So yeah, now that everyone is poor, I feel much less self-conscious about sharing my super-creative money saving tactics. What’s awesome about my life is that I got poor before ye ole economic downturn, so the recession hasn’t really affected me too much. Poor in 2007, poor in 2008. And yes, still poor in 2009.
I should qualify by saying that I’m not, like, really poor. I’m what you might call “San Francisco poor”. Which is to say, I’m making rent (barely), but my rent is about two-thirds of my income.
So, following are Holden-Certified tips and tricks for saving money (and by “saving” I mean “not spending on something other than rent or medical bills”. I certainly do not mean putting money in some sort of “account” where it might “accrue interest”).
Tip #1: Take The Goddamn Bus
I realize those of you in suburbs might not be able to swing this one, but selling my car was the smartest thing I ever did. I didn’t even have car payments, but I did have to buy gasoline and feed that goddamn monkey known as the “Department of Parking & Transportation”.
It was the DPT that got me in the end: I’d been living in San Francisco for about two years and during that time I’d amassed somewhere around a dozen parking tickets and had been towed thrice.
The last tow job was evil. I didn’t even know my car was gone, as I’d been trying to save on gas and had my car parked on a residential street within my super-expensive sticker boundaries.
Did you know you can’t leave your car on any street in SF for more than 72 hours? Yeah, well neither did I because they don’t tell you that. No signs, no warning ticket, nothing. I’d been out of town for a few days and when I went to get my car: GONE. And in this city, you rack up a nice little bill in that time:
tow $250.00 (yes you have to pay this in addition to the ticket)
storage $100.00 per day
Final Total: $775.00
After paying that, I was pretty much, “Fuck it. I’m going Craigslist.” I never looked back. Also, my car was a lemon and I developed a rational fear full-on phobia of driving that went along nicely with the “it’s too expensive” excuse.
In retrospect, I should have just parked on the sidewalk, by the fire hydrant, wherever I goddamn pleased because clearly attempting to follow the rules left the metermaids nonplussed.
Tip #2: Creative Food Mooching
This is my daily routine: I drink coffee, go to work, buy more coffee and a muffin. I drink the coffee all day to stave off hunger until my coworkers have either (1) created leftovers from their fancy take-out (2) offered homemade cookies or bread or cake or whatever to everyone in the office or (3) I can’t take it anymore so I eat the muffin.
If either (1) or (2) happen, which is surprisingly often, I save the muffin and eat it for dinner. I realize that’s not very healthy, but I make up for it by taking a multivitamin. When I remember.
Tip #3: Get A Really Nice Boyfriend
Mine is awesome. He feeds me and sometimes even clothes me. If you have reservations about this kind of set-up because of “feminism” or “pride”, you need to get over yourself or get a better job.
Tip #4: “Homemade” Dog Food
In case you didn’t know, dogs can live on pretty much anything. People with dogs in San Francisco have somehow gotten it into their pretty little heads that dogs should be eating gourmet.
I think this makes them feel less guilty about owning a purebred or “designer bred” labradoodle or pugoodle or whatever those dogs are called.
Well, I own a mutt and she was found dying on the side of the road after being hit by a car in the East Bay. So I figure my leftover oatmeal and pea soup is just fine to mix in with the cheap kibble. I saved her life. What has she ever done for me? Peed on my floor, that’s what.
Sorry Prima, but I’m just not forking over $200 a month for the doggie “raw diet” BS. I’d like to eat that much meat too.
Tip #5 Not Drinking
I’m telling you, it has never been a better time to be a sober alcoholic. 2008 was our year! And 2009 promises to be just as splendid.
I guess there’s some conventional wisdom out there saying that when the economy’s bad, beer sales go up. Which makes sense, but let’s not be stupid. Drinking is expensive. Especially when you live in the City and used to drink $10 Manhattans and really overtipped.
If you’re a cute single girl or boy and the other boys want to buy you drinks, well then, bully for you. Make use of those genes because they will not last.
Sell Your Clothes!
Stop Paying Off Your School Loans!
Pick Up Shit Treasure Off The Street!