02 July 2010

I heard she eat one cracker a day

I have a financial decision to debate, and I'm curious for your feedback. It relates to the $50 a month I pay my apartment to park in the underground parking garage. When I mention that it costs $50 to park in the garage, people have two opposite reactions:

"Oh, completely worth it"


"That's ridiculous. What kind of complete and utter moron would pay for that"

Me. I'm that guy. But, in this money saving time, I am faced with the decision of whether or not this $50 is completely necessary each month. I thought a list of pros and cons might help:

-Security. It's the biggest pro. See, if you didn't know, the catalyst for this whole financial fallout was having the home I owned robbed. It traumatized me in ways I didn't know I could be traumatized. Among the reasons I picked the apartment where I live is that there is card access to enter the building. The security of not parking outside is very comforting.
-Not dealing with weather. I never have to scrape. My car is comfortably cool in the summer and appropriately warm in the winter. I don't have to worry about hail damage. That's pretty awesome.
-Not having to deal with the general populous. My building has several commercial ventures on the first floor, and I get to avoid talking to people because I bypass that floor. Okay, maybe this reason makes me an asshole, but sometimes it's nice to not be forced to talk to strangers. STRANGER DANGER.

-Cost. Like I said, it's $50 a month. That simultaneously feels like nothing and a lot. I just pay it with my rent, so it doesn't feel like I'm paying anything extra. That being said, my rent payment goes down to $550 without the extra $50, so that's awesome.
-Damage. The parking spaces are ridiculously tight, and for most of my time in the building that has been okay. Until recently. Over the past few weeks the world's largest SUV has started parking in the spot next to mine. I recently discovered this on my car door

Yeah, it's a scratch. To be honest, I don't even know if it came from the aforementioned SUV, but I don't like the odds. The parking lot, like the rest of the building, has these huge pillars everywhere, so the parking situation is tight at best.

I'm personally leaning toward the pro side. I know it's $50, and I could spend that on new underwear and khakis for the school year, but I just value the security far too much. I know other people in the building who park outside, and none of them have ever had problems with their cars out there (I don't think at least), but I'm not sure I'm willing to risk it.

Last week I house sat for my parents while they traveled to scenic Branson, Missouri. I took this picture of two of their dogs and now shamelessly post it because it's adorable:

Awwwwww! We can say it together. "AWWWWWW!" I received three bottles of wine from a winery in the Branson area as payment, and I feel this is an appropriate payment indeed.

Moving back on track, I've received my July paycheck. I've also received my summer school paycheck. This is exciting and worrying all at once. See, I'm stupid, and I saved the budget I made for July on my school's server. I guess I could go in there and get it, but I think I'll just make a "for now" July budget and get back on it with August's paycheck. I'm already doing fairly well, I think, because I had ample opportunity to spend a bunch of money already and I haven't. I haven't had fast food yet either. I know it's only been three days since I got paid, but I somehow feel accomplished anyway.

The real highlight of the past several days, though, is the summer school paycheck. I have officially purchased my plane tickets for vacation! I have only ever flown Midwest because their seats are wide and they give you a fresh baked cookie on board (and they're SO GOOD!). This time, though, because I'm flying on a weekend, it was crazy expensive. Isn't that illegal or something? "We know a lot of people are flying today, so let's jack up the price." Shouldn't they lower the price because they don't need as many people to make their profit margin... or whatever. Listen, I clearly know absolutely nothing about this stuff. Anyway, I'm flying American Airlines because they were the cheapest by almost $75 to the next closest, and well over $100 cheaper than Midwest.

I'm terrified I'm going to be one of those people you hear about on the news who is too fat for his seat and gets thrown off the plane because he was so pissed at how he was treated. I picked my seat on their website, and I made sure the seat had an adjustable armrest. They say the arm rest is for their passengers with "physical challenges." I never quite thought of my weight as the part on Double Dare when kids shoot slime at each other on Nickelodeon.

Anyway, I'll be in New York for a week, and I can't wait! I know we're doing a movie in the park one night, and that will be fun! And cheap! I'm going to try to keep this trip on the cheap as often as possible. I do have a few museums I want to see, but I'm also going to try to keep those cheap or free if possible.

And, as a final note, I should mention that I feel like a dick asking you to click on those ads. I certainly appreciate the support, but I feel like a sellout and an asshole. So, if you don't want to click them, don't. But if you don't mind, I appreciate it. I made some okay money already off the clicking. I'll be happy to click some ads on your blog if you want me to.

No, but seriously, click on an ad.


  1. As someone who's had her car broken into twice, I would definitely pay the $50 a month for garage parking. I know St. Joe probably isn't as dangerous at STL, but I think knowing that your car is safe is well worth the annoying payment.

    If you want to think about it using numbers, my windows cost $350 or more to replace, so imagine coming up with $350 on a whim one month as opposed to $50 you've already worked into your budget. I had to do that twice, so I can tell how about how terrible it was!

    Anyway, I'm glad you included cute dog pictures and the "physical challenges" comment made me lol. And I'll click on some of your ads! :)

  2. Compelling argument indeed. Lord knows I wouldn't be able to come up with $350 at random for several months. Thanks :)

  3. i'm with kelly on this! pay the $50 a month now so you don't have to come up with some huge amount of money when you park you car outside and something bad happens!

  4. I agree too! 'Cause even if you have car insurance most of the time a broken window doesn't cost more than your deductible and you're stuck forking over the money. And you'd be without a car while it was being fixed. Maybe you should add in the cost of a car rental for a couple days?

  5. my initial reaction is to pay it for the reasons that those above gave. but then (are you ready for me to complicate this once more?) if you think about it, you're spending $600 (is my math right?--it might not be, it's been YEARS since i've last done it...) a year on parking. that could go to your savings account (in fact, it might be worthwhile putting that $50 a month in savings to beaf it up).

    the parking here at UCSB is hella expensive, but still cheaper than what you're paying strangely (here, about $400 a year.) maybe try a month without parking and see if it's bearable?