Pinching Pennies

As I take stock of the damage the summer has done on my wallet/checking account, I’m somewhat horrified.  How can this be?  Disposable income is wonderful, and I fear that without keeping a mind to saving for the future, or even cushioning myself for the present, pretty soon I’m going to be eating ramen every.single.day.  (but not the Nissin dry kind of college days – I’ve upgraded to the frozen/refrigerated kind they sell at Sunrise Mart)  This represents the crux of my problem: I’ve become used to living freely, and spending freely, in New York.  I love to eat.  And eat out.  And shop at Whole Foods.  I enjoy without thought of future savings, of retirement, or a nest egg.  In other words, I’m a twenty-something living in New York.  And can I help it if Origins facial products are amazing and return your face to the smooth skin of a baby’s, yet to be tarnished by free radicals, UV rays and pollution?

This doesn’t represent a lifestyle change, but I’m making a plan.  During the summer living easy is the motto, and why shouldn’t we?  Like anything else, it only lasts for so long.  But with fall, comes winter hibernation, and I can already feel myself becoming more drawn to spending nights on the couch with a movie, homemade dinner and a glass of wine.  This sounds glorious.

On Social:

Eating/Drinking:  Here is my absolute downfall.  I don’t have a major shopping addiction.  I don’t have a drug habit.  Where I can never help myself is food and drink.  Both, always, and often.

I will try to eat out only twice a week.  (By this I mean dining in restaurants, friend’s apartments DO NOT COUNT as eating out.)  Perhaps even try a Supper Club themed: $20 or less.  Set budget for the week for groceries and eating out.  Constantly bring lunch to work.  Shop more thoughtfully at Whole Foods and shop more frequently at Trader Joe’s (thank goodness for their wine store – yes, shopping at the Trader Joe’s wine store DOES COUNT as saving dollar bills in the short term, and no, I don’t care if my logic is faulty in the long term).

Troll websites for free or next to free events, including: The Skint and Brokelyn.  This is New York – there’s certainly no shortage of inexpensive events to be had.

The Skint

Brokelyn

On Home:

Shop in bulk.  Buy things on sale if I’m sure I’m going to use them.  Clean out my pantry and make sure I’m actually using things I put into it.

On Fashion:

I’m putting myself on a shopping embargo.  Until further notice, unless its a really, REALLY good deal, or I absolutely need it (yes, I’ve been wearing rainboots with holes in them for the past year), I should refrain.  Unfortunately with the bedbug crisis that has overtaken major metropolitan cities across the country, I can’t rely on Housing Works’ $20 All You Can Stuff In A Bag Sale to supplement my wardrobe.

 

On Strategizing:

From now on I will think of money more in terms of equating it to my rough hourly wage.  ie.  Is this dinner worth the amount I would be earning for 2-3 hours at work?  Yes this will make me seem crazy, but maybe it will help me pinch those pennies.

And finally – GO TO THE GYM.  Having a gym membership does not help me save money, but at the very least, the thought of not using my membership to the full extent and wasting away my hard earned dollars should motivate me to get my butt out of bed in the morning.  Stop wasting.  Start saving.

 

Note: This endeavor may require support group.

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~ by drywoodburstingintoflame on October 25, 2010.

5 Responses to “Pinching Pennies”

  1. only just saw this. will sign up for your support group. or rather, let’s be a mutual support group. i had ramen myself today, but more out of want than need. it was glorious for the cold weather.. hot and spicy. and sending you and leah an e-mail about supper club (since it’s my turn next and have been procrastinating.

    • Can I please partake in the support group. I went to Trader Joe’s 2 weekends ago and stocked up on 99 cent Luna Bars as a start. Am already in need of another TJ’s stock up trip.

  2. Thanks to your Skint recommendation I just found Yipit. So far I love it but I’m only a few minutes in.

  3. Haven’t bought anything from Yipit yet but it is nice to have multiple deals to look at in one email.

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