Monday, January 25, 2010

Saving $ in NYC: Yes, it's possible

I love this story in the WSJ about how the author's daughter lives frugally in NYC and manages to save $5K while making $30K. Many of the tricks that she uses (eating lentils and other non-meat, non-processed filling foods) I have used for the last few years to get me through grad school and also last year to pay off my loan. When I look at my list of don'ts that I made in early 2008, it's pretty impressive. And now the don'ts feel natural (for the most part) so I don't spend money on these things, but don't miss them. Really, clothing is the only thing that I'm having a bit of a spending backlash on. So to people who say you can't save $ in NYC, you've just got to re-set your expectations as to what is "normal".

My Spending Rules/Don'ts
Spend less than 2K a month on rent
Don't take taxis
Don't get manicures, pedicures, waxes, facials or massages (or at least not regularly)
Don't buy clothes or shoes
Don't buy makeup
Don't order takeout food
Don't have a home phone
Don't pay any banking fees
Don't go to concerts
Don't own a car, pay for gas or car insurance or parking
Don't rent cars
Don't buy lunch out
Don't buy furniture or other home decor items
Don't buy books (use the library)
Don't buy napkins, other paper products or cleaning products (not good for environment anyway; obviously tp is an exception to this rule!)
Don't buy jewelry
Don't buy meat or processed foods
Don't buy wine that costs more than $10 a bottle

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