Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I am pretty tired of seeing articles about how to be a “recessionista.” They just refuse to go away. For those of you who have not lately been skulking around a Rite Aid reading Cosmopolitan (tucked inside a copy of the New Yorker, obviously...I have cred to maintain), a recessionista is a woman who is finding creative ways to beat the recession while still being fabulous. Or something. Setting aside the sheer stupidity of the word, a recessionista is really just someone who paints her toenails at home instead of getting a pedicure at a salon. Apparently Ming at Lucky Nail is in league with Goldman Sachs now. Yes, that's how we're going to beat the recession, ladies. Home pedicures.
Now, bleeding heart liberal that I am, I'm offended that anyone's whining about not being able to afford a pedicure when there are people in this country who don't have enough to eat, but I'm not going to go there because I'll get really worked up and it won't be pretty. (One of these days I'm going to scrape together five dollars and actually buy a copy of Cosmo for the express purpose of ripping it apart here, but I had to buy lunch today so you're out of luck.) What I really find ridiculous about these articles is that the tips aren't even that great—and so I came up with a few of my own. These are not Suze Orman tips, and they're not tips from my crush Paul Krugman. (What?! He looks like Clooney and he can explain the federal deficit to you in entertaining yet informative prose!) So this is not the New Deal--these are starving intern tips. But being a college student, I figure I know a hell of a lot more about saving money than some hack at Cosmo. (who presumably has a job at a magazine in this economy. Bitch.) So here we go.
1.Live at home. It's not fun, I know, to be in your twenties and still sharing a room with your sister and her stank-ass field hockey equipment and God knows what else, but it's the world we live in. If you're a student and serious about saving money--and they'll still take you--you're better off living with the rents whenever it's geographically feasible.
2.Get a library card. Now, my library sucks and all they stock is Twilight knock-offs and various romance novels about sexually repressed middle aged women (sometimes they're Mormons, sometimes they're Upper East siders, sometimes they're even vampires!) BUT they actually have a pretty awesome CD collection, a sizable portion of which I've ripped onto my computer. For someone like me who pours a good chunk of her paycheck straight into the pockets of Bullmoose Music, this is huge. Not legal, per se, but it's a recession!
3.Pack your lunch. Actually, I won't lie--my awesome mother usually packs my lunch. But this is the biggest money-saving tip I can give you. I walked half a mile to pay ten dollars for a goddamn salad and Diet Coke today (I don't usually eat like Posh Spice, today was a fluke)—but that'd be sixty bucks a week if I did it every day. Do you realize how much peanut butter and bread sixty dollars buys??
4.Save your pennies. I'm not even joking. Save them up in a coffee can and in six months or so dump them in one of those Coinstar machines. I usually come up with forty or fifty bucks—and when you're operating on a college student's budget, a spare $50 is a fortune. (That's like three thirty racks...four if you can stomach Keystone) I bought all my spring clothes this way. (Do get it in cash form first...although I've paid for stuff with loose change too. Michelle from Walgreens, I'm sorry. I really needed that lemonade...it had a date with some raspberry Smirnoff.)
5. Stop smoking so much weed, you guys. I don't have anything against it and I think it should be legal and that it's no biggie if you do it once in awhile and blah blah blah, but that shit is expensive. You, with the drug rug and the vape and the wake and bake habit? Trust me, your friends are tired of driving you around because you spent all your gas money on weed. Or else they think you're an entitled douche because you spend your parents' money on weed. Either way, no one likes you.
6.Just stop buying so much shit. It's bad for the Earth, it's bad for the Southeast Asian preschoolers who are making it, and it's bad for your wallet. Plus it's bad for you on a spiritual level, if you believe in that—we have a way of thinking we'll be happy if we just have more stuff. Did you learn nothing from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? Jesus Christ. My point is, just think a little harder before you head to the register. Buy a little less. Try it, you'll like it.