It’s time to make
cents sense of a single’s expenses
I glance at the amount of my latest credit card statement and gasp. I’m single, and I live with my parents. I hold down a good job. I don’t pay for rent or groceries. But instead of squirreling away my hard-earned money, my monthly credit card bill eats half my salary each month. It’s time to make
cents sense of a single’s expenses.
Do the math. The number of times you can wear a pair of stockings before a run snakes sneakily down your calf (be forewarned: this usually happens on a date) multiplied by the days of the week equals a whole lot of pairs of stockings.
When I went to the store right after Purim, I expected that $80 or so would buy me around 20 pairs, enough to tide me over through at least the week of Pesach and hopefully a couple weeks after. I left the store with a receipt for $100.97, 18 pairs of stockings, and a prayer on my lips that they last me at least half the season.
My friends are getting engaged and married at an increasingly high speed, which necessitates frequent trips to the dollar store. (For the uninitiated, it’s customary to decorate engaged friends’ rooms as soon as the news is official; fortunately for me, my friends are thrilled with dollar-store decorations.) Absurdly enough, though, dollar-store items are no longer a dollar. At $1.25 apiece and five cents a bag, the bill racks up faster than you can blink.
AKA chocolate. It’s an absolute must after a confusing date, a bad date, or a very bad date. Also after a date you thought went well, but the boy said no. It’s also necessary after three months with no dates, the engagement of a close friend, and every single meeting with a shadchan. So yeah, the chocolate bar bill adds up pretty fast.
Iced coffee isn’t for self-care; it’s for safety. When you live out of town, and the majority of bochurim in the world reside in the Irv, travel becomes an integral part of dating. Hence, driving many hours late at night. Hence, iced coffees. ’Nuff said.
After all that chocolate and iced coffee, you’ll need a gym membership. Don’t feel bad; it also happens to be a great place to network and let the world know you exist — ya never know, the lady on the treadmill next to you just may be your future mother-in-law.
You scheduled the doctor’s appointment a year and a half ago, and it falls out on the day of a first date. (First date, but also first in five months.) In all the excitement, the appointment slips your mind, until you’re presented with the cancellation fee. Then there’s the dentist’s appointment you missed because of the second date, scheduled less than 24 hours before the appointment. The eye doctor requires 48-whole-hours’ notice to cancel. Commitments that cost money are a no-go for daters, and I vote for a free date-cancellation policy. (Also, HIPAA. No need to fear that everyone will know you’re dating.)
Clothing and Shoes
For first dates, second dates, third dates, chilled dates, intense dates, if you get engaged, if you almost get engaged, if you wish you were engaged. You may also feel the need to buy a vort dress every season as a segulah.
It’s true I don’t buy groceries or pay rent, but the future chicken feeding my future husband is getting pricier by the minute. Add in eggs, lots and lots of chocolate chips (I am the type of future wife who will bake fresh chocolate chip cookies every evening), and all other grocery items whose prices are skyrocketing, and my future credit card bill is really sky-high.
The Good News?
Im yirtzeh Hashem very soon I’ll be the one whose room is decorated with dollar-store decorations that don’t cost a dollar, and I’ll get to start paying groceries and rent, too!
When that happens, I’ll use this excellent tip from my married friend: Go vegan. Suppers can be rice, beans, lentils — all super, super cheap. And vegan chocolate chip cookies use chickpea water in place of eggs, making them basically free! More money to spend on stockings.
(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 851)
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