My Last Hundred Bucks: Expectations vs Reality

$100! It is a lot of money, and yet, it is also not a lot of money at all. Where did your last hundred bucks go, Kevin Nguyen?

How I Thought I Spent My Last Hundred Bucks: 

$15 on happy hour drinks at an Irish pub near work. (I’m only now realizing that when someone says “but it has a good happy hour,” it really translates to “we probably shouldn’t go there.”)

$25 backing a Kickstarter campaign for an illustrated tribute to Metroid (which seems like exactly the kind of endearing, nerdy thing Kickstarter was built for)

$10 at a new bakery called Crumble and Flake for a chocolate croissant, scone, cream puff, and tummy ache

$9 for lunch at the cafeteria (I work at one of those big tech companies that has a cafeteria, but not one of those Google-type cafeterias where the food is free.)

$20 on a ticket to see Beach House in October

$6 to do laundry (In my building, to wash and dry is a criminal $2 per load, and I usually have to dry things twice.)

$8 for two slices of pepperoni pizza at a food truck

$2 for an iPhone/iPad game called OLO, which I still haven’t played

$5 to rent This Means War on Amazon Instant Video, apparently the price of seeing what would happen if McG directed The Bachelorette (I fell asleep halfway through.)

How I Actually Spent My Last Hundred Bucks: 

$23.71 on happy drinks (had two more drinks than I thought)

$35 backing a Kickstarter campaign (backed for more than I remembered)

$10.75 at a new bakery called Crumble and Flake

$8.21 for lunch at the cafeteria


$6 to do laundry

$10 for two slices of pepperoni pizza (forgot about the tip)

$2.18 for an iPhone game

$4.99 to rent This Means War

The Additional Hundred Bucks That I Didn’t Even Think About: 

$78.28 for utilities

$9.99 for an Rdio subscription

$8.75 for a Hulu Plus subscription

$20 for a New York Times digital subscription

$4.75 for coffee

What I Thought I Spent: $100
What I Actually Spent: $251.71


Kevin Nguyen is an editor at The Bygone Bureau. He also writes a monthly book column for Grantland and tweets from Seattle.


27 Comments / Post A Comment

bgprincipessa (#699)

Ooh, I loved this. Can we make everyone in these features do a comparison from now on? What you thought you spent your last $100 on vs. what your bank statement says?

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@bgprincipessa Agreed! I always find myself in these fantasy v. reality situations when it comes to money. Like this morning when I looked at my bank account and was all happy that there was $100 more there than I thought there’d be . . . until I remembered those checks I sent out Friday that haven’t cleared yet.

I do like the comparison! so depressing though.

Is this where we post what we spent this weekend? I was up north with my family which meant I spent no money, except for $18 on beer on Friday, most of which is still in my fridge.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@redheaded&crazy Jealous! I spent $45 on biking supplies (baselayers and a new helmet, all on sale), $50 on a train ticket to go see my family for Independence Day, $17 on new hair scissors so I could fix my bangs, $25 on brunch at the best waffle joint in town, $20 at the hardware store for nails and coat hooks, $10 on groceries to prepare a meal that made me feel sick, $4 on coffee that I couldn’t finish because I felt sick, $75 on bills that haven’t cleared my account yet, and I’m probably forgetting a bunch of stuff which is depressing so I’m going to stop now.

@MuffyStJohn ohhh shit your comment just reminded me that I spent $50 on gas to get up north and back.


there’s expectations vs reality for you

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@redheaded&crazy Is it showing up on your bank statement as $1 right now? I HATE THAT.

Megano! (#124)

@redheaded&crazy Oh man, I want to play! I don’t have the receipts so this is an estimate. I definitely inadvertantly spent more than $100 this weekend, but I am actually under budget this month!
I spent around $40 at Shoppers Drug Mart on a prescription, dry shampoo (which was more expensive than it looked like it was marked as, which always freaking happens at Shoppers) and a bag of chips.
$28 at La Senza on new underoos
$33 at EB Games on the HD Ico and Shadow of the Colossus game
$53 at on books. BOOKS!
$10 at KFC, which I put on my credit card because I forgot I had to put $20 on my laudry card to do laundry. Also I forgot that the chicken fingers at KFC are kind of gross.
OH and I missed one — I also spent $14 at Teaopia buying tea.
…this was all just on saturday.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@MuffyStJohn I hate that toooo. I also hate when people don’t CASH MY CHECKS (cough, landlord). I don’t want to even pretend I still have that money.

Megano! (#124)

@redheaded&crazy omg totally replied to this a couple of hours ago, and it ate my post! :(
Let’s just say I spent all of the money on Saturday. WTF NOW IT IS THERE!?

@Megano! I don’t understand it either! but it arrived in my inbox so I did see and read it! (I cannot see it now) (sometimes the person who posted it can see it but nobody else can)

Dancercise (#94)

$12.91 – lunch with a co-worker on Friday.
$8.61 – dinner with friends on Friday night.
$11.50 – Snow White and the Huntsman ticket on Saturday. We then sneaked into The Hunger Games, so… two for the price of one?
$16.00 – dinner after the movies.

