My $8 Existence


I have $10.11 in my bank account right now which, actually, is an accomplishment.  My credit union tends to get a little cranky when I have less than $5 (or less than $0) in my account at any given time.  I could create a novella with all of the paper statements they have sent me asking me to please try and keep at least $5 in my account, but I digress...

Living off $10 is hard.  And I've been living off about $8 for the past two weeks in my heroic attempt to keep some money in my account (double what the minimum is, in fact!).  There's a Walgreens down the street from my work and you can buy Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets there for around $3 and, after you purchase those, you get a coupon which lets you buy TWO boxes of Hot Pockets for about $1.  And of course, as any starving twentysomething knows, every box of Hot Pockets comes with TWO Hot Pocket sandwiches, so these little babies have served as my lunch and dinner for the past two weeks - and I still have ten bucks in my bank account!

So obviously, I am pretty proud of myself.  But also fairly obvious is the fact that my $8 existence is pretty pathetic.  I mean, I have a full-time job at a successful PR company! Why am I living off Hot Pockets?*

So luckily, I am getting paid tomorrow (and I have a sweet gift certificate to Outback courtesy of a very splendid Valentine).  But what's the first thing I want to do when I get paid? I want to buy these sweet Minnetonka Moccasins:

And then I want to head to the bookstore and buy about 5 books I've had on my list since I began the Life of $8.  I want to get these two caterpillars crawling on my face above my eyes waxed.  I want to buy an anniversary gift for Cute Boy.  I want to put away money for my upcoming trip to Napa.  I want to pay my mother back the $200 I owe here from helping me purchase my bed back in 11/07.  I don't want, but have to, renew my parking permit for a pricey 60 bucks - which sucks doubly because I will probably only be living at this location for another four months and it's a year long pass.  I also don't want to, but have to, pay off the parking ticket I received over at Cute Boy's apartment last week when I took a nap and forgot to read the meter.  Blime.

And then, of course, I want to eat.  And not just Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets, even though they are so dear to my heart.** You see my dilemma, I'm sure. I am struggling with equal parts low salary, lots of monetary needs and even more monetary wants.

Last October, Elysa posted this money-saving post on GenPink.  Splendid advice, really.  Especially the part about selling books on Amazon (as opposed to my copious habit of...well, buying them).  So in the spirit of Elysa's frugality, here are my day-to-day ways to improve my finances:

Items I Have Implemented in My Life to Save Money
  • Um...yeah. I buy my Hot Pockets with coupons?
  • I eat the office supply of Whoppers (the malted milk ball, not the hamburger) for a healthy, mid-day snack.
  • Hmm...okay, moving on!

Things I Plan to Start Doing
  • Using coupons for ALL my food shopping!
  • Actually, shopping for food instead of going out to eat it.
  • Not buying too many unnecessary purchases (like moccasins AND a new collection of books - just one or the other).
  • Bringing my lunch to work.
  • Plucking my caterpillars myself :/
  • Resisting the urge to buy every magazine at the newsstand and understanding that they all say basically the same thing anyway.
  • Eating breakfast at home instead of buying a bagel on the way to work every morning.
  • Not driving to work :(
  • Showering my Cute Boy with more kisses and less expensive presents.
  • Getting a raise!  Woot !!
*You'll be happy to hear that I convinced Cute Boy that, as my one-and-only Valentine, it his duty to take me to lunch today.

**I am now too poor even to afford these Hot delights and have resorted to eating Whoppers to keep from fainting.  Blimey.


Michael said...

ummm yeah. Selling books on Amazon is a pretty good tip! You might get up to 40% of your investment back! But what might work even better is going to this place called the library and not paying anything in the first place! Phhheeew! This saving money thing is hard!

Jamie Lovely said...

I've been wanting those mocs in black! I love them.

I'm also loving the peachyness of your blog :)

BB said...

Love those shoes :D

Michael - aw c'mon, going to the library is SO not the same thing. There's nothing like going to the bookstore and buying brand new books that are your own. :P

I'm a book-lover too, and on the hunt for a decent full-time job, and so I totally know how it feels!

Maxie said...

Hot Pockets are the shit.

And my weakness is totally going to borders... I spend SO much money there.

I've been thinking about starting a blogger book exchange on my blog, but I don't know how I would do it or anything. Ugh. I have bad organizational skills...but what do you think. Actually I just posted it on 20 something bloggers and my blog so we'll see if people want to do it. okay i'm rambling now, so i'm going to go LOL

Andrea said...

Use to find the books you're looking for at their cheapest. and are also ways of trading out books you don't want for ones you do, just for the cost of postage.

I LOVE books. Are you on

elysa said...

I am glad you enjoyed the tips. But saving money is not nearly as fun as spending it. I am the process writing a post for next week on saving money on books. How funny is that!

ps - I eat lipton pasta packages and mac n' cheese for my cheap dinners. Do you have Big Lots where you live, best prices on food ever!