I'm Not Going To Spend A Single Cent Today
RED CENT - "The original 1793 U.S. one-cent copper coin was issued until 1857. The cent has also been called 'red cent,' 1839 (from the copper's reddish color), which sometimes has been shortened to 'red' since 1849.Since so many penny copper coins had been called 'coppers,' the first U.S. copper cent was immediately called a 'copper' and 'copper cent.' 'Not worth a copper' is an American term of 1788, followed by 'not worth a cent' (1820s)." From "" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982). Listening to America
On my way home from work the other day I was listening to talk radio. The show was about cutting debt and spending less. The host was discussing how everyone can take small steps to cut their everyday spending, leading to substantial savings annually. He's right I thought, I'm going to cut out spending altogether, at least for a day.
I woke up the next day determined not to spend a single cent. Not one. Sure I will use gas that's in my car to get to work, and eat food I bought and packed for lunch. But I will not open my wallet and spend any money out of it. I wouldl be of no help to the economy for that day.
I arrive at work with my wallet intact, no money spent on the way and I feel I'm off to a great start. I begin my work day by checking email and voicemail to see what will be first on my list. Lowes is having a huge one day only sale. Crap, I delete this immediately so I will not be tempted. I'm sure Lowes can do without me today. I finish with my email and manage to get some work done.
Lunch time is here, Someone a few cubes down must have gotten Mcdonald's, I can smell the french fries. I look over at my grocery store bag and its contents in disgust. Turkey sandwich, pretzels and a browning banana. Booooring...oh well, let's eat.
I make it through lunch so it should be easy sailing through the rest of the workday. Uh oh, bookfair day. Every few months, a mobile bookstore will set up in the terrace area of the large insurance company where i work. Don't look, i tell myself, just keep walking. I manage to walk by without stopping. No money spent.
I have enough gas to get home and I have no planned grocery store stops. I'm sure we have something in the freezer we can cook for dinner. The phone rings, it's my wife. "Can you stop and pick up some eggs?" Sure. Game Over. Wait a second, we can do without eggs for one night, I'm on a budget freeze today! I pass the grocery store and keep heading home in my quest for spending cuts.
I arrive home empty handed, but determined to stick to my plan.
"Where are the eggs?"
" I uh...forgot."
"Oh, I was going to make cupcakes for the kids at school tomorrow. "
"Cupcakes? I didn't know you were going to make cupcakes? "
Kid's without cupcakes is too much for me to bear. I think of the poor kid's faces tomorrow after being promised cupcakes. Do it for the kids.
"Okay, I'll run up to the store, be right back"
"Will you grab some milk and bread while you're out?" "And I think we need more dog treats too."
"What? I thought....sure"
I now understand why there's a debt crisis. Cutting cost seems easy, but something always comes up. I almost made it through my day without spending a single cent, but being the cause of those kids not having cupcakes sealed my fate. After all, I'm not a monster?As I opened my wallet and dust it off, I thought about the cupcakes, there's always extra cupcakes.