Money Talks, So Should You

Nerd on the Cheap: Adios, unemployment

Owen O'Riordan
by Owen O'Riordan , Dimespring 30 (@OwenJOR)

I recently landed a really cool job. After three months of looking and hoping, it finally happened. And the minute I got the offer letter, all I could think was, “What am I going to buy with my first paycheck?”

A week later, I still can’t decide. My Xbox has been broken for about a month and I’ve been wanting to finish Skyrim (I know, I take forever with video games). I can finally afford to buy comics weekly, but I still have a bunch that I haven’t read yet. Or maybe I’ll go out for a fancy dinner and over priced drinks? I can’t decide. Everything sounds so good.

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The hardest part is that I feel like I have to do something cool with my paycheck, but there is nothing that I really need. I just bought a computer a few months ago, my car is only a year old, and I have a ton of cool stuff to keep me entertained. So what more do I need to waste money on?

My conscience wants to save up for the more important things in life  like travel, food and beer. But is it necessary to treat myself? Do I deserve to go somewhere cool, buy something new or do something I’ve never done before?

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I was very lucky in my unemployment. My birthday fell in the middle of it and I had already planned a trip to Ireland and Spain when I was working. My dad and I share a love for beer, so my thirst for craft brews never went unquenched. And several of my friends were in similar situations, so we did things on the cheap.

But then I came to the realization that I don’t need to spend my money on myself. I should spend it on the people who helped me out most when I needed it. My parents, who told me that “just because you’re not working doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun.” My sister and brother-in-law, who took me out to bars and concerts and helped me pay when I couldn’t. And my girlfriend, who covered me on vacation a few times. I owe them much more than my first paycheck can provide.

Then again, there is that Death Star LEGO set that I’ve always wanted ...


Owen O'Riordan is 24 years old and constantly looking for work. He is a copywriter by day, nerd by night (most of day too). Owen is a member of the Dimespring 30, a community of bloggers sharing their thoughts, experiences and attitudes on personal finance.