How did I have fun AND save money during my initial Dolla Thug Phase?
1) I DIDN’T LIVE IN MANHATTAN (unless it’s above 120th Street); try decent neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Harlem.
2) I made sure to go to FREE events (i.e. enjoy the park, free museums, Summer Stage concerts, River to River festival, etc. – or just hang at a friend’s place and watch old DVDs or shameful reality tv)
3) If I went out, I made sure to get to the venue BEFORE they started charging (“Free before 11″ meant I was ready and leaving my place at 9pm to get anywhere in Manhattan by 10:15!)
4) Liquor can be expensive – I definitely didn’t get caught up in the bottle-buying Manhattan high life; I took a cash budget of about $20 and I needed to make the most out of it (i.e. Long Island Iced Tea!) because when that was gone, I needed to be good for the rest of the night…unless someone else was buying! Tip: Being a lightweight saves money!
5) My preferred transportation of choice was the SUBWAY, no more cabs (living in Queens or Brooklyn guarantees a bill of at least $25 from Manhattan). Even now, I will take the subway at pretty much any time of night…alone…probably not safe, but I figure subways are lit, people are always riding 24/7 and my stop is fairly peaceful. Famous last words, I know – but it is what it is…
6) Window Shop! If I went shopping with friends, I wouldn’t buy anything; but I just enjoyed the company and conversation instead. And AVOID online shopping – it’s way too easy to accidentally key in your credit card # and hit the PURCHASE button. Addiction is REAL! WARNING: if Window Shopping is too tempting, DON’T do it! Just decline shopping invites and go to the park.
7) To other females, this may sound CRAZY…but I try to keep my clothes shopping down to once per quarter. Once a month if I have to…quarterly IS pretty strict. But if you’re serious about making a change, you’ll at least TRY it! A nice shopping spree every 3 months isn’t THAT bad!
8 ) One time I agreed to go to an expensive dinner for a friend’s birthday and I chose to have an appetizer instead of a main entree (a difference of ~$20!). Thinking back on it, I probably just would have declined the invite altogether, but it depends on the person.
9) My work clothes are about 75% Tar-jay (business casual) – just keepin’ it real and puttin’ it ALL out there for my readers! Don’t sleep on Target, it’s affordable and not that much lower in quality than all the expensive stores. I may not be a fashion icon at work, but I’ve gotten compliments on pieces that people would never suspect are from Target.
10) My non-work clothes are about 75% Forever 21 and H&M. H&M is actually borderline splurging for me. You may say Forever 21 is bad quality, but I’ve seen expensive brand zippers get stuck after the first wear – when you buy designer brands, you’re usually just paying for the name, not necessarily quality.
And that’s how Dolla Thug keeps it frugal all DAY! There are plenty of other ways, but I decided to start with these. Thoughts?
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