The Tater Tot Budget

Oh look.

Another glorious morning.


    Winifred Sanderson is my spirit animal. This kinda sums up my feelings on said witch.
Winifred Sanderson is my spirit animal. This kinda sums up my thoughts on the witch.

Oh, calm down, I kid. I’m just grumpy because my internal clock accidentally got set to Bombay Standard Time this week. Fun fact: being home alone and not having anywhere to be does not lead to one going to bed at a normal time. For example: yesterday I went to bed at 9. In the MORNING. And I woke up a few times, but I didn’t actually get up properly and start my day until 6.


This is hopeless. I mean, it’s really beyond the pale. 27 year old people just do not keep these kinds of hours! It’s nearly 2 in the morning as I type this, but it feels like 2 in the afternoon energy-wise. I pulled Bombay outta my ass (r/nocontext, anyone?), but I was right on the money in what time it is in my head versus what time it is to my neighbors who can’t possibly appreciate the fact that I’m listening less-than-quietly to The Specials while I type away in my office.

So, I’m pulling a hard reset: I’m keeping myself awake through the “night” (your proper night and ours here in Bombay) in an effort to fall asleep at a decent time tomorrow. Problem is, all you people I’d usually bug with texts and tweets and the like…well, you’re all asleep. So I have no one to keep me up. I was going to watch all of Downton Abbey S3 to wile away the hours, but is RUDE and only has the first two episodes, and now I’m left crying about Sybil and not feeling terribly sorry for Edith because I never liked her to begin with. So now I’m doing the next best thing: balancing the budget and figuring out the finances for this month.

Which leads me to today’s topic: The Tater Tot Budget.

I told you I have too much spare time.

A little backstory: Donnie and I used to be insufferably comfortable, finance-wise. We were classic DINKs, and because of our double income and our lack of major bills, we got accustomed to a certain lifestyle. We could buy what we wanted and do what we wanted and never even consider worrying about how we’d cover it all. Well, times they are a-changin’. We’ve downsized. We’ve scaled back. We don’t have a weekly date anymore. That’s right: we no longer spend our Sundays gorging on palak paneer at New Delhi Palace followed by spending way too much money at the comic book store, as much as it pains me. And we, like, don’t have cable and other bigger sacrifices, but that’s the one that hits me where it hurts.

Part of the whole “scaling back” initiative has included going from our swanky, heart-of-downtown apartment to a perfectly charming but out of the way condo we now live in. I have no complaints, but Donnie had it in his head that he’d never go back to an apartment complex again. No, he wanted lots of space, a rental home if possible, with all appliances and amenities included, in a safe but hip neighborhood that would make his commute easier.

After I finished laughing so hard I made pig noises, I sat him down and showed him how much a rental that fit his criteria would cost us per month. Suffice it to say, he quickly came around and lowered his foolishly high standards to meet me in the middle class. I wouldn’t drag him to the ghetto just yet, but he had to get his head out of the richy rich clouds.

And then, as soon as my own budgetary drama cleared up, one of our best friend couples started looking for a new place to live, and had the EXACT SAME ARGUMENT. The clash of expectations and logistics is not fun to go through personally, but it is a joy to witness as a third party. And during the ensuing attempts to convince the Mister that he would not, in fact, get beachfront property without whoring himself out, the phrase was coined: “you have caviar tastes but we are on a tater tot budget, and the sooner you accept it the happier you’ll be!”

Well, now. I wish I’d thought of that one. And so, that’s become my kind of financial motto. I’m on a tater tot budget. I must accept it! If I try to act like I’m not on a tater tot budget, I’m going to regret it. Instead, I’ll be happy with my “freebie dates,” my staycations, and my attempts to get creative at the grocery store. Tater tots may be cheap, but damn if they ain’t tasty.

Tune du Jour: Gang of Rhythm by Walk Off The Earth. I am OBSESSED with this weird little band of Canadians and you should be too. If you listen to this and don’t like it, I don’t think we’re friends anymore. Sorry, but I calls ’em like I sees ’em.


7 thoughts on “The Tater Tot Budget

  1. Bev

    Been there, and for all I know, will probably be there again, especially it the T-man actually quits his job to go hike the PCT like he’s been threatening. Ah, well, there’s virtue in simplicity, n’est pas? You should probably write up a Tater Tot Survival Guide in case I need to borrow it…

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      I want to hear more about the tight-pursestring-causing PCT hike! No, seriously, I want to know all about this. INSPIRE ME.

  2. I CAN COMPLETELY CONFIRM THIS STATEMENT: “being home alone and not having anywhere to be does not lead to one going to bed at a normal time”!!! Your tater tot graphic is adorable though, quite creative! And Canadians always come up with something crazy.

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