BY ELIZABETH BASTIAN, Opinions Editor
My car recently was returned to me from the shop after extensive repair and replacement work was conducted (as in the transmission was replaced…twice. Because the first time the parts were faulty. Only me, right?). And as happy as I was to have my baby back in my driveway once again, I was certainly not rejoicing about the exorbitant price tag that was a prerequisite to its homecoming.
As someone who has been trying to save for a summer Europe excursion for a while, this was somewhat of a blow to my bank account. I’m sure that several of you out there can relate; something unexpected happens, money is required to fix the situation, and now you are financially set back by weeks, sometimes months. So I did what any perpetually stressed, type-A personality would do upon discovering this sort of news. I formulated a plan and a budget, promising myself that I would only be spending money on gas to get to school and essential food items to prevent my succumbing to starvation for the next six months. Nothing else. No more requesting days off work, unless someone was hospitalized. I needed that dough.
And for these past few weeks, I have been doing…alright. Pretty decent, actually. Occasionally I’ll splurge and purchase an extra snack at school. And I may have gone a little crazy with the craft supplies at Michael’s last weekend. But I’ve been good, really. I’ve been working more and driving less, and I put a bit of extra thought into reaching for my wallet.
But then, I find out that some of my favorite bands are coming on tour here, ones that I have waited for years to see in concert. And my friend is having a birthday party next month, one that she wants everyone there for. My family wants to go out for my mom’s birthday dinner. Some of my extra-curriculars are planning on hosting weekend events. It is in these instances, these potential commitments, the conflict lies in. A work schedule like mine doesn’t allow for this sort of frivolity. There’s that voice in my head continuously reminding me of the money that I need to save, the money that I just spent.
But there’s a stronger voice shouting out the belittling one.
I don’t want to turn into a scrooge during the last months of my teenage years. Money has never been, is not, and will never be the singular most important thing in my life. My family and my friends will always, always, always come first. I don’t think I could ever forgive myself if I missed one of my brothers’ games, or my girlfriend’s 21st birthday party, or the concert of a lifetime, simply because I felt that I would be out some measly amount of cash. I don’t take my job lightly, and I do put emphasis on remaining financially stable. However, I would take being surrounded by those whom I love and care about over racks on racks on racks of money.
So yes, I will go and see Bruce Springsteen in April and Passion Pit next month. I have the rest of my life to ensure my financial prosperity. And until then, I’m going to make sure that I live my life to the fullest. Being a miserable miser doesn’t quite fit into my life plan, and I hope fellow students won’t make it an amendment to theirs.