Trimming Fat, Cutting Costs

8 Mar

In case you haven’t noticed, gentle readers, I am poor. Unemployment lasting almost two months and having to wait for my first paycheck until close to the end of the month will do that to you. What with the cost of gas and food rising exponentially with every passing day, it’s a wonder any of us in entry-level wage-slave positions can afford to exist in this climate. Thus, as I look at my sad bank account desperately trying to keep afloat in this depressing time, I look at my budget and consider various things I can do to reduce costs in my daily life. Here are three small ways I”m trying to cut costs, some comedic and others in all seriousness:

1) I’m being Less Picky

I’m a foodie at heart. Food hates me and my finicky digestive system, so being able to eat food that tastes good is the only joy I get from sustenance. This is definitely difficult when good food costs you an arm and a leg. I’ve managed to save myself a good twenty bucks a week by cutting soda out of my diet, but that doesn’t account for how much juice costs (almost as much if you want stuff that’s good for you), or how much the rest of your grocery supply costs you. So I’ve been reducing everywhere I can. I just keep telling myself that when I start getting regular paychecks, I’ll have enough to eat well, and should resign myself to PB and J for a month or two for the sake of my bank account. Much as I want to shop at my local co-op and buy perfectly fresh organic foods all the time, my wallet can’t take it. Thus, it’s off to the trenches of Hell-Mart for a dose of cheap bulk and scary people.

2) The Commute

I now work downtown. Downtown Lincoln is a parking ordeal, and if you have to go there five days a week, you end up spending thirty to fifty dollars on parking. Awful. Balls-ass awful. Thus, I’ve come up with other ways to deal with my commute. Including taking the bus, which will work for me at least once or twice a week when I don’t have immediate post-work obligations or I get done with work early enough (the last chance I have to catch the bus is 5:45. Won’t help me on a day I work until six). The bus plan has the double benefit of saving me gas money, since gas is definitely about $3.60 a gallon in my neck of the woods. My other commuting option is parking in one of the nearby neighborhoods where parking isn’t restricted and then walking the rest of the way downtown. I could use the exercise, that’s for sure.

3) Be a hermit

I don’t eat out. I don’t go out, or if I do I don’t drink. Going out costs money. Eating in nice restaurants? Also costs money. Going to movies? I already pay for netflix (well, Jeff does, but you get my point). I remain sequestered in this tiny room, occasionally lonely, but not spending money. Of course, I also have incredibly generous friends, who insist they pay for everything when we go out. They are my heroes, and I owe them my life.

Those are the start. Hopefully I’ll find a few more to add to that list as my money supply shrinks and shrinks.

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