Wednesday, July 7, 2010

christie's cost-cutting contributions...

sorry, i know it's been a while since ive updated this thing. man, people weren't kidding. summertime in chicago is pretty much THE place to BE! i LOVE IT HERE!!!! haha. but that would explain my lack of an update- i simply havent had enough time to sit down and write a substantial (read: neverending) blog entry.

but no worries! im back!! in (hopefully!) full swing! and what better way to start off my summertime series than with a little lesson in personal finance?

i came up with this idea for a blog entry about... eight hours ago when i started off my wonderful wednesday morning by... taking a look at my credit card statement. holy bejeezleweezles! talk about a rude awakening. well, after that slight shellshock of a start to my morning, ive spent the rest of the day coming up with some creative approaches to cutting costs (because im certainly not making any more money... come on, darn novel, will you just publish yourself and become a multimillion dollar bestseller? come ON!) in the summertime, without sacrificing any fun (of COURSE!)...

so i present to you... christie's cost-cutting contributions... talk about alliteration at its finest...

1. bike to work - im more determined than ever to start biking to work once my monthly pass' pre-tax benefits are done in august. granted, it takes about an additional half hour to my morning routine (based on my sole trial bike ride to work a couple of weeks ago, when my overexcited self decided to just take to the streets of chicago by bike) but i really think the majority of that additional half hour is due to the act of locking my bike. once i figure out how to efficiently do THAT (which i firmly believe will happen with time and practice), i really think my morning routine will be pretty much as seamless as possible. minus the issue of changing clothes and drying off my sweat (lovely) in the ladies' restroom at work. sigh. sacrifices. but just think! exercise, a beautiful ride along lake shore, and saving $86 in a month. totes worth it. (icing on the cake: i bought my bike for SUPER cheap because my friend had an extra one just laying around- if any of you have been bike shopping recently, you KNOW how expensive these things can BE... yikesers...)

2. stop drinking - i dont enjoy the taste of alcohol. and, quite frankly, im about as uninhibited as one can get in a sober state of mind. not to mention i need all the help i can get to condition my body for this half marathon in september... i really think all signs are pointing to nixing the intake of alcoholic beverages. well, maybe except for wine (how can you resist a good white wine in the summertime)... or maybe i could limit myself to like one drink whilst out... a little cranberry vodka never hurt anybody, right? ah, only time will tell but i really think that, even if i dont stop drinking altogether, i will be SIGNIFICANTLY cutting back- not like i drink all that much to begin with, but still, it's enough to feel it on my bank account... for all of the above reasons in addition to the whole saving money bit... now, if the tab's on someone else... well, that's just a whole other story...

3. bring lunch - i dont understand why the hell i keep buying lunch. lord knows it's NOT healthy (did you know one of my favorite salads in the cafeteria contains 41 g of FAT?? WTF. i used to be so GOOD at gauging the fat/calorie count in a particular meal... but clearly that is now lost on me). not to mention i usually end up spending between five and eight bucks on lunch everyday (!)... add that up over the year and you are looking at a WHOLE lot of unnecessary wasted cash. at least now that ill start bringing lunch, ill be able to truly cherish eating out as a special occasion now. i really am annoyed myself for developing this bad habit and i have no idea why/how i picked it up. i mean, my parents NEVER buy lunch at work- it never ceases to amaze me.

4. dont buy coffee - okay, since my little lenten resolution, ive successfully nixed my starbucks habit. unfortunately, ive also now discovered the wonders and glories of corner bakery's chai tea. sigh. while cheaper than starbucks, it's not nearly as cheap as... nothing. it doesnt make any sense, either. in the wintertime, i justified this habit with the whole "wanting something warm in the morning time". well, screw that in the summertime. it is HOT and HUMID. if i want something warm in the morning time, ill just allow myself a few more extra minutes of sitting around in my disgusting sweat between my morning workout and getting in the shower. lovely thought, isnt it?

5. dont belong to a gym - now, remember. i didnt want to sacrifice anything regarding my health and wellbeing or general happiness for cheapness. therefore, because working out makes me feel good (think: endorphins... think elle woods in legally blonde... does anyone get my reference?!?!?), i dont want to discontinue it because i want to save on the costs of a gym. but that's where the beauty of mother nature comes into play! hello! it's SUMMERTIME! what better time to exercise outdoors than now? i guess this sounds a lot better in theory than in actuality, given the disgusting ridiculousness that only humidity can bring, but still. it hasnt deterred me yet... and at least chicago's not experiencing as BAD a heat wave as the northeast, right? right. see? look at me- ever the optimist.

6. shop at trader joes - so, despite the fact that i havent been bringing my lunch to work, i still do go to the grocery store on a regular basis, believe it or not. partially it's because i LOVE grocery shopping but i also think a huge part of it has to do with the fact that there's a grocery store literally one block from my place. unfortunately, this place is also ridic exPENsive. i mean, $5 for some kraft cheese? are you kidding me? no. and i know this fact. each and every time i go to this grocery store i think about how much money im wasting. but the convenience of having it right on the corner has really overcome my concerns for its priceyness. not anymore, thank you very much. trader joes (tjs, if you will) it SO is. i mean, do you guys REALIZE how CHEAP tjs is?? and the best part is, tjs has some pretty f'ing DELICIOUS FOOD. so no sacrifice to quality of meals, i can 100% assure you. it's quite amazing, really. my heart tends to skip a beat in excitement each and every time i enter such hallowed halls. you think im kidding, but im so not... well, maybe just a tad. but just a tad.

7. stop attending unnecessary events that are NOT free (or at least more than, like, 10 bucks) - so when i made my grand arrival in chicago, i knew i wanted to get super involved in the city, because i know i want to settle down in this area and, obvi, i HAVE to be involved in the community within which i want to settle! i mean, what if i want to run for public office someday?! (haha omg can you IMAGINE if i ran for public office someday?? sigh. another blog topic for another day, i guess...) ANYWAY, so with this intent in mind, i have completely immersed myself in a couple of organizations and/or general activities throughout the city. while not all of them cost money, some of these events certainly DO. and considering i feel pretty well-settled in chicago by now (not to mention feeling slightly overextended by my extracurriculars at present), i feel like i have plenty of room to cut back/be more selective about the events which i choose to attend. so you KNOW ill be paying just THAT much more attention to the price tag on said events... i mean, it really just adds up.

so there you have it... all the little things you can do in life to cut some costs while maintaining the same satisfaction levels with your life. ahhh- here i go again. saving the world one christieism at a time. gosh, you are SO welcome. hahaha juuust kidding :)

in gratitude of-
cost-cutting contributions...

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