• Back in the long-lost days of 2006, monthly collectibles were 10k each and were still called donation items.

    I was a freshman in high school and I loved Gaia Online. Every month I'd look forward to the new donation items and every month I'd barely scrape up enough gold to afford one, if any.

    My mother did not approve of spending money on virtual items, even if they made me happy. I didn't get an allowance and didn't know how to find work for money as a 13-year-old.

    But what I did get was lunch money. About $20 a week. But instead of spending it all on lunch, I came up with a plan.

    My school served late breakfast around 10 am. The breakfast burritos were 75 cents less than a full lunch. So I would eat breakfast burritos, hold out until school ended, and eat whatever food was at home.

    The first time, I ended up with $3 to spare and mailed the cash directly to Gaia.

    I got an ORLY hat, and was so excited to wear it. But now it's 2018 and there's shinier and newer wearables, and the hat has been left in my closet. Oh well.