Like the occasional house fly, the notion that a $6000/year budget means that I must be living in squalor like a broke student or a pop star or whatever comes up sufficiently often to annoy me just a wee bit. Hence I vent; it solves both problems!
If you met me on the street, I would look much like everybody else (except maybe taller 😛 ). I wear the same approximately 10 different outfits, not all at the same time of course, as everybody else. The only difference is that while “everybody else” have another 20-30 outfits in the closet at home, they never wear, I don’t.
If you paid closer attention you would notice something strange though. Many of my things are not exactly in fashion. Some of them are more than 10 years old but still useful. “Normal people” use an iPhone which they bought when their iPod was not good enough anymore. I don’t even have an iPod. I have an old CD player (still works fine!). “Normal people” have a satellite radio. I have a multiband world radio and streaming audio from the internet. “Normal people” wear new clothes from the Gap and JC Penney. The older clothes, I wear, is classically cut and may have a small tear in an unnoticable place from wear. I either got it at clearance at an outlet or I got it for a dollar at a thrift or a consignment shop.
I don’t have a set of 20 screw drivers or other tool sets that come in their own gift box but break when you use them. I only have a couple of the ones I actually need. And they don’t break, so they are old. We all have tools. “Normal people” just have too many, and we all prefer to use mine 😉 .
The difference is, I think, that I will wait forever for a good deal and when I buy something, I don’t overpay, I don’t buy too much, I buy the best (reasonable) quality depending on the rate of my use, and I don’t replace it until it wears out. “Normal people” on the other hand, will get into their car, drive out, and pay the going price as soon as they think that they “need” something. They even think they get a got deal when it comes with a bunch of free “extras”.
So no, I don’t see myself as a broke college student. I see myself more as a poor aristocrat, or an elitist snob if you will 😛 . I could qualify for one of those 5-bed-3-bathroom houses but I choose not to. I could buy a new Lexus or a Hummer (or five) in cash, but I choose not to. What do I need those for anyway? As a reward for all my hard work you say? Will they last longer or easier to maintain? Will replacing what I already have save me any time? Probably not, then how can they be considered a reward?
I don’t know, really!