The Caloric Value of Money

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Eating money, money, cash, change, dollar bills, fork, spoon

As mostly middle-class, educated Americans, we can afford to drop a couple extra bucks on extravagances. Maybe an irresistible frilly skirt from Anthropologie or that last $10 cocktail at the bar. These luxuries certainly aren’t breaking the bank, but they add up. If you’re splurging on that “Oh, I shouldn’t” top-shelf martini once a week, you’re taking away damn near $500 a year from your savings account. And, looking back, couldn’t you have gone without?

Which is why I deal with money the same way I deal with food: It’s not worth the calories.

Look at money the way you look at food. Is it worth it? (Personally, I hate working out, so nothing is worth it.)

Is that $12 Target blouse worth that extra hour of work? Better yet, it’s not great quality and will likely lose its deep purple color, stretchy-in-all-the-right-places perfect fit and a couple rhinestones before the month is out. Save the $12, and after sacrificing a couple more tank tops, you’ll have a decent sum of money in the bank.

But, there are some things you just can’t resist.

I like salty starches. I can live the rest of my life without a McDonald’s cookie, but would feel a little more than sad if I vowed never to touch a golden fry again. So, when it comes to fries, chips, bowls of starchy pasta, I can’t resist. But Hostess cakes, Starbucks muffins and soda are not even that good to me. Unless I’m hungover, drunk, starving or exhausted (These all are conditions that can be avoided, mind you, but that comes later in life.). I’ll run a mile for french fries, a cookie I will not.

So, if I’ve got some extra cash a couple friends are going on a road trip to the nearest beach, I’ll impulsively and guiltlessly blow $100 for a precious moments-filled weekend. Memories are ten times better than a Forever 21 shopping spree.

This is all well and good, but what happens when, after those stressful days at work, a lover’s quarrel or an existential/identity crisis, you just want an entire meat-lover’s pizza to yourself and no amount of focus or frugality is going to stop you?

Well, we all have our moments.