung out with my old high school friend Andrea (pronounced Auhn-DRAY-uh) over the Thanksgiving holiday. She lives in Los Angeles, but she was in town for the week, so on Wednesday night, she picked me up at my apartment and gave me a ride back to The Holy Land. As too many of you know, my apartment is a mess, but I’ve never really been all that embarrassed about it–I was raised poorly, what am I supposed to do? Continue to guilt trip my poor mother on some blog? Not to say that I’m not sensitive when girls point certain things out. It’s usually specifics. Sheets. Shower curtains. But Dre went the more deductive route.

“This place looks like a representation of your psyche.”

We talked about it more at the White Bear Bar, and she offered to help me with my organization problems. She didn’t have a chance to return for more ethnography at the apartment, but she volunteered to take a look at my financial records. I gave her the password to my checking account and this is what she said:

Did your finances; better than a diary.  It's not as good as cleaning 
your apartment, but it'll tide me over.

You spend a lot of small amounts, which is why you're probably 
surprised to find yourself having problems; you don't have a ton of 
huge purchases.    Basic breakdown is below (I based these off your 
November expenditures).

Monthly income (after taxes):
$2600

Monthly set expenses:
Rent:          $690
Phone:        $100
Cable:         $100
Electric:      $20
Insurance:   $120
Gas:           $40
Gym:          $130
       TOTAL  $1200

This means you have approximately $1400 a month (or $350/week or 
$50/day) for food, entertainment, travel, etc.  However, last month you 
spent $2653 on those things.  How it broke down:

Food/Bars/Concerts     $1020            (Aim for $800 or $200/week)
Books/Computer/Music   $466             (Aim for $300 or $75/week)
Clothes/Hair           $135             (Aim for $100 or $25/week)
Travel (flight, cabs)  $289             (Aim for $100 or $25/week)
Cash (+ATM fees)       $248             (Aim for $100 or $25/week)
Overdraft fees         $495             (Aim for $0, you jackass)

Obviously, the overdraft fees are just ridiculous... but if you get 
your other spending regimented, you shouldn't encounter those as 
frequently.  This month you had two bigger expenses that totalled 
around $600 (a plane ticket and something from Cingular), but it's not 
those that tipped you over as much as all of the smaller bar/restaurant 
bills.

How to fix it?  Figure out how to get yourself to stick to $350 a week 
on expenses, and you'll be fine.  (Or do $300 and you'll have $200 for 
savings/paying off debts each month.)  Write that shit down, you're 
addicted to your checkcard and it's hard to keep track of that.  Geek 
out and keep all your receipts and add them up on Sundays or something, 
it's not like you'll be busy with church.

Let me know if you want me to help you figure out a payment schedule or 
something, or when you're available so I can more appropriately mock you about your $50 hair cut.  What a girl.
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11 Responses

  1. We all have problems. Just think, though, you could be B. Johnson. Or worse, the Rexinator, so bad at quarterback that the ‘fans’ are calling for your head and your at the reins of 10-2 squad. At least you’d have a maid. And a finance guy. And possibly a shiny new car instead of a $50 haircut.
    By the by, just finished The Road. Nothing like a little post-apocalypse in MN. Dec. Check it. I’ll be home in a couple weeks. More than happy to put on a maid outfit and speak with a little French lisp if there’s a tip in it for me. Starving writer gig and all

  2. Andrea’s hilarious.

  3. WTF with the lack of ATM cash withdrawls…is your coke dealer taking plastic?

  4. I would’ve made a lot more fun of you if I’d known you were going to post it.

    You shouldn’t have left out my comparisons of your radio interview (and subsequent over-shares) with your permanently ajar sock drawers, it’s the perfect metaphor.

  5. pronounced Auhn-DRAY-uh

  6. Steve’s rich.

  7. How do you get an old friend to go through your finances and perform a personal audit for you? And why are you having an old friend perform in that way? Aren’t their other things that you two could be up to?

  8. Geoff is funny. But his name is gay and I do take plastic.

  9. I say it’s better to be funny with a gay name than gay with a funny name.

  10. Good. Wise decision to not let Andrea see your secret finances:
    Wood. For Crosses. For Burning. $250.

  11. Damn. She’s impressive! Can I borrow her?

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