Thursday, July 17, 2003

Since someone asked, here are a few tips from The Rob Log on how to make your dollars last just a little longer when you're caught in a sudden financial squeeze.

1. Walk to Work. Okay, so I had gotten a bit lazy over recent months, and took the subway to work. Mass transit shaved 10 minutes or so off my commute, but added an additional $4 in daily expenses. This one was an easy one.

2. No. More. Cabs. Cabs can be an especially difficult thing to give up, especially when My Regular Bar is in Hell's Kitchen, but home is on the far edge of the Upper East Side. A cab ride home only takes 15 minutes or so, but costs $10-12. Nice. On the other hand, mass transit can take over an hour, but only costs $2. When dollars are short, kids, take my advice and go MTA. Just make sure to completely empty your bladder before leaving the bar. Seriously.

3. Speaking of bars, well, yes, my Happy Hour hours have had to be trimmed back. But it's possible to still play with the other kids. Rule #1: try to stick to Happy Hour, when the drinks are measurably cheaper (especially at My Regular Bar.) Rule #2: restricting those nights out to one or two per week is advisable. Going out five or six nights a week used to be fun, but is sort of counter-productive to the whole 'saving money' thing.

4. When drinking at home (alone, pathetic, like some old lady who dies unnoticed and is eated by her cats...), you can still cut back. For instance, if I was inclined to practice such antisocial behavior, I have found that even the cheaper chardonnays are better than the stuff I pay much more money for on a by-the-glass basis at, oh... let's say My Regular Bar.

5. Dry-cleaning should also be minimized, so when you're drinking at home, try not to spill on your clean khakis. I'm trying very hard to cut my dry-cleaning bill (which, at $35 per week or so, was admittedly a bit ridiculous) through dramatic measures like resisting the urge to take things in every time I think about wearing them.

6. Cigarettes are expensive and socially reprehensible and I love them so forget about it.

7. Vitamin Water costs $2 per bottle. Tap water is free, and I've already got multi-vitamins that don't expire until June, 2004.

8. If you unplug your telephone between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM, Monday through Sunday, so that bill collectors can't reach you, you have plausible deniability.

And there you have it. Follow these tips from TRL, and save, save, save!

You're welcome!

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