Moment of Weakness: I Charged over $1k this Weekend

Moment of Weakness: I Charged over $1k this Weekend

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Killer Shopping CartThat’s right. I went back to my old ways this past weekend.

I blew through $1015.88 from Friday to Sunday — and I used a credit card to finance it all.

Things got off to a great start — I planned to finally clean out the basement this weekend, and along with some help from a 1 gallon jug of Mr. Clean, the basement (as well as the house) smells lemony-fresh inside.

Quite an improvement from the sewage odor we’d been, ahem, dealing with for the past couple of months.

And then came the spending binge…

Friday morning, I blew $111 on for some tickets to a show my wife and I are planning to attend while we’re on vacation. Eh, not too bad…

After work, my wife and I went to our nearest strip of big box stores — BestBuy, Circuit City, and Sam’s Club. Now, we’d planned to “stimulate the economy” by picking up a computer for my wife, and that’s just what we did…

We selected the Compaq AMD Athlon SR5421F at Sam’s Club which set us back $399.

Every CPU I’ve ever purchased has been Intel-based, so this was my first foray into the competitors market. I’ve also never been a fan of Compaq, but now that they’re one with Hewlett-Packard, well, how bad can it be, right?

It is a Vista machine, it has enough RAM to run properly, and best of all, the price was right. I couldn’t justify spending twice that on a machine that would probably work just the same… After getting it all set-up, I just might go back and replace my current machine as well.

Odd, after nearly a decade of spending in excess $1500 per CPU, I’m now happy with the $399 version…from, well, basically Walmart. Right now, her PC easily blows the rest of our computers out of the water — performance-wise. The hard drive is a little light, but we’ve got an external RAID on our home network to make up for any shortcomings.

In addition to the computer, who can go to Sam’s and not add a few “extras” to the cart? Total bill at Sam’s Club was $472.85. Ouch.

While at all three stores, we also priced out the little GPS units you see in so many people’s cars these days. The TomTom, the Garmin, and the Magellan. I don’t really want one of these because I somewhat enjoy getting lost, but at the same time, with our big vacation coming up (and my wife’s iffy map-reading skills), I thought it might be a good idea to pick one up.

Not really so much for the directions (the main feature of the device), but more for the little “Points of Interest” they list along the routes chosen.

Some of the most memorable things we’ve done on vacation have been at roadside attractions — this vacation, I don’t want to stumble upon them by accident — I’d rather hit them on purpose.

So after playing with them all at the store on Friday night, and writing down some prices, I did some research on them on Saturday. I was set on the Garmin models. They won out over the TomTom models because they included Canada in their built-in maps. The Magellan models were far too expensive for me.

The two models I was comparing were the Garmin Nuvi 260 and the Garmin Nuvi 350. The Nuvi 350 model cost a fraction more, and boasted lots of additional features — mainly being able to play mp3’s, give traffic advice (for an additional monthly fee), and it was also bluetooth enabled.

Okay, three things I have absolutely zero interest in or use for. The decision was made. I was going to purchase the Garmin Nuvi 260 for $221.49 from Amazon.

Now, just like any other wireless electronic, they nail you with having to purchase a lot of extras. Added to the unit, I bought a dashboard friction mount so I don’t have to use the ugly suction cup thing in the car.

In addition, and since I was spending money like it was going out of style, I upgraded our version of Microsoft Office to load on to my wife’s new computer. The Home & Student Version set me back an additional $97.99.

Saturday night, my wife wasn’t feeling well and asked me to go to the grocery store. It was a tough mission since I usually don’t do much other than look at people when in the grocery store.

The list included Gatorade, CocaCola, and cherries. Total damage was $18.51. I charged it because I don’t carry cash. D’oh?!

To finish off the weekend, on Sunday, I won an eBay auction for a game worn hockey jersey. It was only $52.00, and the shipping was another $7. Not too bad, but still, after the huge expenditures of the previous days, I should have held back.

In the end, here’s what the weekend’s final tally looked like:

$ 111.00   Tickets to show -

$ 399.00   Compaq SR5421F - Sam's Club
$  25.39   Tide Detergent - Sam's Club
$  13.54   Kingsford Charcoal - Sam's Club
$   5.18   RealLemon Lemon Juice - Sam's Club
$   4.28   Cocktail Croissants - Sam's Club
$  25.46   Sales Tax - Sam's Club

$ 221.49   Garmin Nuvi 260 -
$  27.29   Garmin Friction Mount -
$  97.99   MS Office Home & Student -
$   7.75   Shipping -

$   8.27   Cherries - Stop & Shop
$   4.99   Orange Gatorade - Stop & Shop
$   4.99   Coca-Cola - Stop & Shop
$   0.26   Sales Tax - Stop & Shop

$  52.00   Game Worn Hockey Jersey -
$   7.00   Shipping -

$1015.88   TOTAL

On the bright side, though I went back and used a credit card, I did it wisely this time. I charged all of them on a card with rewards (ooooooh!) and at the perfect time of the month to give me nearly a 40-day grace period.

In the end, no worries, I’ll pay it off in full before any finance charges come my way, but this could certainly negatively impact this month’s net worth numbers.


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