Budget Concious
2006-08-16 - 4:40 p.m.

Well, according to the psychic spam I received in my inbox today, August 29th is going to be a magical day for me when all the planets align and the spirits of the universe come together to grant me unending good luck for three months. Now, while I am very grateful to the spirits of the universe, I guess I always sort of figured they had more important things to worry about than if I am lucky or not. Good thing the spam lady told me, or I wouldnít know to look out for this, huh? How does one thank the spirits of the universe for something like this? Should I bake a cake or is a simple but tasteful card enough? Emily Post doesnít cover things like this.

I have been spending way too much money lately. I need to sit down and get myself back in check. Itís all stupid convenience stuff, too: $2 here, $5 there kind of stuff. Things Iím paying more than I should for because I didnít plan ahead or buying a new something when I already have a perfectly good one but I forgot to bring it with me or something (ďShoot, I forgot my yoga pants for the gym. Iíll just stop by Sports Basement, theyíll have something in the clearance rack.Ē). Iíve been especially bad about this with gym stuff and food. I really need to start sitting down and writing a shopping list and figuring out what Iím going to do, not just going willy-nilly all over the place and going shopping for every meal, or, as is more common, getting frustrated because I donít have the stuff for a full meal and ordering take away instead. I really need to start bringing my lunch to work. Iíve gotten smart enough to keep breakfast and snacks here so I donít eat break truck or 7-11 crap, but I canít quite get into the swing of bringing lunch itself. I should just bring a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter and one of jelly and leave those here. I should also start bringing my own sodas. It is so much cheaper to buy them in a six-pack (or for super pricing, from Costco) than to buy them individually. Iíll be using up three quarters of the refrigerator here pretty soon.

I want to be more practical. I always have been when it comes to big picture things, but Iíve never been able to get it down when it comes to the little, day-to-day things. Staying on a budget when it comes to food, for example. I can always find a reason why I deserve to cheat a bit. Or earrings, or any other little trinket thatís less than $10. I just nickel and dime myself away and then I wonder why I canít afford to go to Isla Holbox. Well, it would be tough to swing that no matter what, but it certainly doesnít help. I need to really figure this out. I also need to find a form of organization I can make work other than my ďvertical filing system.Ē It works, but it makes things so messy and I know it isnít the most efficient way to do things. I havenít found a traditional method that works the way my brain does, though. Thereís always a fatal flaw that either makes it just not make sense to me, or takes too much time to keep up with.

OK, so in thinking about spending too much money and not keeping track and always having a horrible time with my taxes, I decided that if I really needed to spend money I should buy Quicken 2007, which was released two weeks ago. I went to 6 stores last night. Not a single one had it. Several had 2006, but the Mac version had several flaws that the í07 version is supposed to have fixed. Not only that, it was the exact same price as the new version. Why would I pay the same thing for an old version? It was so frustrating. What is the point of living so close to Silicon Valley if I canít get software when it is released? I thought these things were like record albums, they drop on a certain day and then everyone has them. Apparently, I was mistaken. Iím trying one more place tonight and if they donít have it, Iíll just have to order it from or something.

Did I just totally date myself by comparing software to ďrecord albums?Ē

when we last left our herosÖ - in our next exciting installmentÖ