As I write this (ed. last week, of course), Hurricane Sandy is pounding down our door (read: causing some trees outside to sway slightly). Work has been cancelled; schools are shut down; public transportation is offline, and we’re holed up inside waiting to see if the hype was accurate. One would assume that in the face of an apocalyptic weather event where I am forced (yes, forced) to sleep in and stay inside all day without putting on real pants (leggings don’t count), staying within a budget would be simple. But there are a surprising number of ways to run through money in an event like today’s, and only some of them could be deemed “wasteful.”
I’ll start with pre-hurricane spending, which is no small thing. After reviewing our fridge contents and discovering that we were down to three kinds of cheese and one apple – I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me – I suggested to my husband that we get a few groceries before we were potentially trapped inside because of wind and rain. Unfortunately, the entirety of our small, liberal-minded city had the same idea, and so after waiting in line at Whole Foods for twenty minutes, we emerged many dollars poorer, but in possession of a few non-perishables and other essentials (like beer).
But how can you spend money now that you’re trapped inside? In the internet age, it’s easy, and when you know you might not have internet for much longer, it’s even easier. Bills were paid instantly, because the power might go out. And what better way to procrastinate a morning away than by doing some online shopping? A few stores have even offered discounts in light of the hurricane (presumably because they cannot be open and they still want you to spend money), and I’ve taken advantage. And then there are the even more frivolous purchases; having discovered a way to rent videos on Amazon and stream them through our TV, my husband and I have a date with an easily rented (for the right amount of money, of course) movie or two today. Sure, we could watch what we have, but we rarely go to the movies, and we never get an unexpected day off. It’s worth the money, in my opinion.
image: Chalky Lives