Friday Five: Austerity

  1. When you have to cut back on spending for a time, what are the niceties you’re least likely to give up even though you could (or should)? When I need to save money, I should probably watch sales more closely and buy generic or at least cheaper brands, but unless it’s a case where I’ll be mixing it with something else and taste isn’t crucial for that lone item, I really don’t. Paul’s gone grocery shopping with me a few times, and he comes from a family of eight total where they shop at Aldi’s and buy generic (in fact, I’ve noticed that he and his mother–and he probably gets it from her–throw around the phrase, “He/she buys name-brand!” as if it is both a sign of wealth and an insult), and he was on a kick for a while about my expensive organic milk. I also refuse to turn my heat down in my apartment for the purposes of saving money. I’d rather be poor and warm than slightly less poor and cold.
  2. In leaner times, what are your go-to “famine foods?” I already eat a lot of pasta, so there’s that. I also noticed if I buy more produce and snack on fruits or have tomato sandwiches or corn on the cob for dinner, I save some money.
  3. How do you keep yourself amused or entertained in times requiring great frugality? I keep very busy regardless without much going out, or at least without me doing the paying when I’m out with Paul. I fare very well with the internet, Netflix, and my double-stacked bookshelves.
  4. When was the last time you had to go into austerity mode? I’m actually not sure. It’s hard to tell with me because lately, I technically can afford not to but dislike transferring money from my savings account–I’m trying to save as much as possible, and on my paycheck, saving isn’t easy, but it is getting easier. I’d say it’s been several months since I was really nearly broke.
  5. What’s a necessary expenditure others might consider an extravagance? To an extent, internet because it provides entertainment but it’s also occasionally a source of bonus income for me through writing, plus actually building a writing career in general–through submitting to publications, networking, work experience, brand/name-building–practically requires the internet.
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