It’s that time of year again when everyone seems to be pulling out their wallets to buy presents and decorations meant to help the holidays “jingle” a little more. As I pondered my annual Top 10 list, it got me thinking about what we normally spend our hard-earned cash on, both good and bad, so I divided my Top 10 into two Top Fives.
Top Five Things People Spend Too Much Money On
1. Video games for the kids. What happened to bicycles, tree houses and baseball gloves? I remember playing outside until the street lamps came on. Nowadays, our obese children sit in front of the glow of a television learning how to steal cars and snipe people. And with Xbox releasing new editions as often as most kids change their underwear, keeping up can be as expensive as a good private school tuition.
2. T-shirts. Seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without buying a T-shirt. Concerts, tourist traps, restaurants, bars, even chain clothing stores all have some clever slogan that you’ve just gotta have, such as “Seen Rock City.”
3. Fast food. I don’t know if it’s the higher cost of ingredients or what, but fast food combo meals are now just as expensive as a dish at a locally owned casual eatery. If it’s $6 for Chili Pups or the same for a Mojo Burrito, I’m headed for the border.
4. Movie theaters. Ticket prices have always been outrageous, but now that a single ticket costs about the same as the upcoming DVD, it’s just not economical anymore. With the $2 surcharge for 3D movies, $6 popcorn and $4 Cokes, a movie date costs about the same as a fancy dinner at St. John’s—and doesn’t taste nearly as good.
5) Tattoos. Not to dis some of my closest friends (forgive me guys), but why is it a lot of people you see with multiple tattoos look as if they should be spending that money on something else? A new shirt, college, groceries, child support, a haircut—whatever. Like Cheetos, one tattoo never seems to be enough, and I believe it.
On the flip side, there are some things people need to purchase more. Here’s my list:
Top Five Things People Don’t Spend Enough Money On
1. Vacations. Employers give time off for reason—so you can go somewhere exotic (even Florida), relax and re-energize your mind for the next six months of bullshit at work. People hoard vacation days and carry them over, never using them or cashing them in at the end of the year. I think employers should make it mandatory for employees to remove themselves from the premises for two whole weeks per year (or else lose their jobs).
2. Massages. They say that daily stress causes muscle pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back. The cure? A regular massage. I think that health plans should cover up to 12 massages per year as preventive medicine. Getting a massage shouldn’t be a luxury, but a necessity. Treat yourself to one and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
3. Flowers. Guys, they’re not just for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries any more. In fact, you’ll find that a random $25 fresh bouquet from a local florist (no FTD crap) hand delivered by you is one of the most romantic things you can do for your lady—whether she says she likes flowers or not. It really does entice her to do those little things she hasn’t done in a while and is a lot cheaper (and more thoughtful) than dinner at a fancy restaurant.
4. Gasoline. It annoys me that people complain so much about paying $3 for a gallon of gas—especially when those same people think nothing of paying $1 or more for 12 ounces of purified water. Europeans have been paying an average of $5 for a liter of gas since the 1980s. If you think you’re spending too much money on gas, then quit bragging about how much “more house” you’ve got out in Ooltewah—20 miles from everywhere you work and play—and move closer in.
5. Locally made and sold products. We should support our locally owned retailers, restaurants and craftsmen more than we do boring old chain offerings. These business owners not only deliver more unique and better quality goods and services, but they’re your neighbors as well. Keep your cash in Chattanooga.
Well, there you have it. My two Top Fives for a Top Ten list for 2011. I hope everyone survived the hectic holiday season and is ready to take on 2012 with everything you’ve got. Happy New Year!
seems to be pulling out their wallets to buy presents and decorations meant to help the holidays “jingle” a little more. As I pondered my annual Top 10 list, it got me thinking about what we normally spend our hard-earned cash on, both good and bad, so I divided my Top 10 into two Top Fives.
Chuck Crowder is a local writer and general man about town. His opinions are just that. Everything expressed is loosely based on fact and crap he hears people talking about. Take what you read with a grain of salt, but let it pepper your thoughts.