Friday, January 13, 2012

What is this? A school for ants?

I generally read a few money blogs each day, each with their own spin on being frugal or saving money or whatever. I can list them if you want, but you probably read the same ones I do.

Today, my bfflylas* and I were discussing our bikes-- we have 2-- and figuring out a way to further incorporate them into our lives.

You see, we have no cars. This can really be a pain sometimes. As fortunate as we are to have public transit, I don't want to be paying 1.70 every time I want to go to the grocery store (which is less than 3 miles away). I would much rather ride my bike, fashionably wave at all the cars on the road and zip through red lights. Just kidding about the red lights.

I could talk about bikes all day, but the original story is this: I was looking for a post I had seen on another blog that linked to a .pdf (keep up) that is a pretty comprehensive guide for repairing bikes.

I could get a library book but I'm tucked in, all nice and warm. I want it to come to me.

About 3 search results down, I noticed this post about "saving money."

I truly loled.

It contains brilliant gems like "consider buying used CDs if you can" (were they never 13 years old with a little pocket money?) or "be smart when you grocery shop (?)."

Who doesn't think of these things first? What individual is trying to save money but still buys full-priced coffee while buying CDs off the rack from FYE? Anyone looking for ways to save has obviously already thought of this stupid stuff.

There are a million sites that say the same thing all the time, and I get bored. I'm not always looking for posts that talk about reusable toilet paper**, but I am looking for individuals who have found creative and applicable ways to streamline finances and increase savings. I promise you, someone who has as much debt as we do should not be out buying CDs at all. We're listening to Pandora and getting albums free from Amazon.

I'm on a high horse (I wish I had a horse) I guess, but what I'm saying is this: owing money to someone means that I really shouldn't be spending a whole lot of money elsewhere. It's like when you give your friend 20 bucks. You know they probably won't pay you back, but they say they will and you feel sorry for them. You eventually ask for your money back-- you need money, too-- and they tell you they can't pay up. They have car problems or need groceries or whatever. You're fine with that.

They buy tickets to an expensive concert a week later. You hear about it, you get angry.

You know there are extenuating circumstances or that they will pay when they can. But you're still angry.

You know that if really pushed, they could come up with the 20 to pay you back. And that's how I feel about my debts. Right now, I owe Sallie Mae*** money. Money I borrowed and used for college, and money I borrowed and used to buy clothing. I spent recklessly, and I feel that until I am no longer a borrower, I need to try my best to not spend frivolously.

I may break down and eventually list my "top ten ways to save all your money and not spend a dime and feel like a champ," but I hope that it's full of information that, if not practical, is at least novel.

**This is not something I practice, but it's not as rare as you would think.
***I realize Sallie Mae is a giant that probably wants me to be indebted to them forever, but I think the principle stands either way.

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