Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

AMEX kickback comes through, and surprises

Nice timing for the annual AMEX credit-card kickback. This year it’s $210, which will almost make up for this month’s furlough gouges. One of our clients owes us $1,100, which hasn’t been forthcoming, but if and when that ever shows up, my half of the net plus the American Express rebate should carry me through the first three periods of reduced pay.

So far, I haven’t gotten any static from American Express, despite reports of questionable practices from those quarters. I did use the card at a Walmart before I’d heard of AMEX’s data mining schemes, but so far they have not cut my credit line. Possibly that’s because it’s a Costco card. It’s unlikely that AMEX would risk alienating a major client by slashing its customers’ credit.

Hm. I’ve spent an incredible amount of money with this thing over the past year: $18,717. Of that, $1,187 went to gasoline, $448 to eating out (really??), and $14.75 to “traveling” (huh? I haven’t “traveled” in years). “Everywhere Else” racked up a total of $15,742.

Oh, this gets better: a Quicken category report suggests I spent $578 eating out! The $14.75 was for lunch in Prescott, when I drove an out-of-state friend up there, not exactly “traveling,” IMHO. Lordie! Who would think I’ve spent that much in restaurants? I try to stay out of them, and generally restrict eating out to twice a month, max—and for lunch, never for dinner.

Eating lunch out is pretty much out of the question during the week, because the on-campus chow lines sell nothing but junk food, which I don’t eat. There are only a couple of decent places to eat within walking distance of the campus, and one of them is very expensive. So, I usually go hungry over the lunch hour, since we have no refrigerator and no place except the public toilet to rinse out dirty dishes.

Surprising. I’ll have to get a grip on that!

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Author: funny

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2 Comments

  1. I am a die-hard brown bagger (although it’s technically a bright green one of these http://www.builtny.com/showPage.php?pageID=1570). I’ll also add up front that my 26 year old self tends to eat like a feral toddler when left unattended.

    The key is to develop a bunch of components that you like so you don’t fall into a rut. I can eat the exact same thing for lunch for about 4 months but at a certain point I just start suddenly hating everything and going hungry. And then there’s an unpleasant week while I try to come up with something new. I’m sensing an impending end to my current lunch mix so I think I’m gonna try something like the burritos Trent over at The Simple Dollar suggested, but sans egg and with rice so I can keep them unrefrigerated.

    Also, Lara Bars. They’re pricey but they’re the most compact real food bar I’ve found.

  2. There are lots of foods that don’t need refrigeration. When I was in high school, many people brown-bagged because waiting in line would have taken the entire lunch period, and we didn’t have access to refrigerators, microwaves, or decent sinks.