Emily, 14, lost $50 dollars in cash at school yesterday. She left it on her seat in the choir room, and – big surprise – some little turd with a criminal mind stole it. The school had given her this money as a refund for the trip to Six Flags that they recently took. Only, at the last minute, due to some pesky technicality called School Policy, she wasn’t allowed to go on the trip because of crappy grades. Actually, we paid $100 for the trip months ago, but they were only able to refund us half. You should have seen Hubby lose his cash-lovin’ mind over that one! Then, after weeks of waiting for the RIP-OFF half-refund, Emily goes and leaves it out as Criminal Bait. You can always count on teenagers to be responsible.
Fifty bucks may not be a big deal to you, but I’ll have you know that, in this lovely season of prom dresses, choir banquet dresses, new dress shoes, last minute school projects and graduation gifts, we could have really used the Cash Infusion.
Why the big fuss? Let’s admit the obvious. I don’t think it’s any secret that my family lives paycheck to paycheck. Maybe your family is just like mine, but I really hope not. We are really good at spending money but incredibly bad at saving it. Maybe it’s because we’ve been in Financial Crisis Mode for 16 years straight. Or it could be the soul-crushing, ass-kicking mounds of heavy debt we’ve managed to collect, like ceramic trinkets, over the years. Hubby and I basically have the financial astuteness of lint balls.
Have you ever checked your credit rating? Hell, no, not me. I’m not about to look at that thing. I don’t know what our credit record says, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it holds us largely responsible for the national housing market collapse. And another thing… I’m pretty sure the IRS is posing as neighbors across the street, just so they can gather surveillance information on us with their binoculars and long-range listening devices. So, IRS, if you’re reading this, we promise to fully cooperate with you this year because, as American citizens, we feel it is our strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.
Don’t tell my 16-year-old this, but her college savings plan is basically the $2.99-worth of coins under my couch cushions. Which means, most likely, she won’t be going to Harvard. But she’s an honor student, so I am pretty sure she will easily qualify for The University of Cheap White Trash. Yes, we like to plan ahead for the future.
Speaking of planning ahead, we have six more days until the next paycheck. Barring any major catastrophes, such as an emergency run for, say, food, we have approximately $3.21 to spend per day. Hey, that’s better than some weeks around here. Don’t feel bad for us though, because we like to make a game of it. It’s fun to see how little we can spend and still not die of Anorexia or Rickets.
I’m thinking that it’s time that someone, like maybe me, compile of list of Easy-To-Use ways to survive until the next paycheck without spending any money. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve actually done some of these things, so I am uniquely qualified to give you advice on this important Life-Or-Death matter. You might want to print this out and tape it to your empty fridge.
If you need to make a sandwich, but your bread is moldy, no problem. Just pinch off the Moldy Bits, throw on a piece of fried bologna and a hunk of smushy overripe tomato, and voila, a free sandwich.
If you don’t have enough gas to make it to work, just fake a case of Rancid Diarrhea, call in sick and lay on the couch all day, contemplating your poor choice of dumbass careers that don’t pay enough to feed a hobo. Then get up and start updating your resume.
If you don’t have any clean underwear, and you’re completely out of laundry detergent, just wear some of your sister’s. Or in my case, your daughter’s. They will never know. (“Oh gosh, honey, I don’t know why your underwear is suddenly stretched to seven sizes larger….?) Or better yet, just let it all hang loose and enjoy the liberating breeze all day.
If you’re out of meat in the freezer for dinner, do not despair. Just remove the turkey leftovers from last Thanksgiving, defrost, cook, add gravy, and look at that… enough Salmonella to go around for everyone!
If you are out of cat food, and your cat is screaming at you with Meow Vengeance, you have no choice but to put him outside for the night. Later, when you look out the window and he’s ripping the head off of a Bluejay, you will sheepishly look away, but at the same time you will think, “hey, that’s a hearty nutritious meal he’s made for himself.”
Here’s one for my teen girls. If they’ve cut off your cable and internet because your Dad “forgot” to pay the bill, think of this as a golden opportunity to spend some quality time with your closet. What I mean is, go clean that damn thing out. I don’t want to know what’s in those closets, but I’m pretty sure there’s Major Motion Picture-quality mutant creatures living in there.
And lastly, in order to make it to the next paycheck without killing all of your family members, it’s vitally important not to play the blame game. Instead, wait until the next check, then get some satisfying revenge. Slowly embezzle money from your account using that “cash back” feature at the grocery store, then act shocked that “Groceries sure have gone up!”
Hahahaha, what a fun game! See I told you you could make it! Another thing you might want to do, as soon you get that check, is go see a doctor about that Diarrhea. I’m pretty sure it was caused by that super old turkey you just ate.