... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Money Matters, Part 2

A few days ago, I vented my frustrations about being unable to afford the types of groceries I should be eating. Today I will add the next installation to the Money Matters two-part series...

Today I shall bitch about the quasi-needs and wants that don't fit well (if at all) into my meager budget. I'll start with the quasi-needs...

"Quasi-needs" are things that I need but won't literally die without. They are needs because they're everyday necessities to keep hygienic and healthy. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is when I'm doing acrobatics in the bathroom to squeeze out the last bits of toothpaste because I'm concerned about spending the money on a new tube. On toothpaste! The quasi-needs list is extensive: toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, sunscreen, chapstick, tampons, shampoo, body wash, tylenol or ibuprofen, bandaids, athletic tape, laundry detergent, dish soap, housecold cleaners, tissues, toilet paper... you get the idea.

The wants are extensive, too. They range from makeup to clothes to dance gear to gas in my car to dinner out.

"But Jessi, you don't need makeup!" Please. I know I won't die without it, but I like makeup and I'm going to wear it. Even on the most basic makeup days, I don't like leaving the house without mascara, base, blush and some kind of lip goop. I look washed-out and tired without makeup. Once upon a time, I started buying all my makeup and skincare stuff at The Body Shop. They are organic, fair-trade, and probably most important to me, no animal testing. BUT, like good, whole food, I can't afford it. So I swallow the guilt of not following my principles and use the cheap stuff.

Needing new socks or undies isn't just a matter of running out and grabbing what I need anymore. I'm poking holes through my ballet slippers and have one leotard that rotates between several classes - it isn't long before that leotard is in bad need of washing. Tights. Sports bras. Workout/dance clothes. Gas in my car to get to school, work, and rehearsals because taking the bus or riding my bike are not always viable options. An oil change. I don't even want to know what other kind of maintenance work my poor car needs, as its been way too long since the last check-up on it. And while dinner out or a movie are pretty much last on the priority lists, it gets old and embarrassing telling people "thank you, but I can't afford it" time and time again.

I know my present circumstances are a result of choices I've made. And in no way do I regret going back to school. I knew I would have to make sacrifices by doing so. That doesn't mean I'm not frustrated as hell. And tired. I mean seriously... stressing out about buying toothpaste and socks?? I never went through this during my first round of college. A change has got to come.

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