Reality Cheque

First things first, I’m a realist. A ridiculously painful realist, according to my girlfriend. They say opposites attract, but they failed to mention that they also have a tendency to annoy the crap out of each other. You see, my girlfriend, of course, is not a realist. Instead she has an unrelenting habit of swinging wildly between being an unbridled optimist and a hopeless pessimist. This combination makes for highly engaging discussions, or as I call them, lengthy arguments.

These vastly differing views are most easily recognised during certain topics, most recently during a conversation in which the subject of ‘Holidays’ was brought up.

You see, every now and then I come home to find that my girlfriend has decided that we should take a holiday. Ok, fair enough, reasonable so far.

Most of the time I suspect in the moments prior to this revelation she has scrolled through her Facebook page, saw that someone else was on holiday somewhere beautiful and her mind has kind of run away with that. Ok, fine, no dramas.

However, the conversation then usually takes place as follows:

pessimismMe:
I tentatively ask where she has in mind to visit, knowing it will most likely not be anywhere cost-effective or even accessible by car.

Her:
She replies with a suggestion of the furthest away place imaginable on the planet.

Me:
I tell her that she clearly has not thought about the costs and the fact that neither she nor I can afford to do that right now and I ask if she is refering to the distant future.

Her:
She ignores me and begins Googling flight times and prices for the end of the month.

Me:
I ask her how long she intends our holiday to be so I can calculate how many months of savings it would take to before we had sufficient funds.

Her:
She answers with an amount of time that doesn’t end in the word ‘days’.

Me:
I recommend that by shortening the duration we would be able to get there sooner.

Her:
She shows me images of must-see places that she has only just now heard of and says not to worry about the funds, as they will figure themselves out.

optimism

Me:
I make the mistake of mentioning ‘next year’.

Her:
She accuses me of both not listening to her and also not taking her suggestions seriously.

Me:
I listen carefully as she repeats her idea and timeframe and I tell her that she can’t be serious.

Her:
She starts to say ‘What’s the point?’ at lot and throws herself dramatically on the bed.

Me:
I make the mistake of mentioning the word ‘camping’.

Her:
She looks at me with horror, as if I just admitted to having raging long-term affair.

Me:
I assure her that despite my objections I want to go on a holiday too.

Her:
She says that if I really cared about her I would have already suprised her by booking this holiday that she has suddenly decided she wants.

Me:
My logic goes into overdrive and I am literally speechless.

Her:
She cries and says I have abandoned her in her time of need.

Me:
I eventually warm to her idea of an overseas holiday, but I insist that we need to have adequate time before it to prepare and save.

Her:
She immediately perks up and happily busies herself researching accomodation well beyond our means. The dates she types in also happen to be much earlier than my suggestion.

Me:
I check my bank balance.

Her:
She asks if she can borrow some money.

Me:
I self-combust.

— End Scene —

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A Tight-Arse Guide To Living

Sometimes the best things in life are free. But most of the time shit is expensive.
For this reason, this guide has been created.

poor

How to become less poor*:

Sometimes when life is treating you right, you can come across a public toilet or venue that does not securely store their toilet supplies. Toilet paper rolls can easily be stashed in a large bag and will keep your costs down.
I also find that wearing a safety hi-visibility vest allows you to walk into many storage closets to take necessary items without much notice from others.

Stealing other people’s lunches from the communal fridge at work is a classic. (Or at least bits of each of them so no one catches on.) I find that storing a container with your own name on it in the fridge makes people less likely to suspect you as the culprit and also provides you with a bowl for your treasured finds.

Most communal fridges also contain a 2 litre bottle of milk. By pouring the milk into your large non-see-through drink bottle before you leave, you are ready for tomorrow’s breakfast without any fuss.

5dollar

On a night out in the town I like to offer to go order the drinks when in a group. People will hand you over money and their order and are usually not surprised when you hand back so little change as alcohol prices can be ridiculous.

I also often like to be the designated driver. However, asking people for petrol money can be embarrassing sometimes. After all, no one wants to appear cheap. I find that waiting until you take the drunken masses back home usually results in more generous offers. If you have more than one group of friends, you can usually make extra cash by being a driver on Friday night with one lot and Saturday with the others.

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Public libraries can be an invaluable source of free internet, DVDs and funny smells. During the Christmas period, I like to delicately cut out a few pages from a number of books. This creates funky, kitsch wrapping paper for any shitty re-gifted presents I give out. By only selecting non-vital pages like a contents page or blank pages at the back, and using a sharp blade to conceal any tampering, no one is likely to report any faults with the book.

Also at Christmas I like to send my friends and family cards in envelopes with a fake name and address on the front and their real address on the back. Without a stamp attached, it eventually gets delivered to them via the ‘return to sender’ procedure.

spend

And of course lastly, who can forget the wonderful free-for-all that is a common house party. Arrive with nothing; move a few drinks to a different location and write your name on the packaging as if they are yours. Take the pen you wrote it with. Discreetly stash some cutlery. Eat the food and take some with you. Add your name on a card before you leave if there are unopened gifts for the host’s birthday, etc. Take the batteries out of the TV remote. Swipe the soap from the bathroom. Feel what it is like the live like the other half.

*By using this guide you could literally save hundreds of cents each year and all it will cost you is your basic sense of decency.