Saturday, November 15, 2008

Financial, savvy?

Young Nicholas makes a fine point in response to my last jab at him and his lap dance fetish...we cannot let these hard economic times interfere with our post-collegiate freedoms. The crafty and intelligent will never cut corners even when the little known disease myfundsarelow strikes...they will find creative strategies to continue living, and living well. Not to toot my own horn, but as many of you know I did this even during the good times. A dollar saved is a dollar you can spend later, my friends. So let me provide you with some sounds investment strategies to help get you through these rocky times.

The first is simple: Wear a sweater, stupid. If you have an apartment and you're on a middle floor...wear a sweater and you don't need to keep your heat turned on. At all. Heat rises, my friends. Your pipes will not freeze, because you're stealing heat from the apartment below you and any pipes above you will be heated by the poor saps living above you. Hell, as long as you're on the 2nd floor or above, even on the top floor heat is a commodity. Having your special someone over for dinner? Kick that thermostat back on and show her a good time. But when you get up to go to work and her ass stays in the sheets, that dial goes back down, my friends. Pipes don't freeze at 50, they freeze at're fine, trust me.

2: Learn the "young adult specials." As much as I try to resist, we are in fact social creatures. That means we as young adults enjoy interacting at restaurants and bars. But, nothing says you need to go to the $5 beer 7$ mix drink shitholes with no service. EVER (Fuck you, Gritty's). After 9pm drink and ap specials are a survival tool fiscal conservatives need to learn and love. Some are nice. In town Applebee's has an after 9 drink special every night. But Fridays and Saturdays they slow play you with full price ap's. A sucker would pass this off and say "On the whole, I can pay a little bit more on these is the weekend after all. WRONG! Gip's throws it down after 10 on Fridays with half price ap's. If you don't know, now you know. Gip's on Thursday, half price 32 oz. after 9. Mix and match. Thursday grab a quick chicken basket and Killians at the Bee's before hopping over to Gip's for their tall, cool Budweisers. Fridays, just a Killians at the Bee's to loosen up then go to Gip's for a late dinner, maybe even to go, then have your tall cool Budweiser poured by yourself from a 30 pack can (this is simply not possible and i made myseld laugh as I'm typing it. I've yet to meet a person who can walk into Gipper's and not order a tall, cool Budweiser. Well, at least I can't, so that's my $4 splurge in a given week. Sue me.).

2a: Goose. That's all I have to say.

2b: These aren't money saving strategies but just need to be mentioned in this section. Always tip your waitress. And tip them fairly. Not always well, but if you're a regular and you have a tall, cool Budweiser placed at your table within a minute of sitting, that deserves a little more that your average. And I'm a 20% guy. See, jerks, I'm not cheap, I'm just quirky in my spending. And at these places my tips equal fair market value. You're ordering a $4 beer and $8 ap, even if it only costs you $6. 6+3 = 9. 4+8+3=15. It's not rocket surgery you're still making out like a bandit.

3: Pay with cash. This may thrown a little bit of you for a loop, but this might be my only true investment strategy. Very few purchases (other than restaurants and bar settings) are for just dollars. There are almost always cents left over. These cents, when placed in your pocket, brought home, and collected in a safe space eventually produce a small amount of savings. You seem to pay a tad bit more initially, But 40 cents here and 30 cents there are negligible and forgotten as soon as the purchase is made...but this becomes a rainy day fund. You start doing this, my friends, and pay mostly with cash from now on, you could find yourself with close to $40 dollars by Christmas time that you forgot you had. This equals cards for mom and the grandparents, who eat that shit up (+/-$10) That's still close to 30 bones to blow on food and drinks. Follow steps 2 and 2a and you've got yourself a free weekend right there almost every month. (Some of you are saying, "Matt, how can this be? I don't think I spend all that much money." Well let me spell out my voodoo math. I believe (in most cases) everything in life comes back to 50/50 odds. Some things are up, some are down. In this case, sometimes you get more change than 50 cents when you pay with cash, sometimes less. But if you make 20 purcheses a week, no matter if you spend a dollar and change or $100 and change, my voodoo math says about $10 a week will come back to your pocket slightly unexpected at a later date. You're not gaining any money doing it, but trust me most times it sure as hell puts a smile on your face when you find your trust sack of quarters.

3a: Coinstar is the devil. If you want to give 11 cent's on the dollar to me I'll roll your changes with a smile on my face all the way to the bizank. It takes a half hour (+ or -) to roll $100 in coin, less if it's mostly silver. Don't pay the evil machines $20 an hour to do this for you.

4: and this goes back to a finishing suggestion from point 2. Buying in bulk is generally your friend. Generally, that is, because if you cannot engage in portion control with your bulk purchases you will lose money. That is, say you buy a 30 pack for 18 dollars, but feel the need to drink 5 when 2 will do. Indulges have their time, but don't make it every night. We are being frugal, right? And when you buy cans and bottles, save your cans and bottles. Like change, it's yours but you get it back. Let's call changes and cans diversification within your portfolio.

5: And this is my favorite, but will probably find some haters: Live with your parents. This is not to say you can live a freewheeling lifestyle. Hear me out. I'm single, and I don't have the knack for conversation with the opposite sex. From time to time, however, I do get lucky, and at times these fine co-eds are also without adequate and/or appropriate housing. "Matt, how do find a way?" A little thing I call a low priced, but clean, hotel room. "Matt, what the shit? Hotels cost money...You've led me along for this long and now in your last point your thesis comes crumbling to the ground..." Not so fast, my friends. What's a room go for, $75, maybe? Say the moon and the stars align and I'm in need of a hotel room 4 weekend evenings in a given month. Do the math, that's $300 at the absolute most. Think about the cost of an apartment, even in Lewiston. $500ish. That's at least $200 in my pocket (and let's be honest, $550 a month since I moved back because I'm in what the unlucky call a "cold streak") every month.

"Matt, you are a genius."

(toot, toot).

1 comment:

  1. Matt, where were these helpful money saving strategies when I was in the Lewiston Auburn Area???