17th May 2021
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Chaos Costs Money: A Stage Manager on the Move

Chaos costs money
By Melissa Bondar

The last few weeks have been a pretty good lesson in how much money chaos costs. I am a fairly organized person. I like to have systems. I like everything to have a place. I like to have spares and backups. The funny thing about moving is that it throws all your systems so far out of whack.

It’s like the day after a giant snowstorm when every shovel in your county costs five times as much but everyone who got stuck in the snow the day before buys one anyway.

In my case, a few chaotic things that have cost me money:

  1. Being unable to find a cable, that I then went out and replaced, only to find after I had opened the box and thrown away the packaging a few days later.
  2. Paying full price for something because I couldn’t remember where my stack of gift cards had gone.
  3. Not planning ahead properly and paying day-of prices instead of buying in advance and getting a discount.
  4. A lost pair of shoes that had to be replaced.
  5. Getting 60% into mixing a recipe together only to find I was missing a key ingredient.
  6. Oversleeping and having to buy lunch instead of bringing it with me.

I see this all the time in the theater. We are whirling dervishes of chaos there.

How many of us have sighed deeply over the last minute astronomic cost of something basic to have it over-nighted when a few days of pre-planning could’ve made it a reasonable cost?

A few routines can help me fix a lot of these things.

  • When I’m solidly moved in somewhere, there’s just a cable box or drawer that would’ve fixed that first problem.
  • Keeping gift cards in my wallet means I’ll probably have them with me when I go most places (same with coupons).
  • Staying more of top of plans that require tickets or any kind of advance purchase.
  • Always putting stuff in the same place helps things like losing shoes.
  • Checking I have all the ingredients before beginning to bake, but also setting up my shelves so I can easily see everything on them and making sure I have basic supplies would help this too.
  • Making lunch the night before instead of dealing with it the morning of can help keep chaos from unfurling first thing every day.

There’s even an extra level of throwing your mental hands up and saying “eff it” in the chaos sometimes.

Is my plane delayed? Eff it, let’s go to the bar and drink a few $20 cocktails.

Crazy things happened at work today? Eff it. We’re eating out.

Already overspent in the mall? Eff it. What’s one more purchase?

I don’t say this out of a place of judgment. I’m saying this out of the place where I live. I’m the first one to just let the chaos dominoes fall where they may in my personal life after they start to go.

What do you do to keep the chaos under control?

Published in Collaboration with brokeGIRLrich

brokegirlrich TheatreArtLife

Also on by Melissa Bondar:

Moving House: Where Did All My Money Go?

Stage Managers: Investing In Yourself

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