Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Surviving The Great Depression of 2008

Times are getting tough for everyone with the financial crisis. Working Girls and Boys are cutting back on food, clothes and entertainment. But a girls gotta eat, look nice at work and after a long hard day, a girl needs a drink. Here are a few tips to survive the financial crisis without becoming a hungry, poorly dressed hermit.

Entertainment
Movies in Manhattan are $12. Add popcorn and a soda and that's at least $20. Per person! One cocktail costs anywhere from $10 - $15. Other cities are cheaper but still more expensive than we Working Girls would like. Drinking with friends at your apartment is a great savvy choice for having fun and saving money. Some of my favorite moments with my friends are around a table, drinking wine and playing cards. Easy. Cheap. Fun.

Or, just do the college thing when going out. Get your drink on at home then go to the bar and nurse a fun cocktail. And if we're going to get all college here, I'll have a Vodka 180.

Food
Eat less! Just kidding.

My mother has been clipping coupons for as long as I can remember. I tried using coupons at one point in college but I ended up purchasing items I never ate or didn't even like and therefore, didn't save any money. Now that I (a) moved to the city where I pay an absurd amount of money on groceries and (b) am penny pitching out of fear of a great depression, I'm back to clipping coupons. In addition to finding coupons in the Sunday paper, try visiting your favorite food brands websites for coupons or special offers. Coupons.com also has a number of savings on brand name grocery items.

I recently checked my online banking to see how much money I spent a week at my work cafeteria. I found that I was spending $45 to $60 a week on breakfast and lunch. That's a new shirt or a weeks worth of groceries (if I have a lot of coupons). Last week, I brought breakfast everyday and lunch four times. It's not as glamorous as purchasing sushi from the cafeteria but I'd rather save the money for dinner with friends.

Speaking of dinner with friends, that's not so cheap either. For me, that's due to alcohol. A month or so ago, two girlfriends and I opted for a quaint French BYOB in the West Village. The food at Tartine was reasonably priced and because we brought our own wine three of us had dinner (with an appetizer), dessert and two bottles of wine for about $80. Which is almost unheard of for a nice meal in Manhattan.

Clothes
My working wardrobe is in dire need of a makeover. I have one pair of pants to get me through the fall of winter and I'm already wearing them once a week. In a prefect world, I had own enough dresses to wear one everyday and only have a repeat or two each month. But in a prefect world there probably wouldn't be a financial crisis to begin with.

You already know how much WG2 and I love bargain shopping at places like Target and H&M. It's time to add a few more stores to our go-to list:

UNIQLO is the Japanese hybrid of American Apparel and H&M. With lots of basics (in lots of colors and styles), sweaters, jeans, dresses and a few fun pieces at reasonable prices I think I might just start making the trip from The Upper East Side to SoHo a little more often.

TopShop is what my friends in the UK swore by when they studied abroad and stuck using the Euro or the Pound. Prices have gone up over the past few years but it's still cheaper than designer duds. TopShop is coming stateside something this fall with a store opening in SoHo. The opening has been postponed but you can get your fix now that items can be purchased at US prices online.

17 comments:

alyssa said...

I love your post! (Um, I JUST posted something about saving money grocery shopping) Looks like we're all thinking in the same way lately. Le sigh.

~*G_Rockin*~ said...

Thanks for the good reading!
Working girl knows what she's blogging about :)<<<

Brooke Hughes said...

Thanks for the advice...I just did a spree (within reason) at H&M last weekend and they have really cute stuff right now.

Cayman's Girl said...

From some1 this side of the great pond - i can verify that TopShop rocks and their online store is great - also try this site www.asos.com (as seen on screen) basically its a great site for any clothing that you have seen on a celeb and they have their own version - they also do designer and bargain bin and delivery charges are really reasonable!!

hookerbaby said...

UNIQLO is in America? I didn't ever see one until I went to Korea, but it was the only place I could find button-up shirts and pants that fit me. Awesome.

wee-h said...

You are going to love having Top Shop over there. Buying from the 'high street' has no stigma in the UK as our fashion is so forward if you know what i mean. Perfect clothes for work wear (and partying too!)

Enjoying the blog (from a working girl in Edinburgh Scotland)

Sunny said...

saving money is something I could never did. Time to start learning :) Thanks for the post

Elizabeth Marie said...

Nice post! Another big thing that people are doing is buying designer clothes/bags at "gently used" stores. The other day I found a Prada in a local discount store that was originally $1400 being sold for only $170 and it looked brand new. Can you you say YES PLZ!

Lauren said...

I'm all about staying at home and drinking with friends. even though you're missing the atmosphere, it's still a ton of fun!

Twenty-Something said...

very savvy! working girl knows what's up! i'm officially taking your advise and NOT buying lunch & dinners out anymore. but i just can't stop shopping, not till the dow drops 400 more points... on damn there it goes!

Grace said...

[start childish rant]I dont wanna! I'm tired of comparing units per price at the market and renting instead of going to the movies. *stomps foot*[/end childish rant]

Great advice, I'm adding all those sites to my favorites list.

J-Diggety said...

Good grief, H&M needs to go west and open a few stores out in CO! When I visit NYC, I go on a little H&M binge. I heart Boutique Target, but a girl needs a li'l variety, ya know? Thanks for the heads up on TopShop!

meredith said...

BYOB places are awesome. "Poke" on the UES (85th and 1st) is a great BYO Sushi place. The food was amazing.

Katelin said...

i've tried clipping coupons too, but i just feel like i buy things i don't really need. oy.

Belowen said...

Great tips! lol. I've awarded your blog @ Belle Lumiere, feel free to pass it on :)

in the deep end of the pool said...

Sounds like you are well on your way. I just posted my blog on how to reel in freedom, or rather how I have made some important decisions in my life that are freeing up a lot of my time and money. And yes, taking lunch and breakfast into work are huge -- I always do, except the occasional Friday.

Gossip Girl said...

hey, i love this post! actually, i love your blog... check out mine too if u're free...