October 11th, 2008

white shirt neutral

Small savings

As many of you know, I've been trying much harder to save money over the past month or so, not because of the economy but because of my changing employment situation. (Not that the economy doesn't weigh on my mind as well, but at least my retirement portfolio hasn't taken a nosedive yet, since I don't invest in stocks.) Here are small things I have done so far:

- Sold my excess land in Second Life, as I mentioned I would do. Got 19,999 Linden dollars for it which translated to about $76 US, more than enough to cover my account fees for the next year. I don't remember what I paid for the land originally so I'm not sure what the actual profit was, but the important thing is that I'll no longer be paying $15/month for land I've hardly been using.

- Changed my hair color to black so that I can maintain it myself. The highlights were fun, but I was paying $60 or more for salon visits just for touch-ups. This should save me at least a couple hundred dollars a year.

- Started cooking more and dining out much less. Though I did dine out twice this week (spending about $10 each time) and went out for drinks last night. A co-worker invited me out on a tiki bar crawl, but I only visited one bar and only had one drink. When I went to my music school's showcase at a club the other week, I gave my usual $20 donation, but bought no drinks at all.

- Failed to buy a new watch. :-) I wanted one so that I could stop pulling out my cell phone to look at the time (someone at UCSF recently had their iPod stolen this way). boyziggy got me one for free at a trade show. It doesn't have the features that I would have chosen for myself, but it's free. And it does have 1GB memory and a USB port, which is pretty cool.

The truth is, in terms of material possessions, not only is there nothing I really need right now, there's not really anything I want particularly either. Sure, there are a number of things that might be useful to have, but none urgently enough to want to spend money now. The bigger challenge is to avoid frittering away cash on things like snacks and restaurant meals. This should become much easier after the end of the month when I'll have a lot more time to cook.