Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Christmas time is here and all of that jazz. Have you saved your money this year? For the most part I have, but I had to deal with roommates bailing out on me. And people say that Insurance companies need bailouts? ;?/ This is why people should not totally depend on others: while one just hit hard straights due to his abysmal employment record, the other was a total snake in the grass. He kept up ruses and allusions that kept him skating by. Overall the only decent skill that he had was getting dates with different women consecutively, but when the awe fades away it is still just a costly skill.

I had some plans that were put on hold due to their mis-management of their own personal finances. When I write this blog you have to ask yourself if you are one of those people who spends frivolously.

1. Do you spend over $100 per week on fast food dining?
2. Do you often put everything on credit?
3. Do you have a tendency to not set budgets when you go out to eat?
4. Have you ever had to take on tons of debt

While I am not perfect myself, I realize that the student loan that I am paying on was my debt thresh hold. That was all I could withstand borrowing. I am glad to say I have paid $1,000 of it back and got roughly $4,000 to go. How do I manage my finances? I have to say it is with a calculated formula of saving to spending ratio. The news above has sent me out of it a bit, but for the most part it is a fireproof way of budgeting when you are constantly on the run.

One of the things I do which is sort of bad is eat out, but with careful budgeting I have managed to re-align the amount I spend on fast food and restaurant food. First off I make the slow food dining only once per week for purposes of writing reviews and getting proper nutrients in my body. Since I walk everywhere, I save 3,000 dollars per year in gas money. The off take to this is fast food joints. Since I am human, there is only so long I can go without getting food so I try my best to eat three times a day so I can have lesser portions each time around.

At Sam's Club I can get 2 pizza slices for $1.88 since, but usually I have a soda for about $.90. The market price on it varies, but usually it is $.85~$.90. I also do not buy pizza if there is enough Manager food left overs on Mondays. Eventually I will cull this on certain days and eat more ramen, but the line for the microwave is sometimes really long.

While I have slipped due to slight depression as of late, I usually do either dollar menu purchases or fast food surveys. I have been trying to find fast Wi-Fi around town, but the best signals in my area are Aroma Club (which you have to buy something) and Zephyr Books (Which you do not; unless you want to =))

Also there are a few specials around town. If I can time them right I can hit all of the $1 taco nights around town and eat like a king. (i.e. Del Taco has Taco Tuesdays, Taco Bell has theirs on Wednesday, Taco Johns has theirs on Monday, Jimboys, has theirs on Friday.)I also sometimes cash my paycheck at the Atlantis to get a free drink. While yes eating at homes is perhaps cheaper, I think the overall amount I spend is not too bad compared to the time I lack to prepare the food. You have to see which exchange works for you. Remember, I walk everywhere and that takes up a lot of time. My commute to and from work totals about an hour and a half.

Clothes wise, I buy clearance. Department stores have the tendency to overstock their merchandise and need to get rid of items quickly so if one is patient you can find brand new $4 shirts and $9 dollar pants. The only store to rival this is perhaps Junkees a used clothing outlet store located in Reno. Albeit finding my measurements is a Herculean task, believe me.

Transportation, my feet! My feeterginis, my shoemos, overall this is something that is perhaps hard to deal with in the snow, but if one has resilience, they can adjust themselves to the harsh conditions of Reno. It is not as bad after awhile (say one month) of walking in the rain or snow. When it gets too cold, I am usually able to catch the bus or get a ride home. If I need to do a lot of running around, I pay someone for their time and gas. It is as simple as that.

Bills, I set aside roughly 30% of my money to go towards them. If I have a little left over, I save it. If not, I budget better the next month.

Phone service: right now I am currently with Cricket, but I will switch to pay as I call service. I do not know when this will be, but the frequency that I receive calls has went down dramatically so there is no need to pay $45/month anymore. I might drop it down to $25/month for just local or maybe just get the new $1 per day of actual phone usage. This will be to compensate to get Internet service which Cricket's is currently the cheapest. I will not do this until early march though.

Internet Service: Currently I am going with free Wi-Fi stations all over Reno. I think I will settle on Zephyr books at the moment because I can use their service with little complaint. I was using Burger King's due to my work schedule, but I am getting tired of their slow connection and the rude management. All in all, I save around 60-70% of my income minus irresponsible roommates. I will have to recover from this and try to save an actual 70% this month =(.

Normally 268+40 (elec.)+8(water)=$316/month; not bad.
Now 536+ 120 (elec; from my roommates running up the bills) +14 (water)=$770 Ouch. Yeah I am not on speaking terms with them.

I am with the current dilemma to get either a one bedroom, two bedroom, or studio. I am tired of fluctuating bills. Luckily the money I saved shouldered the flakiness of my roommates. If I can alleviate fluctuating bills that I have little control over that would be great.