Posts Tagged ‘money’

Frugal Adrenaline

Sometimes, saving money isn’t just satisfying for me, it actually produces adrenaline which allows me to do things I never thought I could do otherwise. I became aware of this on Saturday after I flew back from Seattle to Boston with all this:

100 pounds of crazy

Challenge Accepted!

Although conceding to bag fees never makes me feel good, I decided to check two bags on this trip after finding out it would cost $30 to ship my awesome new typewriter via the USPS. It seems that bag fees really are one of the cheapest ways to ship things.

Since I was flying by myself and Bob was on a different plane, I was, of course, worried about getting the bags back to the apartment. We don’t have a car, and because of this, we have two options for getting around: subway/bus or cab. Now, in the past, I have taken both methods of transportation from the airport at one time or another. When I moved out to Boston with two 50 pound bags, I took a cab. When I had only a carry on, I took the subway. On this trip, however, I felt a bit torn on what type of transportation to take.

Before you decide I am crazy for even considering taking the subway with all that luggage, please keep in mind that the subway costs $1.70 per trip from the airport, while a cab costs $40.

A miniature drama was going on in my head in that baggage claim:

Frugal Me: “The cab fare is ridiculous!”

Rational Me: “Your four bags weigh a combined total of about 100 pounds!”

Frugal Me: “But two of them are roll-y bags!”

Rational Me: “Correction: one of them is a roll-y bag. The other one has weird 80’s wheels that are actually less than useless.”

Frugal Me: “I can handle it.”

Rational Me: “You’re a weakling! You have no upper arm strength whatsoever!”

Frugal Me:  “But I could save thirty-eight dollars!”

Rational Me: “You’re going to look like a crazy person.”

Frugal Me: “Don’t I always?”

Rational Me: “Whatever. You obviously don’t need MY help.”

Frugal Me: “But wait! Don’t leave me alone!”

Silence.

After this little exchange, I called Bob and informed him of my decision in a much more confident manner than I was actually experiencing. I placed my duffel on my roller bag and set out on my incredible journey.

I honestly don’t know how I did it. Even if I worked out all the time I would be surprised I could do it. All I can attribute my success to was the adrenaline provided by the $38 I was saving. My adventures included getting stuck in the turnstile, almost throwing out my back, accidentally hitting a man in the knee with my weird 80’s bag (sorry), and braving several frightening staircases. When a young woman commented: “That’s a lot of stuff,” I was tempted to quote Calvin and Hobbes and reply: “Brilliant, Holmes.” Luckily, I was really too tired and overheated to put up much of a fight.

When I reached the final staircase at our subway stop, I didn’t know if I could make it:

The Final Frontier

As it turned out, luck was on my side this time. That close to the entrance, I was able to get cell service. Bob came to the stop and helped me get it all home through the freezing winds.

My sore muscles the next day were like a badge of honor. And when my parents heard the story and my mom said: “Your father and I are very proud of you,” I knew where frugal me came from.

Now that it’s over, I would probably go back and do it again to save that much money. But during the adventure, it definitely felt like I made the wrong choice.

If anyone else has a story of frugal adrenaline, I’d love to hear about it!

Ode to a Brick

Most people who know me are respectful of the fact that I use a brick to talk to people. This is my brick:

As a brick, it has several advantages:

1) It has an insane battery life. I’m talking a week with no charge, on all the time/used regularly.

2) It is a nostalgic reminder of better days. Not.

3) It. Will. Not. Break. Believe me, I have tried.

4) You can spend just about as much or little money using it as you want.

5) It’s a perfect debt-management phone in college because it doesn’t have a contract.

6) It gets great service everywhere except in places like caves and subways, which is pretty logical. I guess that’s a downside for spelunkers and commuters though.

Unfortunately, it’s gotten to the point where I use it so much that I need to consider replacing it. You can imagine my distress.

Yesterday, I realized just how much I need to make the change when I found out I had burned through $30 worth of minutes in about 2 weeks(and 10 cents per text? Ew). I am ashamed of this; it is unacceptable for someone trying to save money. If I’m going to be spending $60 a month on service, I may as well get a smartphone, right?

That’s the whole issue. I’ve been thinking of switching over to Virgin Mobile because they’ve got some pretty great deals. Thus, I’ve been buying less minutes at a time for my phone, which costs more per minute. I’ve been hesitating because you have to buy your smartphone outright: about $200, which I’m not in the position to spend. The upside is that I would have an awesome phone and be spending $10 less a month than I have been for the past year.

The point is, I’ve got to get moving on this. Soon.

Goodbye brick. You have given me four years of faithful, archaic service. I have cursed you and been thankful for you, laughed at your tinny ringtone and been embarrassed by it. You were my first phone at 16. But now you have to leave. You’re not economically worthwhile anymore. Plus, I’ve secretly wished you would break for years.

I’ve been wanting a new phone for a while, and I know most people are pretty much velcro-d to their phones.

So now I’m wondering: what is a nice phone worth to everyone else?