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We are Living in a Material World and I am a Material Man

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The last two weeks have been fairly expensive ones for me. I went quite awhile without adding a lot of expenses and it was a streak that I expected to end at some point.

I went to three Red Sox - Athletics baseball games last week. The tickets were $30 a piece, but the seats were exceptional seats. Parking and tolls cost me $20 each day and it was probably another $25 in gas for all three days. Food, wow, it's very pricey. A single draft domestic beer at Oakland Coliseum was $7.50. It did seem like it might be a 20 oz. beer, but that's still really expensive for a team that can only put 27,000 people in the seats - half of them rooting for the away team. Of course this a bargain compared to tickets in Boston, which are so difficult to get, your best bet is through an agency at a ridiculous mark-up.

I followed that up with a $280 purchase of my travel computer that I described yesterday. My spending didn't stop there. Last night, the spending continued. We had friends coming from out of town, so we went out for dinner. We found a fairly cheap place so the damage was minimal.

It looks like we're going to have to start seriously saving again. I imagine it will last about a month, when we have to write the final checks for the wedding. After that though, we are going to start a grand two year savings plan. It might even include our first attempt at budgeting.

Posted on June 14, 2007.

This post deals with: ... and focuses on:

Spending

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13 Responses to “We are Living in a Material World and I am a Material Man”

  1. Tickets for a game involving the Red Sox for $30 – I’d say that’s worthwhile! Here in Boston I’d have to sell a kidney to have half a chance at nosebleed seats.

  2. Patrick says:

    Baseball is always worth the expense! :)

    I also enjoy going to minor league games where the environment is just as fun, but everything is much cheaper! You don’t get to watch your favorite MLB teams, so the splurge of going to a big league game every once and awhile is always worth it.

  3. Minimum Wage says:

    I find it amusing to see people spend like this and then write about personal finance!

  4. Moneymonk says:

    As long as you are paying cash and still can budget for the rest of the month or week. Who cares about being materialistic. It’s when we constantly live beyond our means is when our spending is out of control

  5. At The Bottom says:

    Boo Sox! Go Tigers!

    I don’t know what Minimum Wage is talking about. What is the point of saving money if you can’t spend it on something you enjoy? All good budgets allow for a “Fun” basket that lets you spend some of your savings on things that you will enjoy like vacations and BASEBALL GAMES.

    PF Newbie!

  6. Lazy Man says:

    Minimum Wage:

    At The Bottom has a great point. I like to liken it to a diet. I know professional nutritionists who eat foods that aren’t perfectly healthy at least some of the time. In fact they almost universally recommend that you eat some of the unhealthy foods that you enjoy, so that you stay on the diet. Sometimes choosing to lose a battle can help you win the war.

    As Jon mentioned above, Red Sox games are typically a lot more – probably about twice of what I paid for all three games in Boston. Since they come out to Oakland once a year, it fits well within my usual baseball expenses. Considering that my other entertainment costs are kept very low for my income, it should not be a problem.

    Additionally the money spent on a travel computer can actually be thought of as an investment. This site makes me money and being able to update it and keep in touch with readers and advertisers on the road should end up paying off in the long haul.

  7. Minimum Wage says:

    There is no “Fun” basket in my budget; I earn minimum wage and have student loan debt. In fact, I have worked for 30 years and have never had a vacation.

  8. Lazy Man says:

    MW: I recommend working to increase your income above minimum wage.

  9. Darius says:

    Good luck with your saving. I stared such a program less than a year ago and it can get hard at times.

    It is all about finding a balance between spending and saving. I believe that nobody should go without vacationing. What is the point of living if all what you do is work? I know some people get their kicks out of work (I enjoy what I do a lot, too) but there should be a limit.

    Minimum Wage, I agree with Lazy Boy [editor: Lazy Boy is trademarked name not affiliated with this site ;-)]. There are a bunch of good sites out there that can help you work towards an income increase. You can start with basic research and see what the market for your type of job is (a good place for this is salary.com – if you are willing to put up with their ads).

  10. Roberta says:

    I wish I could start a reasonable savings plan. I can’t save two nickels to rub together. I’m trying working longer hours for overtime pay to see if that’ll help. Hopefully it will before it kills me.

  11. Minimum Wage says:

    I am a boomer with nothing which could be considered “career-related” experience. Employers don’t hire inexperienced people my age for “good” jobs. I don’t expect there is a better job in my future.

  12. How did you get red sox ticekts for only $30! That’s a steal, was it out west? Darn I didn’t think Fenway had tickets that cheap.

  13. I don’t think that’s really material. We work for food, shelter, clothing AND entertainment. If your budget were perfect, there would be no need for us to oogle.

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