Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pre-vacation thriftiness

I wrote this last year right before we went on vacation. It pretty much sums up how I'm feeling right now, so I'm resharing for anyone who hasn't read it.

Its only 27 days until we go to Disneyland but from where I'm sitting that seems like an eternity away. This week in particular is dragging on forever. We should have our tax refund deposited in our bank account Friday (I'm keeping my fingers crossed) and then we can make our reservations and go shopping for some new vacation clothes!

I get a case of cheapness when shopping right before vacation. I'm super hesitant to spend any money because I would rather have that money to spend on vacation. There is a reason for my condition - we'll call it pre-vacation thriftiness. The summer when I was 16 I had a job at McDonald's where I earned a slaves wage of $5.15 an hour. I had to really work hard for every stupid dollar I had. Regardless of this I spent all of my money on crap. I had no car, no bills, no worries.

Anyways, we were about to go on vacation to lots of destinations: boring family reunion, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas for a day or two and finally San Diego where we only really went to the beach and overrated San Diego Zoo. I got my paycheck a couple days before we were going to leave and it was probably like $250, not a lot but at that age it seems like a small fortune. All of the vacation preparations were made: we had boiled lots of chicken for sandwiches and packed some of our crap and rented a van to separate my youngest brothers on the endless road trip. Honestly if we didn't separate them they would fight constantly. So then we go to Walmart in Sierra Vista for a couple last minute things. We didn't yet have a Walmart in Benson so going to Sierra Vista was like a special treat. 

So we get to Walmart and I went across the parking lot and spent just a little bit of my small fortune at Miller's Outpost (now its called Anchor Blue). Nothing to worry about, I have $250, how could I possibly run out of money? Then Melissa and Nicole and I went back over to Walmart to join our parents, who were stocking up on cheap crap to feed us so they could avoid going to restaurants while on vacation. While we were there I figured I could also use a few new things for our trip. Maybe some scented lotion, some facewash, lipgloss that I could not possibly live without. Just the necessities. I also bought some really stupid looking hats for me and Melissa. Why didn't anyone tell us we looked like idiots? We wore those in pictures! So I get to the checkout with my basket full of crap that no one needs and guess how much I spent. Like $200. It was the day before vacation and I had $20 left. No payday in sight. My fortune was gone in a matter of minutes, with nothing to show for it but ugly hats, grapefruit lotion and overall shorts.

The next two weeks left me strategizing on how to ration out $20 on souvenirs or any other crap that I wanted. I ended up with postcards and an apple tart at the the Grand Canyon: $5. Then more postcards at Las Vegas: $1. Even more postcards in Hollywood and a cheap crappy keychain at the San Diego Zoo (which broke like 2 weeks later) : $8. A few random vending machine candy bars and sodas: about $6. Lesson learned not to blow all of your money right before you go on vacation: Priceless.

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