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I met with my CPA this week to file my taxes for 2014. As a low man on his client totem pole, an extension is par for the course as others with healthier bottom lines tend to take precedent for filing in a timely fashion.
I’ve never wanted to fully dissect my spending habits for fear I’d be so disgusted with myself that I’d turn into a penny pinching miser, but this year in an attempt to find an accurate total for write offs, I thoroughly went through my 2014 purchases.
You know that feeling you get after a night of, “I just got paid! Shots for everybody!” Then you wake up with a brutal hangover and an obscene bar receipt in your pocket totaling fifty percent of your weekly income? Multiply that sinking “goddamnit. I am a stupid idiot” feeling by a thousand.
That is, if you’re a stupid idiot, like me, who understands what that feeling is.
Going through my bank statements, I can see patterns. The times when I was eating healthy and functioning like a human. The times when I had broken up with someone and was dumping down brown pain medication in a dive on a Monday. The times when I was dating someone new, and picking up bar and restaurant tabs totaling amounts I’d never spend on my own in places I’d never go as a single man. Birthday parties turning into three-day benders. Alcohol and hot dog consumption at live sporting events combined with pre and post drinks at an establishment. Celebrations for career achievements and pity parties in solitude for personal failures.
As an unmarried man with no children, I have no one I’m financially responsible for or have to answer to, except for the IRS, the phone company, a landlord, car insurance, etc. However, the flip side of that pro is the con of the same. Responsibility gives you structure. Lack of structure breeds recklessness and chaos. And for a person with discipline issues, poor spending habits can be a slippery slope.
Here are some highlights from my 2014 financial report.
$82 – Chipotle
$119 – “Velvet Elvis” peanut butter and banana protein shakes from Gold’s Gym
$132 – Jimmy John’s (sandwiches only, no chips or drink)
$179 – Various items from 7-Eleven (mainly Diet Mountain Dew Big Gulps)
$224 – Iced black coffee (various establishments)
$310 – Trader Joes’s
$317 – At the movies (popcorn and Cherry Coke included)
$528 – Gym membership
$646 – Uber
$814 – Target
$5,307 – Booze (Los Angeles bar pricing)
Priorities, priorities, priorities..
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