No matter how frugally you learn to live, there are still going to be some things you’ll want to splurge on, and that’s OK. I mean, this is a recession, after all, not a potato famine. You don’t have to give up all your luxuries or switch to low-cost everything; you just have to get savvier about making extra money for those treats you enjoy. But I’m not talking about getting a second job or really working that much harder; a true recessionista knows how to make extra cash for little luxuries while leaving plenty of free time to enjoy them, too. After the jump, seven ways to make more money without taking a second job … Keep reading »
Do you ever feel like you spend an inordinate amount of time standing in front of an ATM? I used to feel the exact same way. I’d take out cash in small increments, spend it on Lord knows what, run out, and then go back for more without thinking. I won’t lie—there were nights, especially when alcohol was involved, where I’d sometimes go for cash twice. Then I’d look at my statement online, and notice that $40 plus $40 plus $80 plus $40 kind of adds up to a lot. Very quickly, my paycheck began dwindling much faster than it should have been. Then I had a random conversation with my parents where they were telling me about The Good Old Days, when once the bank closed, if you didn’t have money—too bad, you just had to figure it out. You didn’t have constant access to your money. And what I think is a brilliant idea was born. What if I went to the ATM once—only once—a week and pretended at all other times that cash was not a four-digit pin code away. Keep reading »
As soon as I was pushed out of the college womb into the harsh light of day, I discovered I had a really big problem: I was a complete financial idiot. How did I miss the memo on how to support myself as an adult? I was raised in a middle-class family where both of my parents worked. I never was denied anything I needed, yet I wasn’t spoiled. I worked as a teenager, but mostly used my money to buy clothes and CDs. I attended a prestigious private university in New York City on a partial scholarship, and worked during college to make up for the difference. I was always a good student who got good grades. My point: I assumed that I knew what I needed to know to be a reasonably financially successful adult. Keep reading »
I am essentially living my dream—seven months ago, I packed up my life in New York and decided to move to Paris for a year. I get a lot of “How did you do it?” questions from people with similar aspirations, all of whom seem to think that moving abroad was a whimsical decision I made in a week. Not the case—planning such an endeavor took months, not just to sort out logistics, but also to save money. Lots of it.
Thinking about ex-pat life? Here are some tips to save and manage your money to make it possible, plus things to consider once you make the jump. Keep reading »
In certain ways, I think of my life in two parts. There was before, when I was more carefree, more irresponsible, and carried debt. And there’s after, where I’m a bit more serious, way more self-controlled, and have no debt at all. But how did I get here? Well, I didn’t read a book, I didn’t watch Suze Orman, and I didn’t write down every single thing that I spent. It wasn’t easy. And it sure didn’t happen over night. But, eventually, I went from debt-heavy to debt-free, and I would like to report from personal experience that while the road there isn’t exactly paved with fun and frivolity, the payoff is pretty awesome. Keep reading »
Not only is a clothing swap a great excuse to organize your closets, get rid of stuff you no longer want, and gather a group of girlfriends for an afternoon or evening of cocktails and clothes, it’s also an opportunity to score some totally free new-to-you outfits and accessories. I found one of my favorite dresses — a vintage summer maxi dress — at a clothing swap a couple years ago, but I’ve also scored some cool jewelry, a couple silk vintage slips, a few purses, and once I even nabbed a pair of barely worn Seven jeans that fit like a glove (for once, I was grateful for my curvy hips). Hey, one woman’s trash is another woman’s favorite pants. So, after the jump, my top six tips for throwing a successful clothing swap. Keep reading »