NBI Days 12-15

One of the problems with these “journals” is simply keeping up, esp. on a daily basis. So it’s time to play catch-up.

Monday, Feb 12: Nothing spent, although I did go to Barnes and Noble. But I had a gift card, so it didn’t count.

Tuesday, Feb 13: The office closed early today, fearful of the coming winter weather. So instead $20 for a perscription (a necesity), plus $1.50 for a candy heart for my daughter for Valentine’s Day. Oh, and roses for the wife, $21.34 at the A&P. All necessities, I think all the men out there will agree. Would Levine? She devotes a chapter to the practice of gift-giving in which she claims things needn’t be expensive to be appreciated. At the same time, she tells of her boyfriend’s efforts to make paper animals for gifts, which don’t seem to quite make it. In addition to the fact that they’re not very good, they take a lot of time to produce. So what is the actual cost? In a college course of macro-economics, we learned about the economic cost of a thing. If you have a dollar to spend and you buy a candy bar for sixty cents, you don’t have that sixty cents to use to buy something else. It’s something I try to drill into my daughter’s head, with mixed results.

On my way to play tennis that night, I was also going to stop at Amazing Hotdog for a snack. Necessary? Of course not, but I was a little depressed because I had to take the perscription so I thought a treat was in order. Unfortunately — or perhaps not — they were actually out of food. This isn’t the first time it happened, which is surprising and annoying.

Feb 14: Amazingly, nothing spent today. Of course, being snowed in didn’t hurt. My daughter was off from school and my office was closed. Unfortunately, Faith’s was open, although she did come home a bit earlier. The weather prevented us from going out or ordering in, so we made do.

Feb. 15: Nothing spent. I find it’s not to difficult not to spend on a weekday. I almost always bring lunch from home and if I go to they gym (a necessity at $22 a month?) I have no opportunity.

Feb. 16:

Gas, $15. I have to cover something for work on Sunday, plus I don’t like being so low during such cold conditions.

Rachel’s allowance, $10. When I was a kid, I got fifty cents a week. I remember one time I went to the bakey and to buy the newspaper for my mom. I was told to take my allowance out of the change. Instead of buying one baseball magazine for the fifty cents, I bought two, rather than wait until the following week. My mother was quite angry for this “transgression.”

Maybe it’s always been this way, but I don’t think kids really have a grasp of money. In an economics class in college we learned about the economic cost of a thing, which basically says if you spend money on “A,” you don’t have that amount to spend on “B.”

Although my daughter gets her allowance, plus whatever she makes babysitting or petsitting, her tastes are expensive. Maybe it’s the area we live in or increased marketing strategies, peer pressure, etc.

She was quite upset because she lost her digital camera at a neighbor’s Super Bowl party and it hasn’t turned up. I’m upset because it means that whoever found it has not been honest enough to return something that obviously doesn’t belong to them. And we’re not talking about a ball point pen that could easily be mistaken as one’s own. So she is wondering what she’s goign to do without the camera, as if it’s a mandatory piece of equipment for teenage life. Granted she’s a good photography for her age, but if she thinks her parents are just going to replace it, she’s wrong (she originally paid for it from her bat mitzva money).

She put up a fuss, saying that she didn’t know why she should have to pay for such things as cameras, or game consoles when none of her friends do. The response that a) we may not have the money that other families do to spend on such items; b) that we don’t care what goes on in other families; or c) that we disagree with the parents who just buy the kids everything they want, works sometimes but I can see her point.

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