When I go to New York City, I spend money, lots of it. Between dining at the finest chicken spots on the corner of E 219 St and White Plains Road, the small boutique on 135th Street between 7th and 8th, and cover charges and drinks (that I don't partake in) at the club on 54th between 2nd and 3rd, my money drains from my account faster than I can keep track of. Knowing this, I prepare for the spending spree. I make sure all of my bills are paid, then I designate a few hundred to my weekend excursion and hope there's just enough left over to get me to my next check without dipping into my savings account. I'm all about fiscal responsibility. Yes, I will spend and then spend some more, however I will not spend money that I do not have. At least not so far from my next check.
After the last time I threw my bank account into chaos, I promised myself that I would be more diligent about tracking my finances. I balanced my checkbook regularly, paid off all of my credit card debt, cancelled unused accounts, and budgeted my money. I even increased my investment capital, hiding a large percent of my liquid assets in untouchable savings vehicles. I was being responsible with my money and felt perfectly fine with my financial situation when I embarked on my Labor Day journey to the happiest place on Earth. I had a good amount of money to spend on my usual pursuits and felt perfectly capable of staying within my budget.
Five days later, I am once again wondering how my bank account will recover. Oh why did I hide my money from myself? Maybe because I knew I would spend it if I didn't. It started with "necessary" cell phone equipment that I still can't figure out how to use and probably doesn't work anyways. Then there was the unexpected five hour hotel stay (I was by myself so get your mind out the gutter), which really wasn't that expensive, but still cost money I didn't have. Now, most people would make adjustments when emergency expenses happen. Cut back here and there to make up for it. Not, I. I go shopping and purchase a $250 shirt and justify it by passing it off as a dress ($250 for a dress is definitely reasonable). Spending $250 on one item was more than I could handle, so I decided to spend $400 in total on three items to make myself feel like a saavy shopper. I knew I was going over the edge when I stood at the check out counter at my favorite store trying to convince Capital One to give me the account number for the credit card I cut up so I could purchase a $350 snakeskin purse that perfectly matched a reasonably priced wrap dress that was only worth purchasing if the purse was part of the transaction. Thank God, Capital One told me no. The weekend could've gotten very ugly.
I'm back home now and my account is obliterated. Decisions I made several weeks ago are making it difficult to cover my ass while each transaction materializes and gets deducted. I don't get paid for over a week and I have nada to get me through to the next cycle. At least I'm not in debt. That's the only good thing I can hold on to. I could live with no dinners, movies, and shopping trips. And I do have some amazing clothes in my possession (which I will wear everyday and twice on Sunday to get my money's worth). But my stomach is grumbling and I have no groceries and no money to buy them. Too bad I can't eat my new shirt/not quite dress.