Monday Roundtable: Hey Bad Spender

We’ve been talking about Bad Behavior for the past couple of weeks and this time we’re talking about how we’re bad with money. Our staff dishes on purchases that make them feel the worst, horrible spending habits, and all the ways the rent is too damn high.

What’s something you spend money on but you feel guilty about it because somebody of your income level should probably not spend money on this thing? Why do you do it?

Al(aina), Staff Writer

I feel guilty about literally all of my spending. I live alone, I have wifi and cable, I pay for Netflix and Hulu, I buy lunch more often than I should (there are TWO Chick-fil-a’s on my campus, what else am I supposed to do??). I make around $13K a year and take out around $35K in loans a year; I should be saving as much money as possible. But here’s the thing: I am happy-ish. I know that I feel safe in my home, I don’t have to sit in silence, and I’m eating during the day (when otherwise I wouldn’t). I spend my money in a way I know I shouldn’t because right now, that’s what I need. I don’t think I’d make it through grad school any other way, and when you’re broke, it’s harder to think about the future. I can be good enough right now, and honestly, that’s all I have the capacity to think about.

Alexis, Staff Writer

This is the best question because for once I can say EVERYTHING! I feel guilty about spending money for food, transportation, therapy, books, a nice night out, educational shit, apps, games, everything!!! And once I hit a manic phase: WATCH OUT! Off the top of my head, during those phases I’ve bought: a Wacom tablet, a POCKET C.H.I.P. (FROM CHINA), 10+ books, courses that I’m 900% sure I’ll take and will definitely change my life/move me into a better tax bracket but like don’t, binders that don’t fit, and comics and video games. Literally the only thing that doesn’t feel out of my league spending wise is donating/buying gifts for people I love. But don’t worry, feeling guilty is like one of my main character traits, so I definitely don’t feel like I’ll be stopping any time soon. I’m a real fun time y’all.

Heather Hogan, Senior Editor

I’ve always spent too much money on video games. When I was a freelance writer struggling to buy groceries and put gas in my car, I’d still happily drop $60 on whatever new open world RPG and just eat Hot Pockets for the next two weeks. HOT POCKETS. (I wrote that in all caps because of the TV jingle.) I’m more responsible about it now, but to this day I start itching if I walk past a GameStop. Video games have always been my main source of escape, from the time I got an Atari 2600 in 1984 until the time right now when I have a Nintendo Switch and I don’t have to think about Donald Trump being president when I’m smashing bokoblins and lizalfos. Super healthy!

Erin, Staff Writer

This is going to sound way more dire that it actually is, but food/drinks when I’m going out. When you’re at a bar with a DJ spinning a vinyl of like, the Beastie Boys or whatever, no one needs to be spending $18 for an okay glass of wine in that kind of environment. But sometimes you really do find yourself spending $18 for an okay glass of wine next to a man in a graphic tee while a DJ plays Beastie Boys on vinyl. I think I’m willing to do this (even though in every other area of my life I’m very quick to abstain from something if I don’t think it’s worth it) because I’m constantly aware that death awaits us all and I’m more inclined to want to heighten an experience if I can. Thank you for your time.

Yvonne Marquez, Senior Editor

I want to say food but I never feel guilty for spending $$$$ on a quality meal. I will gladly throw down $50 on an A+ meal complete with an appetizer, a main course and dessert. Food is my absolute favorite thing in the world and I love sharing it with people I love. I don’t mind spending my money on a delicious meal because I’m paying for an experience. My five senses are engaged and I’m investing time into relationships with my partner or friends or family. It’s beautiful. But I know very well I should be eating beans at home. I get bummed out when the food is subpar and then that’s the only time I regret my purchase and wish I could take it back!

Another thing I spend an outrageous amount of money is my hair! My hair cut and balayage is expensive af but I want my hair to look good. It’s like $225 plus tip for a cut and redoing my balayage and girl, I shouldn’t be spending that type of money. But I do it anyways because I want to feel good and look good. I want to be a trendy queer and have good hair even though I only leave my house to go to Trader Joe’s and walk my dog. I rarely style it but when I do I take all the Instagram selfies, duh. Also I really like my hair stylist and the money goes straight to her and not the salon she works at and my reasoning behind paying her an insane amount is that I’m putting money back into my community. So there’s that!

