October 29, 2013

15 Ways To Live Well When You Have Very Little Money

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What is the issue?

1. Get your traveling done all at once.

So that you can best consolidate the costs of airfare/trains. As we all know, transportation costs are to bank accounts as insecure seventeen year-olds with bats are to mailboxes.

Turning two round-trip flights into one will leave you with enough money to finally do some cool activities make rent.

2. Instead of running up your electric bill, use candles.

Candles make other people think you’re the son of an oil tycoon named Yancy. And while candles do cost money, there’s a good chance you can find them (a. for very cheap, (b. in that scary closet that your parents have been meaning to clean out for decades. If you draw upon the latter, chances are you’ll have enough candles for the next five years.

*Remember to blow them out when leaving. Burning down your house is probably a lot more expensive than your monthly electric bill. 

3. Forgo having cable.

Not only will this save you a bunch of money, but again, it’ll weirdly make you appear sophisticated. And there’s a good chance you won’t have to actually sacrifice watching anything, given the state of the internet in 2013. Speaking of:

4. Mooch off your parents’ Netflix and HBOGO accounts.

If that is not an option, go splitsies with 1-2 other people. Avoid splitting with more than 2 others–too many people will result in everyone constantly getting locked out, which leads to a lengthy, passive-aggressive demise in friendship.

5. Buy one of those sit-up/yoga mats, so forgoing an unnecessary gym membership looks legit.

When the weather is nice, go running. Or at least talk about how you’re about to start running more.

6. Take the time to really read one of those regional-ey “events in your area” publications.

I’m talking about the ones that make frivolous use of explanation points while talking about local deals and cool, free events.

Saving money is all about keeping oneself occupied for free. Local fall festivals are the kings of this.

7. Similarly, get to know the various deals offered by the bars in your neighborhood.

If Monday is $1 fish taco night, you know what night you’re treating yo’self to fish tacos.

8. Pandora, Spotify, and the sweet commercials that accompany each.

I don’t have a commentary on this really. Spotify’s commercials are pretty hip, though. They must have such a “chill” work environment in which they don’t actively ensure everyone who works there smokes weed, but kinda hope that everyone who works there smokes weed.

9. Cash in on other people’s misplaced dreams.

If you are a 20-something, there’s a good chance some of your friends are still semi-foolishly pursuing their dreams. Be it acting at the local theater, beer brewing, or improvisational comedy, take advantage of the various social events these activities will naturally produce. They’re always less expensive than the more professional versions, and have a tendency to perpetuate a comfortably informal, yet excitingly aspirational feel.

Attending these things is a great way to appear interesting. Plus, your friend will always feel like he or she “owes you” for supporting them.

10. Buy one of these coffee cup insulator things.

I bought the item below last week for $10, and it’s already proved to be one of better investments I’ve ever made. Clear mind, full cup, can’t snooze:

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 1.56.59 PM
Pic via Ya Boy

11. DONATE all your old clothes to Goodwill.

You’ll make a little bit of money, it’s tax deductible (which allows you to tell your friends you did something that is tax-deductible), and Ben Affleck will be insanely happy when he knocks on your door and realizes that your clothes are no longer there. That last sentence was a pathetically forced Good Will Hunting reference that I probably should’ve taken out.

12. Grow out your hair.

Or, manage your hair in a way that allows you to go great lengths of time without having to get a haircut. If questioned about your suddenly weird style, tell others that true fashion is all about being ahead of the curve.

13. Drink Wine As If You Were Fancy.

Buy some decent looking wine glasses, and instantly offset that purchase by making consistent use of the wondrous Two Buck Chuck.

14. Thoughtfulness > Price.

When it comes to birthdays/holiday season, exercise your brain power and deliver a gift that, while inexpensive, is unequivocally thoughtful. This will prevent you from losing friends/people you care about, while also making it seem like you really have your shit together–I mean, how else would you have come up with such a killer idea?

15. Have a sense of humor.

I’m not here to tell you that it’s all gonna work out (spoiler alert: it probably will, but only somewhat), but I’m here to tell you that people who laugh about things always seem to be way happier than people who groan in outrageous hyperbole speak.

Remember that there’s always two sides to every coin–even those owned by Harvey Dent. TC mark