The span of April to June mark the biggest spending months that I’ve had for the past couple of years. A couple of years ago, I emptied my accounts for our mom’s funeral. Last year, it was that short beach vacation. This year, it’s the house and the furniture.
When I look back at my major expenses, nothing among them come out as sound profitable investments. Funerals are ritualistic. I had a blast at the beach with Team Sugoi, upping my morale just before another academic year. This house is more of a geographical Prozac so the reward’s more psychological than financial. That means that nothing among my biggest expenses actually helped get the money I spent back. And this year, I need the money.
Perhaps this is a wake up call that I really need to stop spending. Not that I spend on a whim since I hate spending. I do need to rebuild my emergency fund after spending most of it on the advance rent and deposit on this place. However, looking again at my short term and medium term goals, there are still a few things that might need me to shell out just a few more bucks.
I needed to learn ActionScript on the side as a way of increasing my profitable skill sets. Problem is, I have not programmed that much over the past three years that my programming skills have decayed. Plus, my background is with structured languages and not with OOP (and yes, my specialization is applied linguistics and not computer science).
Since I only have a few months to learn, I resorted to video tutorials. That meant getting a secondary screen so that I can stare at code on one monitor and look at the tutorial on another. So just last week, i went out and purchased one. I initially settled on an ASUS LCD monitor but turned out, it didn’t have a DVI connection. Samsung LCDs were just a tad too expensive for me. I settled for the China-made Chimei 22QD panel. 21.2 inches with 1980 x 1080 resolution is more than enough for me to fit several windows on one screen. Plus I have my lappie’s 14.1″ for all the other windows. Good buck per bang, I guess. Still set me back several grand.
What’s really eating me now is that was really an unscheduled purchase since I didn’t plan on learning ActionScripting this year so I’m not really sure if I would be able to actually earn a profit from it. Provided that I get proficient enough with the language. I mean, I’ve already written a book on Flash animation, so having both skills would probably be a blast.
Now my next problem is my next potentially big expense – a new rig. My current rig is one hell of a workhorse. A real piece of electronic wizardry this ASUS A8Jr. Save for the stupid hinge issue, it has been running on the average of 16-18 hours a day for the past 23 months and it’s still standing. Never have I reformatted it and I only BSODed three times in that span. But with the warranty nearing its last days, I need to have a backup rig just in case.
I’m still struggling on what kind of computer to buy. I’m considering replacing my current rig with a new laptop since I do prefer the mobility. One thing I miss with having a laptop though – games. I won’t be able to play games on that unless I get one that has a beefy dedicated video card. A cheaper choice is to actually get a desktop since a good rig would probably run me up to around 30 to 35 grand. A desktop rig can easily double-up as a gaming rig as well so this option can save me money. But who needs a gaming rig anyway, right? But I so want to play games. Waaah~ How about a laptop and a Wii. That’d work right? Oh bother.
Again, the bottom line is that, when I get to afford some of these things, I still have to find a way to turn them into profitable investments. Otherwise, they’d just be another one of my toys – a loss on a financial standpoint.