Rachel, Managing Editor

The biggest ticket item, if we’re being totally honest, is rent — when I moved out of the home I shared with my ex last year I made the decision to find a one-bedroom and live alone, even though it’s definitely a stretch on my income. I had just missed living alone so much, and even though the responsible thing to do would have been to find a roommate, having a roommate as a 30-year-old divorcée sounded sad to me (no judgement! just, you know, feeling insecure about where my life is at) and living alone in a one-bedroom I love as a 30-year-old, drinking box wine in a houserobe, sounded great. And I was right; it is great! It’s just also kind of expensive (relatively, I do live in the Midwest).

As far as a pattern of behavior, I think the thing I have the worst self-restraint about is… buying treats and things for other people? I don’t really want to think about what kind of weird codependent mother hen impulse it comes from, but if I’m meeting a friend for drinks it is like almost physically impossible for me not to just cover the whole bill; if someone I love had a bad day I will absolutely use my last $20 to order them a pizza when I’m still five days out from getting paid. This sounds like humblebragging but I swear to god it is not! This is a really stupid impulse and probably comes from some really dumb places of like basing my entire self-worth on how much I can provide to and for other people! I am in debt!!!

Riese Bernard, Editor-in-Chief

Postmates. It takes only the slightest tip of a to-do list from manageable to slightly challenging or the smallest unexpected mid-day time-sucker for me to justify ordering in. I love cooking breakfast, lunch has never held much interest for me in general (I prefer a series of aimless snacks consumed between 12 noon and 7pm), but dinner… I deeply desire a good dinner, but… I do not want to make it.

[Sidenote: I accidentally didn’t skip two weeks of Blue Apron recently (I know I should just cancel the membership altogether, which I only got in the first place b/c my then-gf and I were gonna do Whole 30 and they had a Whole 30 situation, but I cannot bring myself to) and found I genuinely looked forward to making those dinners. So maybe it’s not cooking I dislike, it’s eating the uninspired meals I usually cook? Also, I recently mentioned that I was happy to discover Blue Apron meals work just as well for one person as they do for the advertised two people, and then Kristin was like “yeah, ’cause then you have one serving to save for the next day” and I was like “oh, no, I mean like, because I eat 1.75 servings myself and then save the leftover meat for Carol.” And I got a lot of blank stares so IDK maybe there’s something deeply wrong with me, like a tapeworm.]

Still, ordering dinner saves me time when I need it, which is most of the time — I work a lot, more than any one person should, and I like to hoard the hours I don’t work to spend with friends. Also there are so many delicious restaurants within a four-mile radius of my apartment and people I’d like to overtip to bring it to me!

[Sidenote #2: If I’m being 100% honest, I occasionally order Postmates for meals besides dinner. Listen, for two years I lived in a giant house in the country and there was only one place, a gas station pizza parlor, that was willing to deliver to me! So now I’m… honestly there’s no excuse…]

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya, Staff Writer

Oh god I spend so much money on food. Look, I know food is a necessity in life and not something that you should feel guilty about paying for, but when I tell you I spend a lot of money on food… trust me… it’s a problem. In particular, since I live in New York, I spend a LOT of money on having food delivered to me. Fun Fact: It’s pretty easy to discern when I’m depressed based on my Postmates order history. But even when I’m not having food brought to me by kind strangers, I still spend a lot of money on food — whether I’m eating out or cooking elaborate meals. I know how to eat on the cheap when I really need to, but I’m irresponsible when it comes to my food budget more often than not.

