January 22nd, 2006

how i traded three cars for happy meals.

I learned quite a bit tonight. I was very bored, so I went to the mall to buy a small book with the intent of reading it at the coffee place by myself. And so I did.

The book I bought for 15 bucks is called "The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me". It's a paltry 80 pages and barely a 2 hour read. The lesssons inside are simple but clear, and I feel like the 15 bucks I dropped on tonight's entertainment may pay for itself by midweek.

A few of the anecdotes really struck home with me. The biggest lesson in the book is to "pay yourself first". This financial model, which a second grader could understand, has gone unused and even uncontemplated seriously by me so far. So what's the idea? Every week when you get paid ... you save some of it. No, not what's left over. You do it FIRST, you save the money before your other bills and expenses. You save the same amount every week. Then you take care of your other expenses, and then finally the money you are left over with is yours to spend.

Everyone knows I am a junk food junky. Well, it's not really as funny as I thought it was. Here's some "back of the napkin" math:

Let's assume 5 junk food trips a week. This is probably a reasonable ballpark guess, as I have certainly gone more than this and less than this over the years, depending on various factors. This doesn't include going out to eat for dinner at sit down places, just Wendy's and McDonalds. It's usually about 4 to 8 dollars for a meal; let's say the average meal costs 6 dollars, your average "value meal".

So 30 bucks a week. To be fair we need to replace that with another meal, else this whole thing is a crap calculation. From a previous experiment, I know it costs 60 cents for one meal of tuna sandwiches with lettuce, chips, and a glass of milk. It has to be done in bulk, obviously, of about 3 nights worth of dinner prepared at once; so these 5 meals together cost 3 dollars. That means the money wasted at Wendys is 27 dollars. A week.

Let's further assume that I have been doing this since 2000, when I worked in Lebanon. 6 years times 52 weeks is 300 weeks.

300 weeks times 30 dollars is 9000 dollars. Wasted.

My first car was 8200 dollars, and I put 110 thousand miles on that. I'm still paying it off. I'm still paying off the Accord that came after it that cost 4000 dollars. I'm paying for my current car of 2000 sollars. I don't know how to crunch the math properly but it's safe to say that there would be no residual loans if I was responsible with money. Certainly yes, I have been paying for these loans as time goes on, but why am I still paying them? I could have just squashed them with a little self control.

Now calculate in those Applebee's, Unos, Chilis, Mom&Pops, and the rest. If those were all tuna sandwiches, I don't even want to know. I really don't.

Crimony. I'm glad I'm not someone's dad yet. This is all very irresponsible.

So where did I get by eating all that food?

Fat and happy?


one of em. I've got so much to learn.

(no subject)

well, congratulations to my real world friends erika and erik. erik's middle initial is A so if she takes his name and omits hers, they will have identical names. that's funny :) wow now two of my friends are engaged. it's gonna get lonely here in nerd-world. *sniff* :D