Can Financial Change Be Spurred By Gchat Conversations? (A Study)
by Logan Sachon and Lauren Rodrigue
Lauren Rodrigue and I gchat sometimes during the day. We gchat a lot about having no money. We gchat about wanting things, but being unable to buy those things, because of no money.
I reread all of our chats from the past six months to see if I could find any growth. Are we getting smarter? Are we getting less whiny? Are we messing up less? I found that we have not yet progressed to talking about Excel spreadsheets and tax law (NEVER), but I think we’re moving in that general direction. Kind of.
Lauren: Have you looked at Ruche.com
Logan: I don’t do that. I don’t do online shopping.
Lauren: Oh sorry. Oh my god. I am so sorry. For ever even suggesting.
Logan:: It just doesn’t work for my lifestyle. I am an emotional shopper. If I want to buy a new dress, I want it NOW, not in 5 to 7 business days.
Lauren: I don’t usually buy things online, I just look at shopping sites like how some people read magazines. Well I also read magazines. But I like to browse stores’ websites and think about the clothes and how I’d wear them. I usually get inspired to go change my outfit or to go find something new to buy anything anything anything I can possibly exchange money for. To me online shopping is like a thought exercise for actual shopping.
Logan: I don’t do that. I just take myself out to dinner every time I feel sad.
Logan: I keep thinking about this beaded halter top I saw in this vintage store. It was so pretty. I would never wear it. But it reminded me of my first prom dress. It was black and grey and beaded. I don’t think I have ever or will ever look as pretty. It would be nice to have this shirt to remember that.
Lauren: I’d support that. Sounds Stevie Nicks-y.
Logan: Wrong answer. You’re supposed to say, let it go.
Lauren:. Let it go. I spent 60 bucks on dinner last night. Who am I? A Kardashian? Why do I let my friends with mad cash GLAMOUR me into doing shit like that? I would’ve never gone to that place, gotten 500 food items and ordered $15 drinks, if it were not for them.
Logan: Well that is fun sometimes. It is fun to get drunk and pretend you have money.
Lauren: I know I just feel guilty. Who spends 60 bucks on dinner and is my level of broke.
Logan: I do that all the time. Not all the time. But sometimes. Often. It happens.
Lauren: I feel bad. My parents never spend $60 on dinner. Ever.
Logan: Guilt is the most useless emotion. Also your parents spend money on things you would never spend money on. You are not the same.
Lauren: Like stainless steel appliances. Organic dog treats for Cleo. People can eat those, that’s how fancy they are.
Logan: “Life insurance.” “Paper towels.”
Lauren: I wanted to get life insurance, but then realized I had no idea how to do that or what to ask for.
Lauren: Oh duh. If I die my parents have to pay everything that I took out in loans. It seems wrong. To make them do that. When they obviously will be really suicidal that I’m dead. You know?
Lauren: Isn’t it weird how insurance companies ask if you smoke? Like who is gonna say yes? YES I SMOKE, CHARGE ME MORE PLZ.
Logan: I think they ask that so that when they find out you lied they don’t have to pay out. Pay up. Pay out. I think they want you to lie.
Logan: I have 60 dollars. That has to last me a month.
Lauren: I have about that. Maybe a little less but get paid tomorrow and Friday.
Logan: What is like to be rich, tell me.
Lauren: We make similar money stop being CRAY
Logan: Do you roll around in piles of money? Do you use rolled up 20 dollar bills as tampons?
Lauren: I AM NOT RICH. WE ARE SAME. I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you. Except my pants are made of rolled-up 20s like you said. And then I spend 60 dollars on FOOD. My tampons are made of gold.
Logan: Somehow (“somehow”) I overdrew my account but I had an internet emergency and so I’m in a Pret and I had to lie get the internet passcode (“cilantro”). I said I was waiting for my friend and then I would buy something. Lies. I am a liar.
Lauren: When do you get paid? Some people can’t eat cilantro bc their mouths think it tastes like soap.
Logan: Some day. Some time. Who knows. Our cheques get MAILED. Like in the olden days. And then I have to take it to a bank, like in the 1800’s.
Lauren: I just found out I am past due on a loan. That has never happened. I am FREAKING OUT. I’VE NEVER DONE THAT. WHY. Why did I do this How did I do this. I will never pay them off. I WILL NEVER PAY THEM OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.
Logan: That might be true. I don’t know if it is. But it might be.
Lauren: I PAY EVERY MONTH AND THE $ GOES INTO ETHER IT GOES NOWHERE. I AM 60K IN DEBT AND I’M CHIPPING AWAY CHIPPING.
Logan: Some people say there is going to have to be massive debt forgiveness, in order for the world to work. So that might happen.
Lauren: I just think it’s funny, that as a taxpayer, it’s my responsibility to help the government get out of a debt that I really didn’t put them in since I didn’t ask to go hang out in Afghanistan for like 8 years BUT they are very mean to me about the debt I AM IN personally and they will not help ME pay it.
Lauren: I got a $10 coupon for Steve Madden today. Should I spend it real quick? Or pretend it doesn’t exist?
