I read some great links recently about saving money, at A Home in the City and The Simple Dollar.
Living in the city can be expensive. Before I met Mark, I never, ever ordered in. It was a luxury to have someone carry my food up four flights of stairs. I cooked almost all my dinners, usually one of three things.
These days, I try to make my lunch, but it’s not easy. Commuting between Mark’s place and mine, I have a hard time remembering what’s in the fridge. My work life has been insane, so I have little energy to cook when I get home. Mark also dislikes eating the same thing twice in a row, so we rarely eat leftovers as a couple. (Reheated pizza is the only exception).
Variety is luxury. Then there’s Eric Gioia, the New York councilman who tried living on food stamps for a week, basically 28 bucks. He found it virtually impossible to spend less than a dollar a meal. And if you can’t afford food, you certainly can’t afford vitamins or a gym membership. It’s easy to see how people become obese.
So we do all we can to save money, and those of us who have money to save are lucky. Others are just trying to squeak by.
It’s all relative, as things are. For instance, I plan on ordering in for the next couple weeks, so I can make my own curtains. It might be twelve or fifteen bucks a meal, but I’ll save $800 and end up with great curtains. I could say no to the curtains and live like a monk, but then I think that beauty is priceless, and a part of fully enjoying my home.
I remember working at my old office, designing multi-million dollar homes. Sprawling, traditional houses were built with real slate roofs and elevators, often for wealthy couples. A 10,000 square foot house for two people was fun to talk about at parties. As a subject, it never got old.
My boss would shrug whenever clients changed their minds. The French glazed tile on the roof that was taken down because of the color, the house that was completely redesigned from scratch. Standing by my desk, he’d break news to me with a gee-golly-gosh chuckle. ‘It’s only money.’