Are concerts only for rich people?

Many of you probably don’t know this, but the front man of Maroon 5, Adam Levine, and I are soul mates.

I understand he is presently dating his second or third Victoria’s Secret model or whatever, but I’m seeing other people too so it’s ok. I know that we will be together soon. However, I am finding the greatest impediment to our marriage is the fact that we have never actually met. Recently Maroon 5 announced tour dates and they’ll be visiting a city nearby enough to my own that I can plan a relatively inexpensive weekend road-trip to attend. Unfortunately, I cannot actually find an inexpensive way to attend the concert.

Initially I wanted to buy the $500 VIP pass which included floor seats and a tour of backstage. I felt that this would certainly maximize my chances of meeting him in order to fall in love. I couldn’t find a friend anywhere that felt $500 was an appropriate pricetag for a concert, so I eventually settled on the $200 VIP passes and figured I’d buy two and then just lie to someone that these floor seats were actually only $80, don’t worry about it. But then those SOLD OUT by the time I got the guts to put my credit card info in to make the purchase. When the general tickets went on sale a few days later, I hit refresh at least a dozen times evaluating the “best available” at $105 a pop and feeling like I can’t shell out that much to be in the nosebleed section. It is way too far away from the man that will be my husband someday. The alternative was floor seats ranging from $350-$500 each, which I just couldn’t do. It was like the Taylor Swift situation last year, where I couldn’t find it in me to spend $300 even though every song she sings is about my life (particularly “22” and “Begin Again” off her new album, Red).

Anyway, now I’m just mad.

Why do tickets get up to ludicrous prices? How do band justify charging their fans that much?

I know the answer is “because they can” but it makes me hate them a little bit.

Going to concerts is definitely on my top-ten-favorite-things-ever-in-life list, but I have a strange feeling that the hobby used to be considerably more affordable. I’ve never paid $200 for a concert ticket before and I’ve only attended shows where I have floor seating. It’s not even like I’m going to cheap artists either (ie. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga).

Even though I make more money and have less debt than ever, I still can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on one night. 

I know experiences are more valuable then stuff, but I’m so sick of the being-in-debt experience that I can’t YOLO it up every opportunity there is. Now I’m in this awkward situation where I don’t have tickets to one of my favorite bands and telling myself it’s ok, you can just turn up your music really loud that day and it will be like you’re RIGHT THERE.

Maybe they will do another show. Maybe they will release more floor tickets closer to the concert. Maybe I’ll get lucky on Kijiji.

Or maybe I just won’t go.

Because at the end of the day, was my quality of life drastically reduced by failing to see Taylor Swift (or Coldplay) in concert? The answer is no. I don’t wake up every day wishing I had just charged it to a credit card and danced the night away. And it will be the same with Maroon 5.

Though there are eternal consequences here… what happens if you & your soul make never meet?!



Eating Healthy Can Mean Saving Money

I was recently watching a medical show (I may have an obsession with the Dr. Oz show) in which people complained that they couldn’t eat well because healthy food is too expensive. While some health foods can be pretty expensive, so are many unhealthy foods like take-out pizza, ice cream, and chips. As someone who likes to eat food which is good for me, I can tell you that eating well does not have to be a budget breaker.

Fruits and vegetables are not as cheap as ramen noodles, this is true. But the fact is that your body needs many vitamins and minerals to function well. When I was younger, I didn’t care as much about eating well. I ate some fresh food and protein, but more often than not I’d eat something lacking nutrition. And the problem with this was that although I ate enough calories, I was still hungry a lot. So I would eat more snacks and eat bigger portions.

Once I had gained a bit of weight and realized that the reason I felt so tired and bad all the time was because I was eating crap, I decided to start eating better. And a really odd thing happened. Eating small portions of healthy food made me feel fuller. I realized I did not need to eat as much food when I ate well. If you eat a filling, healthy meal, you don’t end up reaching for a bag of chips twenty minutes later.