Archie, Comic Artist

I’m an indulger, I LOVE to indulge myself. In like, anything really. I think it’s probably because I’m a Taurus? It’s definitely not because I’ve got the money, that’s for sure. Anyways, I’ve always indulged myself in a lot of ways with a lot of vices and I’ve always refused to feel guilty about it. Capitalism makes us think one thing is more worthy than another or that if you’re broke you should only spend money on the necessaries. And yah, obviously one needs to survive first, but we gotta live too! And usually that’s how I excuse my habit of eating out a lot and wanting to get “a drink” at the end of every shift. But probably the most frivolous way I spend money is on books. I will buy at least two *NEW* books a month. And I don’t even feel bad about it because I love supporting authors and supporting local bookstores but also damn, get a library card! When I was working as a server I used to joke about how THIS was my retirement plan, I’d get old and open a lil used bookstore out of my house where I sell niche fiction and non-fiction LGBTQ books and there wouldn’t even be one book by a cishet man in the house. I’ve also spent like HUNDREDS of dollars I didn’t really have (at the time) on old lesbian pulp fiction and I dunno. I have a feeling this retirement plan isn’t actually financially secure. They sure look real pretty on my shelf though.

Laneia, Executive Editor

I try to be VERY frugal and stick to this tight-ass budget, which usually only allows for one restaurant/take-out party each month, and matinees only when we have gift cards, and one or two new shirts for the kids. I put money back each week so we can make a major purchase in April 2019. Like, I’m dedicated to this budget and to being good at money. So I was struggling to think of something I’m buying that’s kind of out of my league; an unnecessary thing that only serves me. Whenever I do spend money on myself, I have such buyer’s remorse that it’s almost not worth it, so I try to avoid feeling that way!

At first I was going to say that I probably spend too much money on ingredients for cooking, because I love to cook and I especially love to cook new things that these weirdos haven’t eaten before and which call for ingredients I don’t yet own!! The first two weeks after payday, please do get entirely out of my way in this kitchen, because I have many, many new things to create! It’s gonna take hours and lots of money! Wheeee!

But then, friends, I went to my hairdresser last week and when it was time to pay, I thought ah yes, this is the thing. It started out being a transitional color/cut situation, on my way to an extremely close buzzcut in time for summer. Then A-Camp happened, and everyone was SO NICE and SO EXCITED about my hair! I’ve never received so many compliments in my LIFE. Lizz Rubin was even like, “You can’t ever go back. This is you.” So now I’m still getting my hair bleached and toned, and I really, truly don’t ever want to stop! It is me! It’s the most flattering haircut and color I’ve ever had. It makes me like my own reflection! But y’all, I can’t believe how much money I’ve spent to make my hair this color, and then to keep it this color. It’s INSANE. So that’s my thing: the blonde hair on top of my head. Long may she live, I hope.

Valerie Anne, Staff Writer

I just keep saying yes to DOING things. From things as small as dinner or as big as going to Minnesota (?!) for a one-show-only con. (And I mean, it’s a Wynonna Earp con! So I’m very excited! But I think maybe my FOMO shouldn’t be stronger than my will to be able to pay rent on time every month.) The idiots at Capital One gave me a second credit card and I’m just like “Oh yeah sure I can do that” because I have room on it without any thought about how or when I’ll pay it off. I don’t make nearly enough money to be traveling so much!! I think the thing is, I lived paycheck to paycheck for so long, there were times when I was paying that overdraft fee two or three times a month at least, weeks were it was ramen for lunch, ramen for dinner every night. So now that I am in a more stable place, I act like I’m rich, buying campfire-scented candles in the middle of summer, throwing money at a reusable straw kickstarter that isn’t even sending product until November, tipping waitstaff 30% or more even if they were just average at being a waiter, buying whatever t-shirt strikes my fancy on Redbubble because there’s money in my PayPal account and if it’s not in my Bank of America account yet it doesn’t count. According to Gaby Dunn’s podcast Bad With Money, I have “poor person thinking” and it’s all my parents’ fault. I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be — I actually have a spreadsheet now that helps me keep track of upcoming automatic student loan payments — but the closest thing to a savings account I have is the exact amount of money my roommate pays monthly in rent tucked away so if she abandons me on a whim like my last two roommates did, I can cover a month and not have to borrow money from my mother. And part of me thinks probably I should have a proper savings account but also part of me thinks the world is ending anyway so might as well have fun while it lasts. I have a feeling someday I’ll regret that my credit score is shit. But until then I’ll see you in Minnesota. And Toronto. And maybe LA.

