As many of you know, I want an iPad very badly. I’ve been contemplating this purchase for months and finally started saving for one awhile back.
Yesterday I got my billing sheet from the second job, which shows how much I’ll be getting paid on my next check. Looking at it, I realized I’ll have the money to buy the iPad one week from today! I got excited and decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer. I would just move money out of my e-fund temporarily, get the iPad, and pay it back when I get paid. So I logged onto my bank account and moved the money before driving to the AT&T store.
When I was in the car, I kept hearing my dad’s voice in my head saying, Don’t spend it before you’ve got it. This is one piece of wisdom that always annoyed me, probably because it’s so true. I used to spend money in anticipation of a windfall – if I knew my tax return was supposed to be in my account on Friday, I’d spend money on Thursday. I charged up credit cards knowing I could pay them off with my excess student loans. For a long time, I was an expert on how long checks took to clear depending on where you wrote them – I would buy things before payday and pray the check wouldn’t come through too fast.
More often than not, doing things like that caused a lot of problems. Deposits didn’t clear in time or a check got delayed. I paid a lot of overdraft fees because I spent money before I had it in my hand. Yet there I was, planning to do it all over again yesterday.
I wish I could say I immediately turned the car around, but I’d be lying. I went to the AT&T store and proudly announced that I wanted an iPad, only to found out that they had none in stock. I went across the street to Best Buy. Also out of stock. I called every Walmart, Radio Shack, and Target within driving distance. Out of stock.
I drove home, pissed off because other people dared to purchase the item I’ve been waiting so long to own. I planned to order one directly from Apple as soon as I got home. And it occurred to me that maybe there is a reason I had so much trouble finding one. Maybe this is karma telling me not to spend this money. I started imagining what I would do if half my e-fund was gone and payroll forgot to process the billing from my second job (which happened this past payday). Or what if my washer and dryer quit working? I’d be stuck in the same situation I’ve been in for years – using credit to fix a problem instead of having money available. Which is the opposite of what I want for myself.
So I went home and moved the money back into my savings account. And felt pretty good about doing it, mainly because I could write a blog post about doing something responsible instead of screwing up.
I will have an iPad. Soon. But not until I can buy one without using money that is designated for something else.