I’m not talking about big ticket items like a TV or a piece of furniture. Or, as in the case of my good friend Tracy, a great pair of boots!
It’s easy to spend $500 and more in one go on those kinds of things. I’m talking about spending that kind of money on every day, reasonable, required spending.
Spending money on simply living.
Do you realize that $500 is just about what the average monthly wage was in 1965. And I spent that in one afternoon. I’m not really sure how it even happened so let’s find out:
First stop – the drugstore – $74 Mascara, make up wipes, hair colour (yes, I use boxed colour) and razor refills.
It would have been almost half that amount but the make up wipes and razor refills were on sale so I bought two of them.
The refills for the type of razor that my daughter and I use were the deal of the day. Regularly, they’re $16 for a 3-pack but today they were on sale – buy two 3-packs for $20. Total score!
The day started out on a high note (or should I say a low note).
Next up was gas for the car – $50 I knew I had to go out of town the next day so why not fill up now instead of leaving it until the morning.
Then it was off to the mall for a couple things.
The watch store – $55 I had 4 watches that needed new batteries.
Stop right there! Before you start admonishing me for blatant excess, these were referee watches. I referee kids soccer in my “not so spare” time and need them to time the games. Over the course of the summer, they died one by one and I was too busy to replace the batteries. But when the last one died last week, I had no choice but to take them in. So don’t get all judgy because I own 4 watches, they’re for my work. If you’re going to judge me, judge me because I actually own 7 fashion watches ; )
What can I say, I really like watches.
Hair cut – $50 (including tip)
I desperately needed a hair cut – seriously. No amount of hair gel was holding up my hair anymore (I like a bit of a spiky look). I have a semi-regular stylist but I’m not super loyal. I have short hair and the style is not complicated so I hate paying more than $45 to cut it. The mall price was $40 and they could take me right away so – boom! – I went for it.
Rolling along on the good day that started at the drug store; this young lady did a fabulous job on my hair. I think I have a new favourite stylist!
Threading – $25
The hair place also did eyebrows so I thought it was a good time to reign in my Einstein eyebrows. I can’t even remember when I had them done last. I generally get them waxed but this place only did threading.
What is threading you ask? Threading is where the unwanted facial hair is removed by using twisted cotton thread to pull the hair out from the follicle. And, YES, it is just as painful as it sounds.
It turns out that this lady was pretty good at it and I survived the eyebrows without actually punching her in the face so we went on to do my upper lip and chin (thank you menopause for this extra facial hair!). FYI, I almost did punch her during the upper lip so I won’t be doing that again.
Next up was groceries. I did some meal planning in the morning so I could make a list. Groceries are always cheaper when you have a list.
M&M meats – $60 – for my favourite Oktoberfest sausages, chicken strips and stuffed chicken and then to the no-name grocery store – $175.
I needed a fair amount of canned goods, crackers and other non-perishables and I don’t like to pay premium prices at a premium grocery store for these. I’ll spend extra money on good meat and produce but a can of crushed tomatoes is going to be the same no matter where you go. Lucky for me, with my good day continuing, I was able to get the meat and produce I needed at the no-name store and I didn’t have to make the extra trip to the premium grocery store.
With my chores (spending) done, I headed home feeling pretty good at all I got done. There was just one thing I couldn’t get out of my mind all day.
Those razor refills!
I checked and I still had $20 in my wallet so I went back to the drug store. Two for $20 is a REALLY good deal.
So that was it. Not much when you really look at it. It certainly didn’t feel like $500 but there were the receipts and receipts don’t lie.
Even though I caught some good sales, cheaped out on my hair, made a grocery list to cut down on impulse purchases and shopped at a discount grocery store; I was still $500 poorer at 5pm than I was at noon and I really didn’t have a lot to show for it.
Crazy when you think that 50 years ago, you could live for a whole month on that amount of money.