How does this translate to cheaper groceries? Eating smaller portions means buying less food. Instead of  paying for double the amount of processed food, I can buy fresh food and keep my grocery bill on budget. And losing 20 pounds has certainly been an added bonus. Here are some easy things you can do to save money on your grocery bill and get healthier :

  • Make some vegetarian meals. I have made a great chickpea curry for a very good price, and it was filling and delicious. Bean burgers and bean salads are also great options, and when paired with a grain, the protein in beans is considered a “complete” protein.
  • Opt for inexpensive fish and shrimp. They are much cheaper than expensive cuts of meat, are very lean good sources of protein, and taste great.
  • Skip sugary drinks, including juice. Juice is expensive, and you’re better off eating a piece of fruit anyway. It’s more filling!
  • Buy in season. Buy whatever fresh foods are in-season as they are at their cheapest price.
  • Shop reduced sections. Buy meat that is closer to it’s expiration date and cook it right away. I often find meat 30% off which is perfectly fine for dinner that night, and leftovers afterwards. Be careful to only buy as much as you can cook within the next 1-2 days, otherwise it can go bad if you wait too long.
  • Buy in bulk. You can find lots of grains, cereals, honey, etc. At bulk food stores and it is almost always cheaper than buying even the store brand products found at grocery stores.
  • Buy fresh, not frozen. Frozen fruits and vegetables tend to be more expensive. If you buy produce fresh while it’s on sale, you can eat it fresh as well as freeze it to be eaten later.

These are just a few things you can do to make eating well work on a budget. Now the only excuse for getting food from the McDonald’s dollar menu is that you really want that cheeseburger. Which is totally fair, but enough with this “I can’t eat well because it’s too expensive” stuff. What do you do to try to save money on your grocery bill?

Saturday Personal Finance GIFs

Saturday Personal Finance GIFs is a regular weekly feature on Money After Graduation — to see more, click here! If you would like to submit a GIF with a caption, please email bridget @!

When I get to meet other PF bloggers offline:

When the email that there’s free food in the office kitchen goes out to the floor:

Waiting for my direct deposit to go through on payday:

When I read a personal finance article giving advice that I don’t agree with:

When I get an even bigger raise than I asked for:

Have a great weekend!

GIVEAWAY: $100 Cash via PayPal

Hello friends, subscribers, and strangers alike. It’s only 2 months until Christmas so I know many of you that are more on the ball than I am may have started your holiday shopping. I understand the toll this can take on your bank account. if you’re currently a student or recent grad grappling with student debt OR if you were a little spendy in your past and have oodles of credit card debt OR if you’ve got your finances together and are looking for an extra boost because that’s just what you do, then

this giveaway is for you!

I’m giving away $100 USD via PayPal for you to spend on whatever the heck you like — you can even buy yourself a Christmas present! All you need is to have a PayPal account so I can send you the money, and enter the giveaway through one or all of the means below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Confession: I ordered the iPhone 5 only four days after I promised all of you I wouldn’t

Haha! Remember how I did an SPFGIFs series about how I couldn’t get an iPhone 5 — then went ahead and got one?

What can I say? I’m weak. I tried not to do it, I swear, but after obsessively adding and removing it from my shopping card for a week, I accidentally hit “checkout” and before I knew it, my order was being processed. I could have cancelled. I didn’t. And I’m not sorry, either. My friend’s iPhone 3 that I was using since my iPhone 4 went missing was a huge step up from my crappy Motorola thing (circa 2009) but it was old enough that things like Facebook or Google maps didn’t work on it. It also made me sign into twitter every time I opened the app, routinely sent my texts to the wrong people, and had a battery that never made it through my work day without at least two charges.

There’s some debate in the PF community about smartphones because they are NOT a frugal choice. In addition to the phone being an expensive purchase (because I refuse to sign another 3 year cellphone contract, my pretty iPhone 5 rang in at an ugly $850) their monthly cost is considerably pricier than a dumbphone. Now I know some people will disagree with my decision, but it’s my money and I probably just like smartphones more than you.

You remember that I paid off $5,000 of debt this month, right? Let me have this!