moda vivendi

I'm just talking to myself. We do that sometimes, me and myself.


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How to justify anything

I’ve recently found myself in the need for a budget. Now, I’ve done this before, but not on a grand scale. During that first budget experience, I learned a valuable lesson: I can justify anything. Are you ready for this ground-breaking piece of information?

It’s called… Cost. Per. Use.

I have a friend I met Sophomore year in school who operated with this as well and we found great success with this model. Here’s what you do: buy something.

Now note the cost. Divide by how many times you think you’ll use it. If you purchased shoes, divide by two (because you have two of them). Done!

Here’s a real-world example. I was shopping with my friend in college (this was our first shopping trips together; after that, I knew we’d always be friends) when20130605-201315.jpg I spotted these cute gray ballet flats at the Gap. I thought they were marked down, but as fate would have it, they were full-priced shoes set on a sale shelf and the salesperson wouldn’t give me the sale price–isn’t that illegal?–but I liked them so I bought them anyway. They were $40. I figured I’d wear them until the weather changed; in State College, I either had 6 days or 26 days until that happened. To begin the CPU model, I assumed I’d wear them at least 10 times before said change occurred. So we’re down to $4 per wear. If you want to go even further, divide that by 2 (because there’s two of them) and we have $2 per wear. I can tell you that I’ve worn these shoes way more than 10 times; I purchased them in 2009 and still wear them, as you can tell by the state of the soles. I’d say I recouped my investment.

It’s a very useful tool if you don’t need something but really, really like something. This is especially useful for good quality products (“I’ll have have this for years”) or a fun splurge (“I’ll just wear this 50 times and then it’ll be $1 per wear”).

One exception: nail polish. Let’s say a bottle of polish costs $5. You have 10 fingers, so you’re already at $.50 per use. If you paint your toes too, and repeat this twice, you’re justified. At this point, you’re at a negative cost per use, so why bother figuring it out in the first place. Just buy the polish and look pretty.

Your guilt has been expunged. You’re welcome.


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18 things I want

I was inspired by this gem I found on Thought Catalog while at work browsing the internet the other day and knew I’d have to steal the idea.  So, I give you The List.  (Some of these are my own creation, others I liked so much from TC that I borrowed them, as noted with a *).

  1. Unlimited coffee*
  2. A dog that is exactly like Snoopy, who turns into Joe Cool and a Flying Ace, but then also who tells me about it, not just communicates with his bird-friend in thought bubbles and dashes.
  3. A 60s-inspired mod dress in the style of Suzy Bishop in “Moonrise Kingdom,” as it will make Halloween a lot less stressful once I know I have the right outfit.
  4. A Shazam app for smells*
  5. A white duck named Bob.
  6. Season tickets for the Pens.  Or partial season tickets.  Or just going to a few games this season.  Y’all know how excited I get, even if it’s just preseason.
  7. To feel like it’s okay to skip a workout and not have my body rebel against me.
  8. A job that I like.  Preferably a career that I like.  Shouldn’t we have the right to say, “This is what I want my life to be like, and I don’t want to be hiding under the covers every morning a la Bridget Jones, panicked and chain-smoking because it’s Monday and the work-day is approaching.”
  9. A partner.  Not someone who is better than me (so that I’m always trying to impress them) or worse than me (so I get complacent and think that they’ll never leave), but an equal.
  10. Ctrl + F (or Command + F because I’m a Mac nerd now) for my car keys*
  11. An arsenal of high heeled shoes that are cute AND comfy.  (Michael Kors knows his stuff, though, so this is on the way to being checked off.)
  12. Unlimited access to any book, any time.  (Like a nook, but for those days when I leave mine at home.)
  13. A TV crew to follow me around for a day.  Andy Warhol said that everyone should get their 15 minutes.
  14. To see friends who don’t leave near to me on a regular basis.  Same for family.
  15. Access to a beach.  Can we just blow up Jersey already?
  16. A back-up camera for those times when I’m stubborn and think I can carry everything into the house in one trip.  “Did I drop something important or just a water bottle?”
  17. Wine juice boxes.  Wait, they already have this one.
  18. To go back in time and meet Lucille Ball and Julia Child and all those other amazing women.
  19. World peace??*


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Things I will never own….

A succinct and incomplete list:

  • A minivan: even if Porsche designers have a brain aneurysm and suddenly come out with one, I will not own it.
  • Real Uggs: my fake ones are just as warm and comfy.  No need to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes that aren’t Manolos.
  • A sushi maker: too much hassle for something I don’t care for that much.  Though we did give my aunt one for her birthday this year and it does look cool…
  • One of those rat-dogs: if I wanted a rodent, I’d get another dwarf hamster.
  • A book written by Paris Hilton, the Kardashian sisters, or Snookie: isn’t the fact that they are published authors an indictment against the institution enough as it is?  No need to encourage them.
  • A Lindsay Lohan CD: oh…wait.  It was a long time ago.  And I borrowed it from a friend, I didn’t even buy it!