Nothing on Sunday! Yay for Father’s Day and free food at my parents’ house!

Marzipan (#1,194)


I was wondering if that was going to be posted every Monday, I kind of love weekend money round-up. It satisfies all of my vicarious curiosities, what people do every weekend AND how much it costs.

Friday – tennis, grilled at someone else’s house/their food, and then ice cream cones! A friend bought me mine.

Sat. – $20 for drinking/bar food at the beginning of the night, then got bought drinks after that (6 drinks, 2-ish paid for, over 5 hours). And then $10 for someone to gamble with, but I made him get my breakfast, so, really, that just worked out to getting a deal on breakfast.

Sunday – $42 for an AAA baseball game, I paid for all 6 of us, which I feel totally okay about, most of them are interns, working for free and/or still in school, then about $20 food (corn dog then sushi).

$92, all fun stuff, but of course now I have to buy gas and groceries and get an oil change and pay for cable and all the stuff I was too busy having fun to do.

amateur hour (#1,283)

@redheaded&crazy oh boy. It is embarrassing how hard it is for me to remember what I’ve spent on the weekend.

$30 Dinner and beer on Friday
$25 Farmer’s market on Saturday (flowers, eggs, berries)
$125 Annual vet visit for my dog
$225 Clothes (new jeans and workout clothes mainly)
$20 Beers on Saturday night
$10 Bagels and coffee on Sunday (I treated two people! Surprisingly cheap)

Hmmmm I think that’s it! Maybe not as bad as I thought. And then this morning I spent $2,500 on a LivingSocial LASIK offer…eeek!!!

Ugh. YES! I also recently spent the $20 + $9 (x2!!) for tickets to Beach House, and OMG those convenience fees are RIDICULOUS. Seriously, it’s getting 2 tickets for the price of 3. But is there another way?! Plus they CHARGE YOU MORE MONEY if you want to print them out yourself (but having them mailed to you is free??)!! Merg. It’s an outrage, but then, here I am, still having paid it. Sigh.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@Amanda Webber@facebook It is absolutely ridiculous. I recently bought tickets for a concert in September AT the venue, because I was there for another show. I paid $17 (for one). On the venue’s website, they were $23. On Ticketmaster: $29. YOU’VE GOT TO BE JOKING ME.

amateur hour (#1,283)

@bgprincipessa They should just include it in the value of the ticket, like how airlines include taxes, cuz NO ONE likes seeing them getting added on at the end but it would be so completely fine if you just thought the ticket was $29!

What always throws me off is how much I actually spend at the grocery store- I keep thinking that if I buy all my ingredients and then actually cook I’ll save money, but when a bag of groceries averages $25 (and I’m not buying gourmet items) the cost skyrockets. Throws off my ‘last $100′ calculations all week.

elizabeast (#629)

I’m mad this poor soul spent $4.99 on This Means War. I really, truly, love silly movies, but This Means War is perhaps the worst movie…ever? Of the year? I don’t know, but it’s bad and no one should have to spend money on it.

@elizabeast Everything I wanted from that movie is available to me in the form of gifs of Tom Hardy’s face being adorable. And those are free!

bgprincipessa (#699)

So, this will be where I adamantly refuse to do my calculations, because I did a bunch of prep shopping for a wedding I’m MOH in that’s coming up, and dropped close to $500 this weekend. (SO. painful.) Being in weddings, man. I know it’s an honor, but it really hurts my bank account.

Derbel McDillet (#1,241)

Oh man, we totally impulse-bought a kayak this weekend. We had borrowed one kayak and rented another, but at the last minute the rec center called to say that our rented kayak had been broken and all of the rest were already out. So we bought a $179 kayak at Dick’s. And 2 lifevests. And a paddle. Dinner at home for the next 52 weeks! Kayaking was beautiful and amazing, though, and we plan on going again this weekend.

Megano! (#124)

@AconyBelle Kayaks are awesome, so I think dinner at home for a month is a smell price to pay.

Megano! (#124)

@Megano! I mean small.

cherrispryte (#19)

Friday – $19 at happy hour, $25 at dinner afterwards
Saturday – $22 at brunch, $75 at Sephora, $16 for drinks

The money at Sephora is clearly the stupid thing. But I got 5 different things for that price, and put back about 3/4 of what I initially had in my basket. Post-boozy brunch Sephora is dangerous.

Also this newfound love of Bloody Marys is probably going to be a problem. WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

Snicker-snack! (#1,280)

~$12 of my last hundred went to Crumble and Flake too! No regrets!

cliuless (#36)

i’ve learned my lesson and round drastically UP to avoid disappointing myself. i go ahead and add about five dollars to any transaction >$25 and hope to be pleasantly surprised that i’m not as broke as i thought i was.

but usually it just turns out that i’m guessing about right.

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