Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Posts Tagged ‘spare change

Pocket Full of Change

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Total Black: $16.79
Total Red: $269,947.64

Ever since I was a lad, I kept my loose change in a container or piggy bank of some sort.  Not sure why.  Perhaps because males don’t get purses and wallets don’t typically have space for coins.  It’s come in handy many times.  Once, for example, when I was a boy, I counted and rolled all my spare change and came up with nearly fifty dollars worth.  I turned it all over to my mother and father because they had been going through some tough times.  Maybe one had been in the hospital.  I don’t recall now.  But I do remember how grown-up I felt to be able to give such a large amount to them.  Fifty dollars is no small beer even now and in the 1980s it was certainly worth more.  That habit has helped get me out of quite a few jams.  Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

August 4, 2010 at 21:24

Helping Others

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Total Black: $63.02
Total Red: $230,428.32

If around lunchtime you walk by the corner of Wall Street and Water Street in downtown New York, you’ll probably see an older woman begging for change.  She’s hard to miss, especially for the guys, because you’ll probably hear “Hey handsome.  Got some change to spare.” or maybe “Hey beautiful, could you buy me a cup of coffee?”  Let’s just say she’s a bit forward in her panhandling tactics.  Initially, I avoided her, especially since she’s somewhat of a mainstay on that corner.  —I just realized the irony of my own thoughts: that after a few days of begging for change she should have been off that corner by now.  I’m nearly five months into my project and I’ve barely made a dent in my debt.  If I were dependent upon the kindness of strangers, I certainly wouldn’t have made any progress. Keep reading . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

December 20, 2009 at 23:08

Virtually Incensed

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Total Black: $63.15
Total Red: $230,600.32

While letting my apartment air out from the exterminators’ visit this afternoon, I took time at a nearby Starbucks to read today’s New York Times.  I was utterly befuddled . . . nay dumbfounded . . . by an article on the front page.  Claire Cain Miller and Brad Stone penned an article titled “Virtual Goods Start Bringing Real Paydays.”  I use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.  And I’ve played a few hours of Second Life.  So I’m not unfamiliar to the idea of using real money to purchase virtual currency or virtual goods.  But I would have never imagined what Miller and Stone reported.  Keep reading . . .

Change to Spare?

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Total Black: $406.64
Total Red: $228,519.06

In a prior entry, The Lowly Penny, I wrote about my own struggles to unclench my hand.  Unfortunately, despite quite a few opportunities, I still haven’t given anything to people I pass on the street.  In fact, at one point last week, the only money I had was $2.50 in my pocket from one of the participants of the bookclubs I organize when she paid her RSVP fee in cash moments earlier.  As I walked home with that money in my pocket, I wrestled with giving it away versus getting something to eat to hold me over until the morning when unemployment money came through.  I don’t know which is more embarrassing, that I kept the $2.50 or that I used most of it to purchase an instant noodle dish for dinner.  I must have stood in Duane Reade for about fifteen minutes thinking through all the variables of the items I could afford.  A box of pasta for $1.99 would supply at least three meals, but I’d have to eat it plain because I didn’t have any sauces, oil, or even butter to dress it up.  A can of tuna fish for $2.09 would’ve worked, but it was tuna in oil and I don’t really care for that type.  Tuna in water cost more than I could afford.  I debated the chicken-flavored Ramen noodle six-pack for $2.49 because that would have provided at least three meals (I usually double-up on the Ramen noodle packs because they’re small portions).  But I decided not to chance it because I was unsure if New York charges tax on food and I didn’t want the embarrassment of having to give it back because I didn’t have enough on me.  None of the credit cards had room to cover the few cents extra it might have cost.  I had to laugh though as I stood there comparing prices.  I had this image of myself on The Price Is Right deciding whether the actual retail price was higher or lower than the price being displayed on the can of stew or box of mac & cheese in front of me.  I knew the answer, I explained to Bob Barker, because of that low point in my life in Duane Reade figuring out what I could afford to buy. Keep reading . . .

Res Ipsa Loquitur

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Total Black: $168.03
Total Red: $228,153.42

Earlier today I reached out to colleagues at my former law firm.  I had a quick question to ask related to corporate practice regarding the work I’m doing for my colleague.  I practiced in litigation while at the firm, so I’m only vaguely familiar with corporate filings, securities documents, balance sheets, and the like.  Six out of seven people I telephoned didn’t answer.  Large law firm associates in New York frequently get cold calls from recruiters and headhunters looking to make money facilitating a lateral move to another law firm.  So, associates where I worked often didn’t pick up calls from external telephone numbers we didn’t recognize.  It was different, and annoying, being on the other side of that telephone line today.  I did get to speak with three associates though.  One picked up; the other two called me back.  Two of the three seemed really irritated by my question.  (It regarded dates on amended documents: use original or amended date; pretty basic.)  Within roughly ninety seconds of the call both said they had to go and practically hung up before I could say thanks and good-bye.  I assume some urgent email or telephone call came in. Keep reading . . .

The Lowly Penny

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Total Black: $29.02
Total Red: $227,913.40

I’ve stopped noting daily gains / losses; not much of any just yet.  Scrolling down through previous posts will show that and the breakdown on the 10th of each month will too.  Total black now includes twenty dollars invested in some mutual funds with American Funds.  I figure I should do that each week.  Savings have to start somehow.  Plus I gained a cent overnight.  Hey, that’s one penny closer to getting out of debt.  And it got me thinking all about the lowly penny.  Penny Keep reading . . .