Rohit's Realm

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October 12, 2003

Impulsive Bankruptcy

My spending has gotten out of control. No wait. Strike that. My spending has always been out of control. Just looking at what I've bought in the last few months makes my head spin - it's not the quantity or the price but the ratio of what I purchased to what I earned. When this ratio is close to 1, that's bad news ... bad news bears!

Basically, all of last spring I was good and did not spend any money. Come summer, and I went on a spree to end all sprees. I bought a new Nikon SLR camera and accessories, an Apple 12'' Powerbook, 10GB iPod, and HP Color Printer, not to mention a Sony 24'' Trinitron television, a JVC 460W stereo, a new DVD player, and maybe $400 in DVDs. All of these purchases were made under the understanding that I was going to get paid for "CalSO." Well, let me tell you - CalSO pays you, but not that well. I basically spent my entire stipend for the summer before summer was even over!

After taking a look at my bank statement last month, I flipped out and decided to put a moratorium on spending. This plan was successful until Friday, when I had a major relapse. In the last month, I had gotten really pissed at my crappy cell phone (2 year old Nokia) and when it dropped a call for the millionth time, I sort of hit it, which essentially broke the case. Yeah. Anger management time. But dammit, technology is supposed to work! Let's not get started on that. The point is that I needed a new cell phone, and conveniently, my contract had just expired. So Friday, I went out and got a new cell phone - a Motorola T720. It had a rebate for $100, but up front cost was nearly $200 with tax. Then Saturday, I had wanted to go buy some clothes in San Francisco, but after being delayed, I was having second thoughts about spending the money.

I ended up going to SF to go to Cheesecake Factory to pick up some gift certificates for Hall Association and before I knew it, I had spent $90 on clothes! What? How? And more importantly, why!? Why do I do this to myself? I have a problem. The minute I get paid, I spend money. The last few months, I've only been saving a few hundred dollars a month. I'm living paycheck to paycheck. And without ANY reason whatsoever. What's worse is that this problem is like an infectious disease. Not only does my impulsive spending ruin my life, but the lives of all those around me. I tend to irrationally encourage people to wildly spend money, and thus they too approach bankruptcy. Soon everyone around me will be bankrupt. I guess monetary misery really does love company. But hey, I did get a lot of cool stuff, right??

Yesterday, I think I might have discovered a solution however. And the idea came from one of the most unexpected places. I had gone to SF with Lauren to pick up the gift certificates, and we were walking back to BART with lots of bags, including a random bag full of cheesecake for lots of people, that seemed like it had lead in it, it was so heavy. Or maybe I just need to start working out. Anyway, I was trying to blame her for my latest relapse, even though it was really my fault, and I said something like "Dammit Lauren, you're the cause of my bankruptcy!" A homeless guy walking in front of us started laughing, turned around, said "I feel ya brother. I feel ya!" and then gave me a high five and walked away. After recovering from the shock, I thought to myself - what a great idea! I could just blame other people for my impulsive buying (and subsequent bankruptcy). And maybe the powers that be will think we are going out, and that it's true or something. I wonder if the insanity defense works in bankruptcy court ... at the rate I'm going, I might be poised to find out soon enough.


I feel you boo. I feel you.

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