A Spending Fast

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This photo is an accurate depiction of things I would blow my money on in New York.

July was an over-indulgent month for me. My excuse for every dollar I spent and every ounce of cheesecake I took was “I’ll stop spending and eat healthy when I move!” So many bites of cheesecake. So many credit card swipes.

July was also a very special month for me. I went on vacation in Puerto Rico and took a break from vegetarianism to enjoy all the lard-dipped, deep-fried goods on the island. I will never think about empanadas or corn dogs the same way again now that I’ve been to the kiosks at Luquillo Beach, but at least I won’t have to think about them for a long time since there seems to be NO LATIN AMERICAN FOOD IN BOSTON. I’ll find it. But I won’t spend money on it! The most amazing part about this vacation is that I got engaged to this dream-defyingly perfect guy in the most surreal natural setting I’ve ever experienced. The entire vacation was unforgettable and unregrettable, but my piggy bank is definitely on the empty side now.

I knew that moving to a new city, especially Boston, would be expensive, and before moving I had a few ideas about how I would make it work. My new living situation is (surprisingly) more expensive than Brooklyn despite my living space being a quarter of the size of my previous apartment. I don’t have a full time job at this time, but I have at least my rent covered until the end of September. September 30th, my organs will be available for purchase if someone in Boston doesn’t hire me. Also, getting married is going to be expensive, and that’s happening next summer, 2014. Last night I did what I’m sure thousands of un-engaged girls do all over the world: I looked at wedding shit on pinterest. I feel so dirty. And you know what? I want a really nice dress. I want to look really pretty, because this will probably be the most photographed event of my life. And let me tell you, NICE DRESSES ARE EXPENSIVE. On a not-so-selfish note, I also want to give any extra money I have to my family so they can all make to wherever I get married and not feel like they have to go into debt with credit cards because of me.

Saving money and getting a job are two things that I can definitely do. Another thing I discovered on Pinterest when I wasn’t looking up yoga, healthy recipes, or… eek! bridal things, was this website called How To Do A Spending Fast. This person was gainfully employed when she did her spending fast, and she did it AFTER her wedding, but it still has some inspirational points in it.

Now, here come the logistics of it.

1. Only eating food that I can prepare at home. Unless someone else is buying dinner! That means groceries are all I rely on for sustenance. This is going to be much healthier for me and my wallet compared with going out to eat and squandering cash on cheap food.

2. Exercising indoors or running/biking in the elements. Boston gets really cold in the winter, but I’m going to have to be a tough new New Englander and deal with the pain.

3. Watching movies/tv at home. A Netflix subscription goes a really long way.

4. Reading more books (they’re so time consuming, it’s great) and developing a relationship with the library. I’m very lucky that in South End, there’s a branch only a few blocks from me!

5. Writing more. This week, I’ve finished two short stories, and by the end of today, I’ll probably have a third. I don’t want to assign any lofty goals to this hobby of mine, but it would be really great to have this collection published when it’s done. I did go to school for writing, and it’d be nice to have something that I’m proud of to show for it.

6. No more coffee on the run. This will probably help me cut back on my coffee consumption — I’ll just drink whatever I have at home and that will be that. I’ll sleep like a normal person!

7. Going out. If there’s a once in a life time event or some kind of socializing that I can do without purchasing food or drinks, I will definitely do it. I want to make friends, but I don’t want to lose tons of money doing it. The friends I’m looking for will be accepting of me not wanting to break the bank on going out just to talk or watch tv or do something we could do in one of our apartments.

These are the big things that I can think about right now. As I go on with this, I’ll think of more ways to save money or bring in extra cash. So far this week, the only thing I’ve spent money on was tubing for my air conditioner and caulk to hold the tubing in place. I think the total was something like $9. That’s not bad. And it was an essential!

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