I’d been to summer camp and already knew I was probably heading for disaster when I realised I spent more to get there than I got paid.
It’s not one of those jobs that you go for to earn big bucks, and I knew that, I wanted the experience, the friends and the character building etc. But when I went travelling after camp, I didn’t budget my spendings particularly well. I did alright, and did have enough, but I could have saved a lot more in hindsight. What a bugger.
For one thing, I accidentally massively overspent twice in the space of two days. Not one of my finest moments, I might add. I didn’t feel as stupid as I perhaps should have done due to the fact that my friends made the error along with me, but I did kick myself when I saw the bill.
The first ‘event’, let’s say, happened in Boston. I was travelling with a camp friend and we met up with some of our other camp friends who were also in the city at the time. We were in the hands of a Boston born and bred, so I had full trust in his judgement as he was driving us around, taking us to see some of the best sights until finally we got hungry. Enter, Ye Old Union Oyster House.
The building is located on the Freedom Trail, and is America’s oldest restaurant. Pretty cool, and at our fingertips, we just had to go.
I ordered a lobster. I’d never tried one before and thought why not? I’m here in Boston and my friend said it was one of the best seafood eatieries I’d ever go to – why not. So I did, and so did everyone else under our friend’s guidance that a Boston lobster would be dirt cheap but super tasty. Well it for sure was tasty alright; I didn’t realise lobster was so chewy, but it was delicious and I liked it.
But not as much as the bill expected. $47 alone for my lobster. Forty-seven hard earned dollars, on a chewy fish and bone. Don’t get me wrong, it was the best fish I’ve had, but not $47 worth. I think it’s because our friend had all promised us it would only be around $20 which is why it shocked us, and class it as a horror spend. I don’t think young 20-something’s tend to eat a lot of lobster and so aren’t open to the pricing. Most older people I’ve spoken to about it say that’s an average price for such a fish. So that was my first accidental budgeting blunder.
The second one, and by a long long way the worst one, happened a day after, and in where else? Miami.
Miami is an amazing place to go, it’s everything I thought it would be and more. Big, bright lights and lots of beaches and drinking. Which is where my story comes to into play. We arrived at about 10pm after flying from Boston (flight prices were a bit steep an’ all), and were absolutely ravenous. Our friend from camp met us at the airport, brought us to our hotel and took us out on the Miami Beach strip to find food. Again, we were in the company of a Miami born and bred, so we trusted his word for it too.
Fast forward one hour and we had been pulled into this bar (the guy was VERY persuasive and also very attractive so how could we not?) that my Miamian friend said we would get cheap drinks. Maybe you’re noticing a theme… Anyway, I couldn’t actually hear what the guy was saying because of the noise in the bar area, so when he asked if we wanted what we thought was a margarita, we obliged. I was so hungry at this point I would have taken another lobster.
Next thing, my friend and I had been given what I can only describe as a massive drinking bucket already full of alcohol, and two Corona beers stuck out the top of it. And worse yet, the contents of the bucket was tequila. Not a spirit of preferance, but our friend Chris bet that we couldn’t finish it so the challenge was on. About three hours later, the bar was closing so we were getting kicked out. Defeated and bested by this bucket of sin, I was ready to leave it and take the bill.
That was until we found out both our drinks came to $182.
Well I nearly fell on the floor. $91 for a drink, a supposedly ‘cheap’ drink, so no way I was leaving a drop behind. In two consecutive nights, I’d wasted $150. Fuming did not cover how I felt throughout the duration of its consumption, nor my friend’s vomit that happened after it tha I cleaned up.
So if there’s anything to take from this story, 1) never take your friends’ word for something, even if they live there. And 2) please spend your money more wisely than me.