The Pros and Cons of Being a Bum

This is a post written by Avishai Shuter, and up-and-coming zoologist who lives in his parents house while waiting to hear back from the Bronx Zoo about open positions.

Like many recent college graduates, despite all my plans to move directly from a dorm room into a mansion next door to Angelina Jolie’s, I find myself living at home waiting for news about potential employment opportunities. I feel like a bum, and I guess I technically am. I don’t really do anything exciting during the day, as there isn’t really anything to do. So how does my bum lifestyle affect my finances? Let’s take a look at a few of the pros and cons.

Pros:

1. The Magic Fridge – when I wasn’t living at home by far my biggest expense was food. During an average month I would spend around $200- $250 on groceries. Add to that the number of trips to restaurants, movie popcorn, and chips and Slurpees from 7/11, and I was easily spending $300 a month on food alone. But now that I’m living at home, food magically replenishes itself in the fridge and pantry. I wish I knew how it got refilled, but I usually don’t wake up until at least noon and the refilling process is always finished by that time.

2. Fewer Funtivities – While in college, I was invited out on adventures far more often than I am now. Often these adventures would require money for travel, money for the actual activity (i.e. ice skating, museums, paintball, bowling, etc.), and sometimes souvenirs. After a while, those expenses add up – being social is often expensive.

3. No Rent – Now, I wasn’t paying my own rent while in college (thank you Mom and Dad), but I don’t doubt that many people reading this do pay for living space on their own. By living at home, I don’t have any rent to pay. My rent per month in school was about $740 a month, a massive amount that now stays in my (or my parents’) pocket.

4. Gas Guzzling – By not having anywhere to be, I don’t spend any money on gas for my car. I obviously drive every once in a while, but not to and from work everyday; and with gas prices hovering around all-time highs, that leads to big savings.

Cons:

1. Online Shopping – I’ve noticed that the more bored I become, the more time I spend on my favorite shopping sites (Amazon, Half.com, and Hockeygiant). I realized that this is because I’m hoping that things I could buy from these places will alleviate the boredom I experience almost constantly now (when there aren’t any good movies on HBO). It takes all my willpower not to shop away all my cash, so be wary my fellow bums.

2. Takeout Food – This may sound contradictory to the magic fridge, but I find it to be true. Although I’m saving money on groceries, takeout food becomes more and more enticing the deeper into the bum vortex you drift. Although there’s plenty of good food in the fridge, I would have to prepare most of it. Wouldn’t it just be easier to order in from the Chinese place? Yes. Yes it would.

3. Income Incompetence – This may seem like an obvious con, but since I don’t have a job I don’t make any money. For the time being, I can skate by on money leftover from school and textbooks sold online, but it isn’t much. Not making any money severely limits activities I’m willing to take part in as well as the products I’m willing to spend money on. Big con.

Being a bum is a dangerous profession. You constantly walk on a wire between the good and the bad. On one side you have free food and no rent to pay, while on the other you have the temptations of online shopping and takeout, without any income to support such purchases. So beware my friends, for the life of the bum is filled with boredom, monotony, and Szechuan beef – none of which are healthy in heavy doses.

4 Responses to The Pros and Cons of Being a Bum

  1. Melissa says:

    Great post! For me, though, the cons WAY outweigh the pros. After living on my own (and paying my own bills and stuff) for a couple of years, I subletted my apartment and moved back in with my parents during the summer of 2009, because the recession had hit HARD and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t find any work at all. It was HORRIBLE. I felt like such a leech, and because I had no money and no car, all I did was sit around all summer watching bad reality TV, hanging out with my cat and making sure my 88-year-old grandmother ate lunch and took her pills.

    I would have taken ANY job over that! I hope your zookeeping plans work out soon. Sounds like such a fun profession to be in.

  2. Lbergs says:

    Great post!! Hilarious!!

  3. I’d have to agree the con’s outweigh the pros, but i’d really like one of those “magic fridges” you speak of.

  4. Paula @ AffordAnything.org says:

    Hahaha, I love this post!! That magic fridge sounds awesome. I wonder how it works? :-)

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