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  • Paul Davidson

I Have Perfected The Art of Spending Money I Didn’t Think I Was Going To Get

I have perfected the art of spending money I didn’t think I was going to get, and then justifying it better than any mere mortal in the entire Universe.

The scenario is always the same, although each event in question takes place at a different time on a different date in a different place and with totally different strangers around me doing completely unique things that I never would have been able to guess since I’ve never met them before in my life…

A freelance writing gig pops out from the ethersphere. A refund check from a credit-card that I overpaid comes sliding through my mail slot. A tax refund. A winning lottery ticket. A ten dollar bill floating in a barren alleyway on my walk to lunch. The key point in the beginning of my process is I get money I didn’t think I was going to get.

At this point, when the cold hard cash [or check] finds its way into my warm-blooded hands, the gears in the head start working overdrive, and the good and bad Paulys start having their usual conversation in which words are twisted and desires are dangled:

Wow. Three hundred fifty dollars. You’ve got a credit card bill that’s three hundred twenty. Sure, but that’s at a zero percent APR. I can pay that thing off in a few months and it won’t nearly be as painful as giving up this three fifty. This is three hundred fifty bucks I didn’t even expect. Wouldn’t it be nice to sock that money away? Save it for a rainy day? This is a rainy day. Besides, a lot of good could come out of spending this money right now. Oh, this is going to be good. C’mon, now. You know that I’ve been wanting that wireless MP3 music broadcasting thing. That’s about three hundred. The leather carrying case is thirty. That would leave me with twenty bucks. I’d put that in savings. You know? Whoopie. Twenty dollars in savings. Magic of compounding, my friend. Put twenty bucks in an interest bearing account today, have a million dollars tomorrow! In a hundred years, sure. Why don’t you take half for yourself, then put the other half in savings? That would be the, smart, decision. Look. This three hundred fifty dollars is like free money. It’s a fluke! We have to pretend that this money was never going to come to us. NEVER. Oh, but wow… Now look! We just found three hundred fifty dollars on the street! Unexpected! We have to spend it. It wasn’t meant for bills and savings accounts! Do you really need a wireless MP3 music adapter? Yes. Do you ever listen to music anywhere but in your car? I’m spending the money. Oh, are you. Actually, I was kidding. I never got the money in the first place. I don’t have the money. All a joke. Ha. Ha. You’re kidding. Nope. Never had it. Oh well, I guess we’re just going to have to pretend as if we never got the money in the first place. Which you didn’t get, that’s what you’re telling me now? Right. No money. Dirt poor. Gonna have to pay those bills when the money is available. Really? Yes. Really. Oh well.

Then, I go out and buy what I want with the phantom money I never got and continually remind myself that this purchase pretty much just ended up on my doorstep because it came from money that the Universe secretly never wanted me to have and through some fluke it just randomly happened.

Found money should never be used for logical things.

And so, as a result of my constant internal imaginary money struggle, I believe I have found the way to sneak it past the smart part of your brain. There are ten easy steps to completely convincing yourself that any new, surprise amount of money that finds it way into your hands or checking account should NOT be used for responsible purchases and/or payments, but should be spent with reckless abandon.

Step #1: Hold newfound money or check in front of your eyes. Step #2: Blink your eyes repeatedly, so it feels like you’re watching a strobe light. Suddenly, and without warning, remove the money from in front of your eyes and rapidly shove it into one of your pockets. But whatever you do, don’t pay attention to where you’ve stuck it. Step #3: Look in your hands. The money is gone! GONE, I tell you. Step #4: Decide you deserve a present for all your hard work these days and go to the store that sells the present you want to buy for yourself. Pick it out and take it to the counter. Step #5: Pull out your wallet to pay for it with, oh well, a credit card since you really don’t have any disposable cash as far as you can remember. While this occurs, unknowingly and subconsciously cause the money you’ve mysteriously hidden in your pockets to fall on the ground. Step #6: Notice someone has lost money, obviously dropping it on the ground. Step #7: Look around to make sure no one is looking for money. Step #8: Take someone else’s money and make sure to vocalize that you can’t let someone else’s money (who you’ll never be able to find since they’re long gone) go to waste. You might as well spend it, oh well, on this present for yourself. Step #9: Put the change in the tip jar, if there is one. Step #10: Feel good about yourself. You did something good for someone today.

My perfection in this matter is both stunning and groundbreaking. I hope you agree.

In other news, tomorrow (Friday) brings us all back to our weekly tradition of “Words For Your Enjoyment”! If you’ve got an idea for a great Friday post, be sure to e-mail it! If WFME uses it as our inspiration, you’ll get a shout out and a year’s free supply of Turtle Wax. Now, you can’t beat that. Can you?

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