by: Deborah Dephicit

In this less than ideal AOP world many of us are faced with a choice: a) Keep crappy, underpaid job and try to scrape by, or b) Go back to school and try to learn something useful this time. I have gone for Option B. I still am scraping by but at least now my days are kind of fun and at least they don’t start until 10 am!

I actually was supposed to begin a graduate program this fall but a last minute I suffered a 6.7 Richter scale AOP financial crisis (just paid off the car and the transmission said, “Thanks for the memories but I gotta retire”). So, for now I will have to wait to start my dual degree in Journalism and Business.

Didn’t want to shut off my brain entirely this semester so for now I’m taking some very useful courses at the local Community College. Really! I don’t know about where you live but a lot of the classes at our community college are very practical ones, geared toward the demographic of, “working adults who want to make more money.” Yallo! I’m in.

Another great thing about community college is that it’s really cheap. In fact I’m barely paying any tuition. (A benefit of an AOP style salary on your tax return – maximum Financial Aid package!). One area where Financial Aid is not covering costs is at the bookstore. My college tuition is Target-worthy but the Bookstore prices are pure Prada.

Naturally being an AOP girl I took my business to the lowest suitable bidder — Barnes and Noble.

I “bought” my books at my local BN but I didn’t do a “take home” purchase. I did a web order through the Customer Service desk so I was able to get the online price :). I paid $26.99 for Book One (savings $ 18.00) and $29.36 for Book Two (savings $20.63). Because I have a Barnes and Noble membership I received free shipping. And, of course, when I say “I” have a B&N membership, I mean my mother has one and I gave them her phone number to look it up! Since I was ahead by so much I also ordered a Pocket Reference book for $8.17 (savings $6.82).

My grand total savings of $45.45. With the money I *didn’t* spend on shipping I bought myself a Venti Caramel Latte at the B&N Cafe (with a 10% members discount, of course!).

And, as for the money I saved on the books? I used $12.16 of it to purchase “Math Workout for the New GRE.” I need to retake the GREs as a matter of personal pride, not necessity. Clearly there’s nothing wrong with my math skills. I’m walking around with four new books in my backpack, a latte in my belly and $33.29 still rattling around in my pocket!*

P.S. Yes, I do realize I’m not dealing with sales tax in my calculations. Did I say I wanted to be an accountant?