Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Holy Tax Return, Batman!

It's that time of the year, Blog.  I got my tax return, and as usual, after taking out about 90% of it to put into Carlisle's vet bills, I have about $200 left over.

The bowties alone cost me hundreds.

This is not enough money for me to get my cavity filled (tooth #8, distal surface), but it is enough for me to get some cool stuff.  What sort of cool stuff, you ask?  Here's a list of things I'm considering and the pros and cons.

1.  Take Andrew out to dinner.
Cost: $50 - $100

Pros: First and foremost, I really like Andrew.  He's been supporting my ass for months and I want to do something nice for him.  Also, we rarely go out and when we do it's his treat, not mine.  I feel like I owe him and this would be a lovely gesture.

Cons: Frankly, the reason we don't go out is because we're poor.  Although I really want to do this, I'm aware it's not the best use of my money.  I could make him a nice meal at home and he'd probably enjoy it just as much, which makes me wonder if I only want to do this because I want to.

One of those fancy places where the cooks fire off sassy one-liners,
 and the maître d' pretends to be French.

2.  Get a bike rack and bike bag.
Cost: $40 - $80

Pros:  Huge pro here is that I need to be able to drag my stuff around and it's heavy.  This reduces my reliance on cars and Andrew, which is my current method of transporting things.  (Andrew has a bike rack and bag.)  This seems like a good investment considering my back problems, and if I get a new bike, I can transfer the rack onto that one.

Cons:  None that I can think of.

So far, carrying home eggs in my purse hasn't worked out well for either the eggs or the purse.

3.  Get a new bike.
Cost: $60 - $200

Pros:  I will need a bike in the future.  My current one sucks so much.  The gears don't work, it randomly shifts gears in a dangerous manner, it's too tall for me, and frankly I hate the way it looks and the colour too. 

Cons:  It gets me from point A to point B.  Granted, I really hate it, but maybe now's not the time to get a new one.  Then again, I could resell the old one for twenty to sixty bucks, which isn't a bad idea.

This isn't my actual bike.  My actual bike is green, and much shittier.

4.  Get a new phone.
Cost:  $50 - $120

Pros:  Like my bike, my phone is a piece of crap.  It has bad reception and is unreliable at getting calls.  The buttons are tiny, like it was made for a snowman with stick fingers, or maybe a tiny circus midget with deformed hands who uses a stylus to punch them.  Texting is impossible and the interface is awful.

Cons:  Like the bike, it works and is free, so maybe I shouldn't complain too much.  Unlike my old bike, I might not be able to sell the old phone.  Sort of seems like a frivolous purchase.

This isn't my actual phone.  My actual phone is not filled with candy,  and is much shittier.

5.  Get the car registered.
Cost: $120

Pros:  Well, it's technically legally required of me.  Getting the car registered and getting it CA plates would decrease my chances of getting ticketed and also would allow me to get a permanent residential parking pass.

Cons:  It's expensive and, while technically legally required, not a top priority.  Guest parking passes are good for 3 months, can be eternally renewed, and actually cost less than the permanent ones.  It also requires a trip to the DMV, which is run in Los Angeles by a single sullen teenager who plays Solitare on the computer and directs people to new lines to avoid having to help them.

When you Google search "DMV," an actual picture of my DMV comes up!  
And it's just as shitty as I remember!

6.  Buy some board games.
Cost: $20 - $60

Pros:  Board games are fun and encourage socialising and I really want to get a few.

Cons:  They're frivolous, I don't have many friends right now, and we already have a couple simple games around the house.  This is definitely more of a "want" than a "need."

Another pro: Having my own board games means I can offer alternatives to playing fucking Settlers of Catan, the only board game Jack owns.  I hate that game.

7.  Pre-pay on my car insurance.
Cost: $60

Pros:  I have to pay it anyway.  Might as well do it.

Cons: None.  I'm probably going to do this.

Call me insensitive.  These two images together crack me up every time.

8.  Pre-pay on some vet bills.
Cost: Whatever I want it to be.

Pros:  Eventually, realistically, Carlisle will create more bills for us.  He always does.  Having those bills dangle over our heads sucks.  By putting the money into this, it would ensure the next emergency won't be so bad.

Cons: My current credit plan doesn't accumulate interest in the first 6 months, giving me that long to pay off the bills.  In that context, it seems stupid to pre-pay since I have a long 6-month grace period to deal with it.  Also, this isn't fun at all, or rewarding.  And for now, both dogs are healthy and up to date on teeth cleanings, shots, and so forth.

Then again, Carlisle has a miraculous way of costing money 
even when he appears perfectly healthy.

9.  Pay for the tooth and put the rest on credit.
Cost: $200+

Pros:  It will need done eventually.  It will only get worse if I wait.

Cons: I might end up with benefits from a new job within a month or two.  Even sixth months won't make a huge difference.  I should wait and try to get a discounted or free service via my job, instead of putting my own money into this.  It's a super small cavity so it's not urgent-urgent.

If going to the dentist was like this I'd go every goddamn week.

10.  Fucking this!
Cost: $20 (shipping included)

Pros:  It's cute and I want it and I never get anything nice for myself.  It's also the cheapest thing on the list.

Cons: This is by far the most frivolous thing on the list and I don't need it.  Not by a long shot.


Out of $200, I will spend $60 on car insurance and up to $80 on bike gear, leaving me with the meagre sum of $60.  This I will probably use to take Andrew out.  If there's any left over I can get the dog bracelet and then feel guilty about it.  I also think I'll keep my shitty phone and cavity until after I'm employed, but try to sell my current bike for a new one.  Maybe I can buy a bike that already has a rack.  Then I'd only need to shell out $30-40 for a bike bag.

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