Original article posted by Gunny:

I am a tightwad. I’ll break my back to pay off a credit card or a car loan before I am required to. I never just make the minimum payments. I don’t like to pay full price for anything either; I am never satisfied I am getting a good deal until I compare prices. Being cheap does have its advantages. For instance, I saved 4K by talking a car salesman down from $10,000 on my truck. The trouble is that I can never seem to keep any money in the bank. As soon as I realize that I have a little more than I need, I begin depositing that money into the coffers of the China King.

I love food, and Chinese food is never far from my thoughts. Sometimes I will reward myself with a Chinese buffet or go to one if I am feeling down. Sometimes I know I shouldn’t because I am low on money, but it calls to me. When Kung Pao beckons, I must obey. You can know General Tao’s slaves by their sitting alone in the buffet. Incidentally, they also have red stained lips.

This spendy/savey madness causes me a real conundrum. Sometimes I wonder how much money I’ve spent on Chinese dinners throughout my life. I probably have averaged two or three of them per week since I was twelve. What if I could have all that money back? Could I retire? I always look back through my checking account statement with guilt when I see how much I have spent on going out to eat. When those totals hit triple digits I start making my resolutions. These never last long; I usually cave within a week.

It really bothers me because I never allow myself to get into debt, but I can also never save any money. My hope is that if I can make more money in the future, my addiction to Chinese food will actually help me win over my spending. After all, a Chinese buffet can only cost so much. As long as I don’t take every meal I eat at the China Star, my earnings could surpass my spending eventually. If not, maybe someday a pharmaceutical brand will make an MSG patch or gum.