Paying for Rat

I’m cheap.  I don’t even consider myself to be frugal.  I’m cheap.  A few days ago, I spent my entire year’s Halloween budget–on November 1st–so I could store my new treasures

Rats in a jar

Rats in a jar (Photo credit: liftarn)

for an entire year before using them, just to save $145.

However, there are some things that just aren’t worth going cheap.

When I first moved out on my own, a good friend walked me through the mistake of buying cheap cheese.   A slice of the generic oil-and-water that some stores pass off as cheese will not cure a sandwich made from Grade D bologna.

That advice got me through some less horrible meals when I was younger.

Now, I’ve expanded the crappy cheese rule to extend to any meal I pay someone else to prepare.   While I do occasionally hit a fast food restaurant when I’m traveling, I almost never do so any other time.    I enjoy sitting down for a nice meal in a nice atmosphere while friendly people cater to my every whim.   Well, almost every whim.

I’m not saying I go to $100 per plate steak houses every week, but I’m certainly not afraid to drop $20-$30 per meal.

My reasoning is simple:  anything I can buy at a fast food restaurant or a cheap restaurant, I can make better at home for less.   Why would I pay good money to sit at a sticky table and eat food that won’t let me forget it for 3 days?

If I’m going to spend the money, I’m going to eat something I either can’t make at home, or can’t make as well.  Chinese food is one example.  I can make it at home, but I don’t stock the ingredients, and I don’t enjoy the preparation, so I go out for it.   Cheap Chinese food tends to be worse than anything else I’ve eaten, so I spring for good food.   Cheap rat isn’t good rat.

How about you?  What are you willing to pay full price for?


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Focusing on the Now

Delorean DMC-12

Delorean DMC-12 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My company uses a service called KnowYourCompany, that sends three emails each week to the entire staff.   Each email asks a question that the staff can either respond to publicly, or just to the company leadership team.

The questions follow a formula.

On Monday, we get an email asking what we are working on.  This allows us to see what everyone is doing, and in theory, makes offering your skills easier to do because you can see what you might be able to help with.

On Wednesday, the question is something about the company or our interaction with the company.  One week this question was as simple as “Are there any company policies that aren’t completely clear?”

On Friday, the question is more personal.  It’s a getting-to-know-each-other question.  Last Friday’s question was “What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before?”

I found that I don’t have an answer.

Right now, I don’t have any long-term goals.  Recently, my personal life has been complicated enough that the idea of planning for later this year–much less the next 5 or 10 years–is more than I can deal with.

My side hustle goals are focused entirely on what needs to happen in the next week.  Work goals are only a month out.    My personal goals involve making it through the next few days without letting anything collapse.

Sometimes, life kicks you in the crotch so hard, you have to let the future worry about itself while you focus on what’s happening right now.  Without a functional present, the future doesn’t matter.  You have to focus on the Now first, or everything else evaporates.

It’s not a great situation, but it is an interesting perspective.  I’ve spent so much of the last decade focusing on what comes next that what’s happening right now has suffered.

Focus on Now.  Sometimes, What’s Next can take care of itself for a while.

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