Alyssa Andrews, Comic Artist

I’m not into *things*. I don’t really online shop, or drop hundreds of dollars going out all the time. I’m pretty frugal with my cash. However! my monthly coffee budget… is in the triple digits. Like, higher than my grocery budget. It’s disgusting. And it’s not just the drinking of the coffee, it’s the ritual of *buying* it. I find excuses to get out of the house and buy that delicious cup of what-will-inevitably-give-me-the-shakes (almost) every. single. day.

I couldn’t tell you what it is exactly that makes me do it, but honestly — if I had to really process it with myself, it’s just a small luxury that I feel like I earn. I work constantly. Like, seven days a week I am hustling to track down jobs and drawing until my hands are sometimes literally cracking and bleeding — and I’m still (like everyone else) barely scraping by in getting my bills paid and feeding myself. It’s one of those little treats that I do for myself and fund little by little every day under the guise that I just deserve to have some of my hard earned cash go directly into making my days feel a bit nicer.

Also, TBH I’ve never really sat down thinking about just how much that five dollars a day adds up until… like now. So there’s that.

Cameron, Comic Artist

I don’t wear a whole lot of makeup, but I own a lot of it. It makes no sense. This is where my Sag Sun and Taurus Rising run wild. Every five or six months, I’ll go through a very short but hard-burning period of “What if I were the kind of person who wears make-up? What if I looked like I cared about my appearance? What if that’s who Future Cameron is?” Then I buy a very, very tame eyeshadow set & other tame items from Urban Decay, which is not celebrated for its tame looks.

“Why Urban Decay,” you might ask, “Aren’t they expensive?” Reader, yes, they are very expensive! But I used their stuff once and liked it and trying something else seems like a risk. The way the math works out for me is: I’m going to spend this money and I’m going to do it because I’ve decided that make-up will fix an unrelated problem that, in reality, requires work to fix. I won’t realize how ridiculous this entire charade is until I’ve gotten it out of my system.

I’ve gotten better about this lately, really. Or, I mean, I’ve branched out beyond makeup but I’ve ALSO reined in my impulse buys by (finally) regularly using a spreadsheet for budgeting. Now when I’m feeling like a superficial change will fix a persistent life-problem, I put things into an online shopping cart and stare at them for a while… Then I look at my spreadsheet and delete everything in the cart because I like not starving more than I like metallic eyeliner that I’ll never use. I really do wish I’d had this spreadsheet before I imprinted on a cologne last year though, because I’m 100% going to use it ’til I die. I’ll have no money to leave my loved ones but my corpse will smell amazing.

Carrie Wade, Staff Writer

I order food from elsewhere more often than I probably should. Breakfast and/or morning coffee are the main offenders. I’m somehow always rushed in the morning no matter how early I wake up; it’s gotten worse since I moved to the East Coast because my commute is more involved, but has kind of been a problem for the past few years (despite the fact that I’m a morning person by nature). So I often end up forgoing breakfast in my own home in favor of getting it on the way to work. I think it’s because I’m obsessed with being early/terrified of being late to anything (especially my job). If I feel like I’m skirting that line in the morning, breakfast and coffee will be the first to drop from the routine, because I always know I can get them on the other end. I work in a business district, so there’s no shortage of options, and thus the cycle continues. It’s so unnecessary, too, because I’m a good cook! But my sense of upstanding obligation kind of cancels that out in the mornings right now. I’m working on it.

Carmen, Staff Writer

My most honest answer to this is: ANYTIME I SPEND MONEY IS WHEN I FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SPENDING MONEY!!! Because we are all living in the dying embers of a capitalist hellfire and on some level being a millennial means being eternally being broke and having feelings about being broke. It’s a cycle. So, anyway! We have fun!

I probably feel most guilty when I spend money on makeup and fancy skincare products (I’m looking at you Glossier. WHY IS YOUR SUNSCREEN OVER TWENTY BUCKS for such a teeny amount? AND WHY DOES IT WORK SO GOOD?). We talked a bit about this in a previous roundtable; I loooove makeup! It’s my femme armor. It helps me feel strong and capable. If my face is painted, then the world isn’t seeing me at my most vulnerable; they are seeing who I am allowing them to see, and that makes all the difference.

