Breaking down the bank
By Brecken Mumford | Echo
It’s been a few weeks since spring break, and what a few weeks they have been. I hope you find space to rest and recharge as we press ahead toward Easter.
I spent my spring break in Orlando visiting Disney World and Universal Studios, and let me tell you, I spent way too much money. Now, I budgeted for this trip, and despite getting into the Disney parks for free for two days, Mickey Mouse likes to make a profit.
Every time I handed my debit card to the cashier or gave them a dollar bill, I inwardly cringed. “It’s fine,” I would tell myself. “You budgeted for this—you’re on vacation, so just be smart.” Well, a couple of souvenir pins, a cool R2-D2/C-3PO bag and a nerdy Hufflepuff sweatshirt added up quickly—not to mention all the meals I bought throughout the week.
It frustrates me to know the lack of self-control I exhibited was so blatantly obvious. I fell into almost every souvenir trap. Yes, I was on vacation; yes, I budgeted for this on my own, but that doesn’t fix the decrease my bank account experienced.
Coming back from spring break, I told myself, “No more frivolous spending! No more Jumping Bean, no Steak-n-Shake, no impulse buys at Wal-Mart.” Ha. I bought two drinks from the Bean the first day I was back. So much for budgeting. . .
I’m sure some of you may be in similar situations but still want to go out and have fun with your friends. At Taylor, sometimes it’s hard not to spend money when you hang out because we make Love’s runs, spend hours at Steak-n-Shake or IHOP or go to movies. While those things aren’t inherently expensive or bad, each purchase adds up.
Now, this won’t solve any major financial problems people have, but I have a fun suggestion to help spend time with friends that has little to no cost: board games.
I don’t know about you, but board and card games have always had a special place in my heart. Somewhere between middle school and now, I put them on the shelf and left them there.
Recently my love for board games has reappeared thanks to some of my friends. There are a ton of people on campus who have a variety of games; even some of the front desks have games you can check out. If there aren’t any on campus that you find interesting, why not split the cost between a few friends and invest in a game you can all play together?
Some of my favorites are: the Game of Life, Scattergories, Apples to Apples, Codename and card games like Kemps, Spoons (I take spoons very seriously) and apps like Heads Up and Psych!
Games are a fun way to stay entertained and make memories, along with creating great conversation starters. So, don’t be afraid to pitch in a few dollars with some friends to invest in a game or two—even one you’ve never played before. I promise it’s worth it.