Or, “where did all my money go?!”
Tomorrow, I will pay a huge chunk of my tuition for the next five weeks. I have been saving most of my money since January. Then, I spent a bunch of it when I took Dave on vacation in March. Now, I am going to spend just about the rest of it. I really thank the financial wizards out there who developed the idea of a 401K, otherwise I would have nothing for when I am old and no longer allowed to drive my car. At least I hope my kids take away my license by that time.
Okay, I am not that fiscally irresponsible. I do have a sad little savings account and some savings bonds. But guess where those bonds are going? Applied towards tuition; that is a done deal.
For the first time in my life, I actually am sad to see that balance dip below what I have held it at for so long. Now, I am going to be reimbursed for all that tuition very soon, but the loss still lingers. That ugly feeling of missing something. The one that eats at the lining of your stomach and spits bile into your body when you lose something you loved or found comfort with. It sucks. It makes me want to replace it with the happy endorphins found through shopping for new shoes. Or a pretty shirt. Or a cute pair of pants. I blame my mother for those genes which drive my car unconsciously to the local mall and splurge in order to recover from any sort of despair. Dave hates those genes, though I think they come hand-in-hand with the genetic formula for breast size. So…I like to shop A LOT for a reason. So does my sister.
That feeling of loss is important to know, though. It forces me to recognize the need for a financial safety net. As gas prices rise and food costs inflate, I need to have more money in the bank to cover the changes I cannot account for, like when I have to replace my car’s front brake pads and rotors because I am tired of the involuntary foot tap I endure every time I try to slow down. It is seriously as though I have Parkinson’s in my right foot ONLY.
Maybe this is a symptom of adulthood, this notion of wanting to be more fiscally responsible. When someone asked me why I don’t just put the tuition on my credit card, it had not even occurred to me that I could do that. But you know what? I would rather know I had the will to save my money in advance than pay it all back in the future at a higher cost. I guess you could say I actually grasp the time value of money. The longer it belongs to me, the less anyone else makes off of it.
I think the feeling of being a miser is one that easily wins out over the endorphins of shopping. At least, the feeling is more fulfilling in the long term.