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Burning a Hole In My Pocket

Guilty Spending on a Budget

Since this recession-that’s not a recession-that is a recession landed the sucker punch heard ‘round the world on the U.S. economy, Americans have had to tighten the purse strings. As food and gas prices soar to budget-shattering heights, many are left living paycheck-to-paycheck or robbing Peter to pay Paul. While the housing, banking, and restaurant industries are feeling the pinch, the entertainment industry is thriving.

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Americans are shelling out their hard earned yet slightly weakened dollars on luxuries including electronics and movies. In merely ten days, the blockbuster hit movie, “The Dark Knight,” raked in a mind-boggling $300 million and went on to break the $500 million mark. And while a $10-20 expense may seem like a trifle, with the average price of milk moving closer to $5 and food prices on a steady incline, suddenly ten bucks doesn’t seem so trivial.

Yet the gadgets keep coming. Apple recently released its latest version of the iPod nano while hype continues to swirl around Android, Google’s new open-source operating system for cell phones. Another area that’s doing surprising well is the video game industry. While the big three of the U.S. auto industry are cutting back on their leasing programs, sales of video games and accessories have rose more than 50% according NPD Group, a market research company.

Even though I’m living on a tighter budget, I admit that I’ve scrounged up the funding for a few drink and movie nights with friends. And when my stimulus check finally arrived, I split the money with my significant other to go clothes shopping. I know that I should be squirreling away my meager nuts for the bills ahead, but at the same time, I feel like I deserve a little treat now and then, albeit an expensive one.

You’ve heard my excuse so what’s yours? What unnecessary items have you been breaking the bank on and why?