They say we're entitled, narcissistic, lacking work ethic, constantly needing affirmation of our overinflated self-esteem and we just won't leave the shelter of our parents and let them BE already! Well, I say I deserve a day off for my hard work, some recognition for it's superior quality and yes, Mom, I will be at dinner on Sunday.
I'm just trying to hold on to my youth, really. Aren't we all?
What if I told you I got a $198 Dooney & Bourke handbag for free? That I rarely pay for coffee? What if I said I don’t have to pay for cable to watch my favorite TV shows and I can make my haircut and color last twice as long for only $10?
Would any of that get your attention? Would you want to know more?
I have a two-pronged approach to this one. First, I drink coffee at work. There is a coffee pot in the kitchen and ample canisters of ground coffee beans in the cupboard. That works Monday through Friday. Every other Sunday I get free coffee, and free espresso, when I work at the restaurant. If I’m craving a cup on Saturdays or the Sundays I don’t work at the restaurant, I use my second strategy: Gift cards. Not only do I ask for coffee gift cards for special occasions, but sometimes people, such as my editor, just give them to me without my even having to ask. He probably knows better than anyone how important it is for me to drink coffee (it improves my work performance and mood) and not have to pay for it (he knows my hourly wage). Thanks, boss.
3. A two-for-one
A year ago, during a similarly dreary, cold, and damp winter, I decided I was tired of sitting on the couch, bored and in the dark, after a long day of work. I shopped around for gym memberships and found a gym with cable TV hooked up to screens on the cardio equipment. Now I can blow off some steam, boost my endorphins, and watch my favorite TV shows all at the same time for one relatively low monthly price.
4. Keeping up appearances
My mom always told me my natural hair color was the best and that paying to maintain dyed hair wasn’t practical. While I think I look good with blond hair, she is definitely right about that last part. To save money, I started opting for a partial foil instead of a full foil when getting my hair highlighted. When it’s obviously time for touch-ups but I don’t have the cash, a $10 glossing treatment from the drugstore does the trick. It helps smooth the color plus hydrate my hair so I can go longer between cuts and colors.
5. What about food?
Other than using coupons when I can, shopping sales and buying only in-season produce, I don’t really have many suggestions aside from making the most of Top Ramen. Sometimes, I throw an egg in there to boil with the noodles. Bam! Protein. My husband fries it with reindeer sausage and it is delicious. Improvise and see what you come up with. It doesn’t get much cheaper than Top Ramen.