The thing is, I also love expensive makeup. The fancy, good stuff that fills up shiny Sephora shelves and come in brand names like MAC, or Fenty, or Stila or (gasp!) Dior. Did you know that one tube of Dior mascara costs $30? Dear reader I will keep it real with you, I do not have $30 to spend on a tube of Mascara when Maybeline makes one for seven. You know it, and I know it. So, I try to break the habit. I try to tell myself that L’Oreal lip stains are just as good as NARS. Sometimes if I squint just enough, I even convince myself it’s true. But then Urban Decay will release a new Naked eye palate or whatever, and I’m starting back from square one all over again.

I shop sales and clearance. I buy “last season’s” hottest colors for the cost cut. I buy travel sizes or samples instead of the full bottle. I squeeze my Sephora insider points until they cry for mercy. I cut corners. Mostly that helps me get by. Still, I wince every fucking time.

Stef Schwartz, Vapid Fluff Editor

If I’m being real, I feel terrible about everything I spend money on ever, whether it’s taking a cab when I could just as easily wait 20 minutes for the train or ordering a spring roll with dinner. I’ve been trying to save up for a new laptop for about a year, but every time I come into some cash, I seem to blow through it immediately. I generally either have money saved up and no time to do anything with it, or tons of time and no cash to play with; as a result, I buy myself presents I do not need because I believe I deserve them. I think I buy myself presents to make myself feel better about working so goddamn much, sacrificing time I might have for a fulfilling personal life. Today it was plane tickets, tomorrow it may be kitchenware, and after that it will probably be guitar pedals. Someone help.

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  1. Ugh, I am the worst about my spending habits! I’m unemployed and my unemployment compensation ran out almost a year ago. I’ve been burning through my savings buying things I know I shouldn’t (new clothes even though my old ones are fine, eating out with friends). I make a little extra money doing odd jobs for folks, but it doesn’t even come close to breaking even on what I spend, each month.

    Also, Cameron, I also have a collection of makeup comparable to a professional’s kit, but only wear makeup about once a month. I also feel like, “Maybe I will start putting in the effort. Maybe I really can wake up an hour earlier to put on a full face of makeup.” It doesn’t help that I totally did that in high school and somewhere along the lines of depression and adulthood the habit fell away, and I’m dreaming of getting it back.

  2. Oof I relate to everything in this post! When I moved last year, I had savings… which I blew through in 12
    months because I was underemployed. I have a steadier income now, but managing my money is still challenging. I spend the most money on takeout when I’m too tired/depressed to cook or go grocery shopping. And any time I have extra cash, I buy clothes. (Usually secondhand stuff… but it’s still completely unnecessary. I have more clothes than I know what to do with.)

  3. my daily starbucks and Limited Time Things. do NOT shame me about my daily coffee, its one of the few things that makes my days better. Tickets to Cameron Esposito or Fun Home came out today? HAVE TO BUY RN!! my credit card has cash back at this store i like for the next month? have to buy rn.

    And food. like lots of groceries.

    I’m kinda a Rachel/Laneia in that i budget real good but i live in a not-cheap 1 bedroom. putting down first month and security deposit in July kinda depleted my savings so literally everything is out of my price range, at least until next month.
    And i’m saving all year so i can go to A Camp.

  4. Oh yeah video games. I actually do stop and think before buying a $60 game, but the thing about playing games on a computer instead of a console is that most games aren’t $60. A lot of them are $10 or $20, and sometimes they’re only $5, and it’s so easy to justify $5 for a game, but then that happens over and over again and my Steam library has, at this moment, 535 (!) games in it, most of which I have never and will never play. And I am broke.

    Also, anything I can plug into my computer, basically. I can justify these things kind of but I also know I don’t need them exactly? In the past month-ish I bought a new webcam (because the old would make me look like a supernova in direct sunlight), new headphones (because I listen to audiobooks for a living and my ears were tired from wearing IEMs all the time.) And an Elgato Stream Deck, which is potentially a very useful machine but the most use I have gotten out of it is programming it to play Africa and Work Bitch at the the push of a single button. And I am broke.

  5. I feel like I’m not THAT bad at spending my money, but then I remember I work two jobs, 7 days a week, and that’s the only reason I’m at peace with my student debt+spending situation. But also, working every day makes me want to splurge on myself a lot more. Like I want to give myself a (usually food) treat every day because I know I’m working my ass off. I have to fight that impulse real hard because otherwise it would undermine the whole ‘working two jobs so I can get out of debt quickly’ thing.

