Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Belt Tightens.

And now we come to the question, how will we be affording this lovely little apartment? (henceforth known as Tranquility Base). I still think I got a great deal on this two room studio, but it is a significant raise in rent from what I was paying, and let's face it, I wasn't winning any awards for puttin' it away for a rainy day as it was. So I now present:

Cupcake's Plan to Save

1) Naked Toes. I believe there is nothing more self-indulgent that red toenails in the winter time. Sexy and luxorious. But in the summertime, I believe that if you want to go with open-toed shoes, it is your duty, and I'm including the men here as well as the ladies, to get regular pedicures. If you don't want to go in for color, chose clear polish but please, clean up that nasty. So with great regret I have been walking around for over a month now in sandals with unadorned toes. Sure, I'm self-grooming, but no one can take care of you like a pro.

2. Write me a letter. I'm not putting in a land line in the apartment, so my only phone line is the cell, which actually doesn't work in the apartment. Hmm, I'll get around to taking care of that soon. I swear. And since I'm on the computer all day at work, right now I'm going to hold off on having high speed Internet installed. So the best way to reach me is ... US Postal Service. It is my dream to someday get cable installed, so I'm saving my pennies for that. Of course, I would need to purcahse a television first.

3. Cancel my subscription. I've let all my magazine subscriptions lapse. So long, Martha, Oprah and Lewis Lapham. Goodbye to the alluring worlds of Real Simple and Ready Made. But Goddamn I miss New York Magazine. And while we're at it, Auf Wiedersehen eHarmony. You were creeping me out. Back to trolling for guys on Friendster for me.

4. I'll be at the Li-Berry. No more buying books. That's why God invented libraries, and I happen to live a few blocks from the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. It will also be helpful that there are no bookstores in my new neighborhood, unlike good old 7th Avenue Park Slope where there was a bookstore every 500 feet. You'd have to be made of stone to resist that kind of temptation.

5. Ixnay on the Uffinsmay. Time to ease up on the lattes and muffins. It's not like I need the extra calories. Theoretically, I could brew my own coffee and bake my own scones at home. Just as soon as I get the stove reconnected...

Anyone else have helpful tips on the little things they do to save moolah?


Lexa said...

Cook! No buying $8 sandwiches for lunch every day or getting $9 burritos for dinner. It is cheaper, a fun hobby and really makes you realize what you are putting in your body. I also find that allowing myself small indulgences--like buying a DC or an article of clothing--one a month helps keep me on track. That way I don't feel totally deprived and go on a spending spree.

Lexa said...

Wow--I meant buying a CD. We all know that DC CAN be bought, but I am not making that kind of money at my Hill job.

maia said...

Don't spend all. Put aside all the change you get back whenever you buy something (which i guess you won't be doing often since you are trying to save money..but regardless.) At the end of each month or so deposit it into your savings account. You won't miss the money and it will add up.

bbrug said...

I am terrible about conserving money lately, but I do have one piece of advice: If cooking, as Lexa suggests, is not an option (for example, if your stove is disconnected and your apartment is 105 degrees to begin with), at least bring your lunch to work. I used to think my roommate was nuts because she lived off Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. "That's so expensive," I said (not to mention gross). But her angle was that the frozen meals cost less than $5, while any meal she bought while out on the town would be at least $8. $3 x 5 x 4 = $60/month, which is my electric bill plus two drinks.

Years later, I now find myself observing her practice: even the most expensive fancy organic frozen meals from my local health food store are cheaper and better for me than anything I'm likely to buy for lunch in my work neighborhood, where I've been known to spend as much as $17 on lunch (Beware City Bakery!). Also, the portions are smaller, which is helpful if you have Tank Ass from eating a lot of cake.

A nice side effect of cancelling all your magazines--but especially the homemaking ones--is that you will find yourself wanting less. Most magazines are about buying stuff, and when I stop looking at them, I stop buying stuff. Sort of.

Kari said...

I'm with the saving change advice. I pocketed all my change from one year, and it turned out to be enough to pay for all the gas when I moved cross country. I went from Denver, to Des Moines, to Chicago to South Carolina to New Haven, Ct to New Hampshire and then to Vermont on that change. Of course then it cost under 15 bucks to fill my Honda up and now it would cost me 21 dollars to fill the same tank.

Buy yourself an elecrtic tea kettle and a french press for coffee and tea and invest in a good to go cup. That way you don't need your stove.

When you get a television, if you do, check out movies from the library.

Check out all the bars close to your home and office. I bet many of them offer free food during happy hour. That way you can eat dinner for the price of one drink. I heard somewhere that in Washington DC, there is a list passed around by interns and other poor people of places like that and I always thought it was a neat idea. And you know you were going to drink anyway...

ravingloon said...

Ooh! I know one: take homemade salads for lunch a few days a week. Lettuce and veggies are the cheapest things at the grocery store and the best things for you. (Get some big ol' tupperware containers and some smaller dressing-sized bottles to take it in, so the salad doesn't get soggy before lunch.) The added bonus: no need to use the broken oven, and when it does work again, you can bake up some boneless skinless chicken breasts to slice into your salads for extra protein!

ravingloon said...

Egads, I just sounded like Martha Stewart on that last comment.

Anyway, I'm all about only having a cell phone, no internet (I get 8 hours of it for free at work every day, right?!), and no cable (what's up, rabbit ears). You can do it, too, I have faith.