Thursday, October 9, 2008

What is the sound of one belt tightening?

Whew, I'm getting poorer every day.

As banks fall and investments erode, I've set a goal of more careful spending, a sweet spot between mindless consumption and parsimony.

With 'semi-semi-retirement' planned for '09, I'm mindful of broadcaster Peter Trueman's remark that "it's easier and less stressful to learn to live on less than it is to drive hard to earn more."


I've practiced small economies in the last year:

- Switching to Aveda Institute's $25 hair colours
- Paying for unlimited classes yoga classes by the year, which not only reduces my per class cost by nearly 66%, but gets me there more often
- Skipping the Starbucks unless Deb's set on
her grande soy half-caf latte
- Bookmarking my favourite staples (bras, lipstick) on eBay and waiting for a deal
- A more watchful eye out for sales
- Manicures: I can do a respectable manicure, unless it's a deep-red job. My cuticles love the vacation from aggressive cutting. Hooked on the salon for feet.

Considering for '09:
- I understand there is this place c
alled a library? Bye-bye Amazon habit.
- Coupons: no more direct to recycle bin. Let's see what's on offer.
- Not not not opening thos
e J Crew free shipping e-mails!
- Gym: Maybe. I only use it for the treadmill and could replace with walks. A toughie.
- The car!
I lived in the center of this big city for many years without one and loved it. We live on a major streetcar line, and there are AutoShare and ZipCar sites 5 minutes away. All amenities are a 5-7 min. walk. We are seriously considering going car free, but want to get though the winter first.

But there are some corners I won't cut till I'm hoeing turnips in my back yard:
- Hairstylist (though expect tippy top service)

- Lingerie: ratty scanties feel sad and the cheap stuff falls apart
- Perfume: though I may make a bottle last longer; have not found a bargain scent I like
- Gifts: This doesn't mean hurling money (see my p
osts on Gifts), but if something's right, girlfriend gets it. For C. a luminous amethyst pen, for R.'s new home, a Lampe Berger (that burns intriguing Absinthe-scented oil).

5 comments:

WendyB said...

Never skimp on hair has always been my policy.

La Belette Rouge said...

Even at the worst of times there is always money for hair( when you have all white roots it is not an option;-). And, I so need to follow your lead and not open the Jcrew emails. I am also buying Peet's coffee gift cards and once I have used it up I am done with Peet's for the month. It makes me more conscious about how much money I spend on my drug of choice.

Anjela said...

I have cut out everything this past year as school costs for last child escalate and amazingly my health being in some form of crisis has lessened my need to shop for anything
. Lol
I have discovered mascara for my root ends- I have stopped wearing make up. I switched to Optimum and now my phone bill is $25.00 a month down from $800.00 I had a good service but still it was 10 cents a minute to Ireland and Australia where I made daily calls.

I haven't bought much clothing (a pair of shoes and a skirt from J Crew) I get all my buying fixes by being the buyer for my store):)Not the same thing, I know:)
I find I can do without everything. It really isn't an effort. I do of course miss my weekend jaunts discovering Relaix & Chateau hotels and Inns in the Berkshires. I miss flying home and spending a night or two in The Clarence, in Dublin. I miss the frequent spas and eye brow plucking and moustach waxing and bikini line yanking. I miss Aqua de Parma, the scent that took me to some magical place- eating on the terrace at The Ritz in Cannes. I miss beautiful clothes. I miss the ability to fly to see my daughter and spend a few nights in Shutters on the Beach. To eat at our favourite haunts- La Cabana, for great tacos and it has been there forever- Casablanca for great meals both in Venice CA. To spend a nice evening at The Ivy and people gawk. To find ways of finding ways to feel alive that cost nothing. It is harder. It takes work. But I discovered that I don't feel any the less unhappier or happier by another handbag or another facial or another pair of earrings.
I love all the stuff- I just can't afford it right now.
But I love reading all the new items and by proxy I enjoy it all.

~TessaScoffs said...

Libraries are wonderful places. They don't always have the latest...but they usually have the classics. You can take home an armful and you don't have to feel guilty if you don't read them (or like them) all.

Duchesse said...

anjela: an evocative list of remembered luxuries. Sometimes when I think of what I'd spend on clothes (silk blouse habit) before I had a family, I think, was that me? That phone bill reduction is no doubt a welcome savings!