  6. Oh man I suck at saving…mainly because I make so little and it’s hard to save and still have somewhat of a life, ya know? I think my biggest culprit is food. My gf and I are the worst with takeout, but so many days I feel so awful and exhausted and I can’t even fathom cooking a meal. Sometimes I’m too tired to even think about eating, so Grubhub to the rescue! It’s hard, pals.

  7. I feel vaguely uncomfortable about most of my spending but biggest avoidable expense are food/anything that saves me time and also stuff for crafting. I justify the crafting spends because crafting is a hobby that is relaxing, so it kind of doesn’t feel like just buying stuff if I am making the stuff. But my current crafting spending is on jewellery making stuff and although I own a number of necklaces and will soon have materials to make a load more I wear a necklace once to twice a month, max.

    • yeah i think “anything that saves me time” is my primary over-spend. in nyc that meant a lot of late-night taxis (b/c at night taking the train home late can take HOURS), everywhere I’ve been that means a lot of take-out or delivery or prepared foods; boarding my dog when i have a last-minute thing instead of spending hours selecting, meeting and coordinating with sitters from rover; dropping off laundry instead of doing it myself (which has been complicated recently as my local laundromat doesn’t have AC so doing it myself means sitting inside a sauna for three hours), etc etc.

      it is honestly hard for me to figure out if this is actually bad — because of the work i do, time literally is money, so it would take a lot of work to figure out where to draw that line.

      • I think it is okay to put a high financial value on free time, but I then feel guilty because I waste too much of my free time playing games on my phone.

  8. Team guilty about spending money on food and ordering in! I don’t feel guilty about spending money on booze and weed, but food… especially as a fat person (!) the guilt is real.

  9. It’s easier to spend money on little indulgent things that add up now when you have no hope for the rewards that saving would bring you. When you have $100 000 in debt with mounting interest, what’s the point? Should you avoid going out with friends for 5 years just to shave 10% off that debt?

    Get that damn coffee and savor every sip.

  10. Am generally damn careful about money bc I don’t ever want to be homeless again…

    …buuuuut I did decide to spend some of the money I got recently from my grandmother’s passing on a vibe.

    She always wanted me to be happy, so I’d like to think she’d approve.

    • Also thank you to all my friends who talked me past my substantial guilt about buying something just for my own pleasure – you know who you are <3.

  11. I feel guilty about calling a Lyft instead of taking the bus or walking. Usually it’s because I didn’t give myself enough time to get ready.

  12. Hahahaaaa yeah wow. I spend waaaaay more than I should on food. And comics. I spend too much on Kickstarters for comics, my friends’ comics, my local comic book shop… it’s bad. Really bad. But comics are my passion and I love them and reread them forever and ever… but it still makes me feel guilty.
    My latest thing also has been clothes/shoes to dance in. I’m obsessed with vintage or vintage-looking clothes like wide-legged, high-waisted pants, I’m having a friend custom-make a 20’s-style flapper dress for me for a big event this fall, I’m ready to drop $200 on leather-soled heels for dancing Balboa even though I don’t dance it regularly and can barely walk in heels. I don’t feel as guilty as I should about these purchases, but I DO feel extremely guilty at not feeling guilty.

  13. Do we spend way more than we should on XYZ? Or do these things cost way more than they should? I ask you.



  14. Do we spend way more than we should on XYZ? Or do these things cost way more than they should? I ask you.



  15. I can related to all who said they probably should be saving the money. I try to save as I do have a saving account, but it a bit hard with all the fun frivoulus stuff. I spent way to much in the past month I stuff I probably don’t need by makes me happy, like replacing my camera, or buying the good whisky or beer. There is also the indirect frivolous spending that financial planner might tell me to cut out, like driving my favorite road because I am in the area, or going to the beach up the coast, because it’s less crowded, both of which are tied together. There are times when I am at the gas station saying fuck maybe I should have just gone to the closer beach and then directly home, because I could gone to the station after work in middle of the week. It’s like paying $10 entrance fee, but instead it goes to criminal capitalist corp, like Union oil or Exxon.

    stef If you are looking for a new laptop, many times good deals can be had on open box items, which could mean returned before 15 days return window(at least Best Buy and Apple, Amazon is 30 days). Items of course get the standard warranty, and inspected to make sure it works and everything is there. My first two Apple notebooks were bought open box($200-300 saved @ Apple store), Sony Vaio notebook($1000 saved @ amazon), and my Surface Pro was recently bought open box during back to school sale at Best Buy and save me $250+.

