Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Afraid to Spend?

I have a strange problem. In 2007, I was given a $25 gift certificate to FYE, an online/brick-and-mortar entertainment media store that's membership based but also open to the public (without the membership discount). I haven't spent the $25 since I don't know what to buy.

I'm not particularly interested in any music album right now. None of the artists really grab my attention. (The decision would be so much easier if I was a tweenager swooning over Joe Jonas. *Sigh*) I also hate buying an entire album since more often than not, I'll only like 30% of the songs and the rest I'll be indifferent. I prefer buying my music one song at a time on iTunes. It may not be cost effective, but atleast I'm limiting my purchase to music I actually like.

And movie DVDs? Hmmm... I can't think of any movies I'd really like to own. I recall reading how this one guy used to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars buying DVDs. I wonder how often this guy watched the purchased DVDs? I bet not often.

I think the real problem here is not that I have nothing to buy. After all, most DVDs are priced under $25. I think the real problem is that I'm afraid to spend the $25; I'm afraid that I'm not going to maximize the utility and enjoyment out of this $25. If the gift was $25 in cash, I wouldn't be having this pointless internal debate - I'd put it in my savings account, put it in my Roth or buy Treasury Bonds with it.

I just can't believe I'm spending so much time over something so trivial. More worrisome is that perhaps I have become so miserly that I can't enjoy spending "found money" on something uselessly entertaining. That's a bad sign.

I'm just going to suck it up and spend it once and for all. For the past few weeks, I've been slowly watching a short-lived dramedy from 2004 called Wonderfalls on YouTube. It's a quirky and cute story based in Niagara Falls about a slacker Gen Y gal who is over-educated, under-employed and has a juvenile fear of personal relationships. Her life takes a positive, yet wacky, turn when inanimate objects with animal faces start talking to her and giving her vague orders to do things. (Oh. And the character's love interest is really cute. I can see that I'm already going down the path of cougardom.)

I'm feeling a bit guilty for watching something that may or may not be authorized. I'll atone by buying the DVD of the series' one and only season. And lucky me - it's right within my price range.


MrsSmith said...

Do you ever work out at home? Because you could definitely get your money's worth in a workout DVD if you do. Maybe use it to try something new that you don't want to do in front of other people?

Or a holiday movie? Those definitely get watched more than once!

I'm not knocking your choice- just giving some other suggestions.

Matt said...

Using the certificate now would be a good idea, from what I understand FYE is closing stores at a pretty rapid clip. The one near me was shut down a couple months ago.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

i say go out and spend that money, all of it, and have a blast doing so!

Frudoc said...

I resolved the gift card issue by giving cash. When I get a gift card to a place I don't frequent (rare) I use it to buy gifts for other people. For ex, if you really didn't have anything to buy at FYE, you could have used the $25 for the gift your your assistant rather than shelling out cash for those snacks.

jpkittie said...

oh no!!! That is no good when you cannot enjoy spending it!!!! My problem would have been spending too much & having to add to it! haha

Shtinkykat said...

@ MrsSmith: The exercise DVD will definitely never see the inside of a DVD player with me, ha ha. But the holiday movie suggestion is great. Dang it. I wish I waited for suggestions before I purchased!

@ Matt: I figured FYE wouldn't stay in business much longer. Thanks for the 411.

@ Ms. MoneyChat: Thanks, I did!

@ Frudoc: Will you be my friend??

@ jpkittie: That is always a danger with gift cards. But I always try to reign it in though. Sometimes I'm successful, other times not. :-P