Do We Really Need Whimsical Socks?: A Visa Journal

Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a...

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Last week, my wife and I received a staggering Visa bill. Actually, make that another staggering Visa bill, one that was more nauseating than sobering, really, but sobering all the same. We visited with a financial advisor after this particular kick to the throat, who told us we needed to cut back on expenses. One of the “tools” we could use to help achieve this goal, she told us, was to keep an open journal, addressed to one another, in which all financial decisions were documented, thus opening up a “conversation” about what we really did and didn’t need to be buying. This was my journal.

Tuesday, October 1
Saved money today by remembering to lock my bike up so that it would not be stolen and we would thus not be forced to go out and get me a new and better bike that would make me go fast. I am planning for our future, my love. I want us to be able to retire in comfort and have a cottage. Buy cheese, too, and medicine. I also saved money by ordering the Pad Thai special for lunch instead of the Lively and Aromatic Red Curry with chicken, which is what I really wanted. I’m prepared to make sacrifices. I also invested in our future by drafting what feels like a really awesome fantasy hockey team—this year, Fathers Of Dragons will be bringing home the gold ($600!!!)! (Underwritten costs in our investment portfolio include four pints of domestic, rather than imported beer, an indeterminate amount of jalapeno poppers, and a taxi ride home.)

Wednesday, October 2
My love, I should have gone to the movies on Tuesday, as it was cheaper, but I really felt I needed a pick-me-up, so I went to see Iron Man 3 again. I bought a large bag of popcorn, but saved money by smuggling in several soft drinks.

Other purchases:

A pair of whimsical yet elegant socks with owls on them: $28.00

Fantasy hockey magazine: $12.00 (should be separate category for investment funds)

Pot brownies: $50.00 (to help me sleep)

Hudson’s Bay Blanket on eBay: $250 (Almost new and, with a retail cost of $560, I saved over $300. Also, I have a Halloween costume idea I think I might be able to use it for.)

Thursday, October 3
Dog treats: $40.00

Three Tetra Paks of wine: $40.00

Hummus and rice crackers: $10.00

A pair of cool socks with deer on them $28.00

I saved money today by smiling and nodding at a beggar instead of giving him some spare change. I did this for our future. It really would be excellent to one day be able to afford to buy a house in an “emerging” part of town like Little Congo or Firedale. It’s not about the quality of life one leads, but getting into the market that counts—I know that.

Friday, October 4
My love, I am glad you’re now posting your expenditures on the fridge and am happy to see you’ve decided to save money by making our deodorant yourself in the bathtub. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it! (Curious, but not concerned: should arrowroot powder typically leave red blotches on the skin?) I also think it’s also a good idea that you canceled my subscription to Men’s Health magazine—maybe it was a little weird that I was taping pictures of other men’s bodies up in the bedroom, but I find them inspiring, their rippling, perfect bodies as goals I want to achieve.

You will be pleased to know that today I saved money by going to Shoppers Drug Mart and discovering that my prescription wasn’t ready. I think my prostate will be fine, and if there are any problems, well, I can go and fill it out then. I then took Madeline, an old friend from university, out for lunch. She told some pretty crazy stories about working as a model in Portland and how her divorce unfolded! Weird shit, I tell you. Anyway, I then got a haircut, a bottle of Higher cologne by Christian Dior, and a skateboard, like the one I used to have in university.

Monday, October 7
My petal, I hope we can just put the weekend behind us. Madeline and I only went out for three years and there’s absolutely nothing between us now. That relationship was in the past. I love you and our thrifty life together. I want to eat discount cheese and drink bags of wine with you until the day I die. It is with you that I want to skimp on our anniversary dinner, and with you, always you, I want to take public transit instead of driving. There can be no one else in my life—especially not someone like Madeline, even if she is “conventionally stunning” and has Kate Upton’s phone number.

Today I bought a used Kawasaki Ninja, a steal for $3,000. I’ve always wanted a motorcycle and as I’m getting older and my reflexes and eyesight are kind of going, I thought it was now or never.

Image via Flickr.

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