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Don’t Use the Dead Presidents to Wipe Your Ass

Before you judge me (if you’re in that kind of mood, it happens to the best of us, I get it), understand that my promise and one policy is that if I am going to write, it has to be honest.

Don’t Use the Dead Presidents to Wipe Your Ass

If you’re meeting someone for the first time and had to show them your personal financial statements, what would that person take away about your character based on those statements? This question is phrased rhetorically but actually think about it.

Image by Foto-Rabe on Pixabay

Unrelatedly, (I’ll connect the dots in a sec.) my sister told me I was being too hard on myself after she read my first blog. It’s possible that’s true; that she’s right, and maybe I am being too hard on myself. The thing is—what I’m doing now finally seems to be working—so maybe it’s taken me a critical (and constructive) self-assessment to get to this point. Maybe it’s posting everything online that’s been holding me accountable.

I said in my first post ever, It’s 2022, I’m Twenty-Nine, and I Still Live at Home, that my goal with this blog is to stick to what I said I would do. I also said I would share my progress and whatever actions I’m taking to get there. I called this post ‘Don’t Use the Dead Presidents to Wipe Your Ass’ because I thought it sounded cool, and it’s straight-shooter advice on how to spend less and save more right now. I know how easy it is to piss your savings away. These days, I’m working hard, staying micro-ambitious, and making daily, incremental changes to reach my financial goals. If you think you might benefit from doing this, then you should too. I guess now would be a good time to mention my

My Unofficial Guide to Being Responsible and Financially Competent

i. Don’t Use the Dead Presidents to Wipe Your Ass

Step one: Look at your visa statements and checking accounts or whatever else you’ve got going on. See what you are spending. Look at your subscriptions, monthly fees, Uber rides, Uber eats, Starbucks, and whatever else. See what you can get rid of and Marie Kondo that shit out of your spending now. That’s what I did. The deep dive into the statements was like watching a fire burning in front of my eyes. The money I didn’t have in the first place, to be tossing away monthly on services I wasn’t using or didn’t even know I had signed up for.

Poor Richard's Almanac, Ben Franklin Society.

Side-note: before you judge me (if you’re in that kind of mood, it happens to the best of us, I get it), understand that my promise and one policy is that if I am going to write, it has to be honest. I am aware of the privileges that pervade my life and that these privileges have—amongst other things—enabled frivolous spending habits, in the absence of which I would not have had the luxury of so doing. I am also aware that this blog as a whole probably wreaks of white girl privilege, but with a hefty dose of self-deprecating humour that makes it more tolerable but still not okay. My only defence is that I cannot separate myself entirely from the narrative in which I was brought up. Attempting to do so would be inauthentic and most likely result in a poor approximation of some other ‘woke’ version of myself. I hope that makes sense and that you see where I’m coming from. I’ve mentioned that one of the things I failed to do before was to go over bank statements and monitor charges on a regular, if not daily, basis. End of side-note.

Consistently doing this will help you check yourself before you wreck yourself, and it makes you think twice about whether you really need that thing—whatever it may be. Here’s what I found and eliminated, so I could save more and spend less. I had monthly subscriptions with …

1. Law Depot for $40.95/month.

I am not a lawyer, so I have no idea why I had a subscription with them. It turns out I was subscribed for 3 months and had spent a total of $122.85. To rectify the sitch, I called Law Depot’s customer service. They were great, incredibly accommodating, and issued me a full refund.

✓ $122.85 Refunded

2. Dribble for $17.62/month.

I’m not a graphic designer, either. Graphic design is sort of a hobby, but I decided that’s not a sufficient reason to keep the subscription. I had other charges from Dribble: $27.69 and $11.62, so in total, I spent $56.93. Anyway, I called Dribble, and they refused to refund me.

$56.93 — Refund rejected.

3. $180.00 plus monthly fees.

I’m trying to kick off my full-time freelance career, so naturally, this will come with its expenses. I understand that to make money, you have to be willing to spend a certain amount. I tried a couple different services, including

Unfortunately, multiple people tried scamming me on this site. It was frustrating and wasted time. I called them and requested a refund, which they issued with little fanfare. I really appreciate companies that are willing to refund dissatisfied customers, so while my experience on wasn’t great, at least they refunded me.

✓ $180.00 — Refunded

4. Rogers phone bill — $110.91/month.

This one gutted me. I wasn’t paying off the phone itself, so there’s no reason why my monthly phone bill should have been this high. I did a lot of travelling this past year and was admittedly careless about my phone plan and roaming charges. Things happened, and cards were charged. The aftermath

Image by Author, me, Dal.

This isn’t even all of it. I called Rogers and ended up speaking with a really nice woman on the phone for over 2 hours. She told me all about her grandmother and how she’s been handling the pandemic. The universe must have seen me that day because I was incredibly lucky to have gotten this wonderful person on the phone. The refund was more than I expected or thought possible. I’ve since switched my phone plan and am now paying a reasonable $62.15/month.

✓ $875.38 — Refunded

Total refund — $1178.28

This list only scratches the surface. I wouldn’t have gotten any of this money back had I not taken the time to go through my statements, see what I was spending, and take the necessary actions (and many hours on the phone) to retroactively repair the damage. Do you see what I mean when I say don’t use the dead president to wipe your ass?

Till the next one.

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