  16. Omg I feel this so hard. The insurance I have through work is crap, and I literally could not find a neurologist in my area who accepts “headache” patients (I get migraines) and who takes my insurance. I spent hours and hours looking, and making dozens of appointments only to have them call me like “we accept patients from your insurance network from the metro plan but you’re metro liberty EPO so we can’t take you” or whatever nonsense. I finally decided to suck it up and ask my parents to help me pay for someone out of pocket. I feel equally angry at the insurance industry (I should be able to find a doctor who takes my insurance!!) and at the medical establishment (how many male neurologists have sent me condescending emails like “oh we don’t take….headache patients” as if we’re all just hysterical women) and embarrassed that as a grown adult I had to turn to my parents, but also guilty and grateful that I could.

    Sending you healing vibes and validation that your pain matters and you deserve to feel better, and a whole lot of commiseration!

    • ^This is awful.

      I live in the U.K. My ridiculous father thinks we should get rid of the NHS and have private healthcare (which is a view most of the right won’t admit to because it is not a vote winner – although they are systematically destroying the NHS).

      My father genuinely believes that if we had private healthcare he would be able/have been able to get all the treatment he needed under private insurance, which he would have paid for instead of paying National Insurance through taxation for the NHS.

      He also claims that the state would pay for people who were unable to pay insurance due to being unable to work through ill health.

      • Ugh. That’s so frustrating. I even almost understand where he’s coming from, because not being able to get all the treatment you need is such an awful feeling, but yeah, private insurance is NOT the fix. It just means you get the runaround from a private insurance company instead of the NHS. It’s always so weird when people have a super cutthroat idea of what the govt should do (get rid of nationalized insurance) but then are like, oh but it would be fine for people who didn’t have insurance. Like…how do you hold those 2 things in your head at once?

  17. I try really hard to save, right now my financial situation is bad so I’ve really had to cut back on what I buy. My problem is I just like to buy things. If I didn’t clean out my closet every 6 months I’d be a serious hoarder! I’ve gotten better about buying stuff I don’t need but sometimes I cave and just get whatever it is I’ve been eyeing.

  18. @Alexis If you have an Android, there are tons of free educational apps and libraries exist (yes, @Archie get yourself a library card and stop using our sign as an excuse. Not using our sign as an excuse goes for you too @Cameron I am your signs inverted and used to try to figure out who’s at fault for what). It is shown that every time you read, you get more neurons so it’s not evil as long as you’re not spending like crazy. By the way, Haruki Murakami’s latest will be out in two months!!

    All the peeps who depend on packaged food, if by some miracle you have stuff in your fridge, this website exists and it tells you what stuff you can make based on what you have available.

    I used to go nuts buying videogames many years ago and know that my lack of control in that regard resulted in my current shit circumstances as far as employment and ability to study again are concerned. I have found though that if I keep myself busy, I don’t actually need those things and feel more productive when I don’t use them. Maybe skating is a waste of time to some (especially if you break something which I almost did twice) but at least it’s exercise!! I should not go to Michael’s. Or any other art store. Instrument stores are probably to be avoided. It’s just a bad idea.

    @Stef Guitar pedals ARE fulfilling for your personal life. If you don’t want them, you can send them to me if they’re EQDs. ?

  19. I am pretty bad with spending money on eating out at the best of times, but my city always does this food festival in August where restaurants put on limited time menus, including a competition for who can do the best burger, and tonight I will be going out for my tenth burger of the festival… so let’s not think about how much I have spent on food in the last two weeks (luckily I am in a financial situation where I can get away with it).

    My other weakness is video games, main problem being that I buy way more than I have time to actually play, so quite a lot of it is wasted spending really.

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