Logan: Not worth it. Ten dollars is nothing. Unless there is something you’re sweating there that you know you were going to buy anyway.
Lauren: Well duh there is of course there is. Boots covered in studs! And ten dollars is more than ten percent off! It’s like someone coming up to you and saying here’s 1 ten dollar bill, go crazy on shoes today!
Logan: Ten percent is nothing.
Lauren: Bad news for me today, I’m glad you’re here.
Lauren: Cushy freelance gig let me go due to budget cuts. 1/3 of my income just disappeared.
Logan: I’m sorry that happened to you.
Lauren: Yes v bad.
Logan: But you are a hustler and you will find something else I know this.
Lauren: I’m just bummed as hell. It was nice to know I was getting that paycheck every Thursday no matter what. It’s like I’ve been on a vacation for the past year. A $ vacation. Blue skies, fake eyelashes whenever I want.
Logan: You can play austerity, like me.
Lauren: I want to be a rich person. I can’t even afford concealer. I have a zit and I can’t afford concealer.
Logan: This is a problem with a solution. Go to Sephora. Ask for a sample.
Logan: It’s actually the only time it’s safe to go in Sephora, when you have no money.
Lauren: We’re too broke to get a drink right?
Lauren: Okay forget I said anything
Logan: So I’ve discovered that one good effect of not having money is that I have no urge to buy anything because if I only have one purchase, I want to make that purchase COUNT.
Lauren: Yes. I am in a similar place now. I haven’t bought a new fashion in like over a month. Not a single new fashion. Actually that isn’t true. I bought 1 pair of jeans on Friday but that is a necessity.
Logan: Girl that sounds like an EXCUSE, and I know because I’ve made that excuse before .”Oh this face cream doesn’t count because it’s practically MEDICINE for my FACE.”
Lauren: I want things all the GODDAMN TIME. ALWAYS. I hate it. I wish I could take a pill to make me want things less.
Logan:: One way to do it, is to stop looking at things you want. Get off of fashion blogs. I found that I am sadder when I look at Pinterest, so now I don’t look at Pinterest. Too many things to covet.
Lauren:: Omg I know. I know for sure that is my #1 prob; all the emails I get about clothes, and all the tumblr stuff, and the blogs.
Logan:: Yeah you need to cut that out. It is torture. You are torturing yourself.
Lauren: I know. But it also makes me feel happy. Happy and anxious and then depressed. LIKE DRUGS.
Logan: Ok look if you were on heroin and had to stop doing heroin it wouldn’t really help you if you got emails everyday with pictures of huge piles of heroin.
Lauren: So my new budget allows me ~~40/day, give or take, so if I don’t spend at all on one or two or three days, i can spend 40 or 80 or 120 on clothes. Which is a lot! but that doesn’t factor in groceries, or the money I blow on junk like tweezers and cookies or strange bills that pop up out of nowhere or my mom’s birthday gift (April 28). So maybe I can’t buy clothes.
Logan: I feel like these numbers you have in your head are not true numbers.
Logan: Because I have successfully not spent money on anything except necessities in two weeks and am now an expert, I’m going to give you some advice. It is my opinion that you must get an idea of the money you have after paying all your bills and then take what you’re gonna let yourself spend, or what you have to spend, in cash. That has been a huge thing for me. It’s so much harder to spend cash. Unless you’re drunk. Then it’s easy, which is why I’m recommending part two of my plan: Don’t leave the house, and if you do, don’t drink.
Because: If you’re not drunk and you have cash, going to Forever 21 with $100 in cash is so easy and totally painless and actually even a little bit boring! Because you’re not going to buy anything probably! You will not want to turn over any of your cash to Foerver 21. I guarantee it.
Lauren: Totally youre so right. So true. I’m a monster. I am a spending monster.
Lauren: But I would buy something though at Forever21, with 100 bucks in my pocket. One thing at least. Probably a ~blouse~.
Logan: I told you not to look at blogs, and to test that theory that I already knew was true, I went on some blogs. And now I am feeling like I want a lot of things that I don’t have and that makes me feel sad. This blog makes me so sad to look at. Her life is so perfect, and she has wonderful things and clothes and a good apartment (or maybe it’s a HOUSE?!) and goes out to eat all the time and her life is so perfect and I just read this and turn GREEN with ENVY.
Lauren: Oh I’ve been off blogs all day and I feel great! I don’t want anything! Maybe some ramen. And this thing from Sephora that’s called “Lip Tar” or something? It’s like concrete for your lips. I also want that.
Logan: Okay I just closed out of all blogs. All Pinterest. All aspirational instagram feeds. I feel better already, really.
Logan: And don’t buy lip tar that sounds stupid. You have one thousand lip products already don’t need one more.
Lauren: But I don’t have lip tar? And that’s really different.
Lauren: Can I buy more shoes today or maybe a new clothing item?
Lauren: WHY NOT
Lauren: Because you just bought new boots. You should still be high off new boots.
Lauren: I want to keep buying things. Like every week 1 new thing.
Logan: You remind me of me when I was a younger person.
Logan: Like, four months ago.
Support The Billfold