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Wise Lawyer Friend, who is also my frugality guru, occasionally throws herself a “no buy month,” which is exactly what it sounds like.  She sets out the rules before the month as to what is ok to purchase (food, gas, etc.) and sticks to it.  I do a similar thing sometimes that I call a “financial fast”, but I always take it a step too far by being too strict and wind up buying a ton of stuff the day after the fast is over, which really doesn’t help me at all.

Since I had now been laid off from two jobs– good thing I always have three– it is time to start living within my means.  Also, I have the nagging fear that I may be unemployed for an indefinite amount of time, and need to stockpile cash as much as I can.  Therefore, February is Andria’s No Buy Month.

The rules are:

  • I may buy groceries, but I will be more diligent in making a list and sticking to it.  No impulse purchases.
  • No eating out
  • No buying clothes
  • Obviously, I still have to pay bills–damnit
  • I may buy necessities, if I need to, but I really don’t anticipate needing to since I usually buy in bulk
  • I may buy beer if I go out for drinks with friends, but only one
  • I can still put gas in my car

I think I’ve covered everything.  This is potentially the most boring blog ever written, but the whole point is that everyone who reads this has to keep me accountable, so those of you that interact with me on a regular basis get to be assholes if you see me getting out of line.

To frugality!

  • Shrimp.

Shrimp have a texture that makes me feel like I’m eating a sea-flavored finger.  Shrimp are not good.  Shrimp cocktail makes my tongue hurt.  When I was in Vegas, years ago, I got a $.99 shrimp cocktail, and a $.99 32-ounce margarita at The Fabulous Westward Ho.  I was in pain for days.  Also, I got into a fight with a roulette dealer (table guy?  ball dropper?  they don’t really deal anything), but that was hilarious.

  • Paying for things.

I’m not, I don’t think so anyway, a cheap person, but there’s nothing I loathe more than taking my hard-earned, or ill-gotten monies and giving them to people in exchange for goods and services.  I would rather put them in an interest-earning account and sit back watching greedily as they grow with no help from me, then splash out on something exotic and life-changing.

Uggs are just so ugly and stupid I can’t understand why they’re still around and popular.  I don’t care how comfortable they are– don’t tell me about it.  Having grown up on the frozen prairie I can safely and with authority say that no one needs Uggs, least of all the people who wear them the most.  At my most recent dental visit, the hygienist and I got into a lengthy discussion about how much Uggs suck while my mouth slowly went numb and I tried not to drool.  By the time we were midway through filling the cavity, I was reduced to making honking sounds and gesticulating, but we were still on the same page.

  • Homework.

The elementary school I went to was very odd in that students were not allowed to have homework before 4th grade.  This was also a very bad school where we spent the bulk of our time doing art projects.  Because I had/have very little artistic ability (though I am a very good colorer), I spent a lot of my time surreptitiously reading books and writing stories and then had to stay after school to finish these art projects.  I longed for homework as it sounded exotic and like something that “big kids” did.  I have since had a change of heart, and am officially sick of it.

  • Being called Jewish Friend’s sidekick.

This isn’t something that happens often, but the problem with Jewish Friend is that it’s very hard to outshine her, and that leaves people thinking that she is my leader simply because I talk less.  This is not the case as we have a very balanced relationship based upon a mutual love of eating, adventuring, and a carefully honed system of checks and balances.  I am no one’s sidekick.

  • Incubus.

The gym that I used to go to in Fargo had about 20 tvs mounted on the walls and one of them was always tuned to MTV.  For a while, I would go at the same time every day, and see the same videos over and over.  I’ve never actually heard Incubus, but in their video they seem incredibly self-important and “deep”.  the closed-captioning was always on as well, and I can say that the lyrics to Megalomaniac are like a terrible poem written by an emo 7th grader.

  • The way running shoes look.

I have to buy running shoes because I run, but I find them to be some of the ugliest footwear available.  Every time I go to a store and see a wall of running shoes, I recoil.  Also, they cost too much, but I know better than to cut corners on something like that.

  • When people assume that I must not have any friends.

This hasn’t happened in a while, but for a while it was constant, and supremely annoying.  “Oh, you haven’t lived here that long?  I hope you’ve made at least one friend.”  By the time I heard that last one, I had been living in RI for 8 months.  If I hadn’t had ANY FRIENDS by that point, I probably would have started paying people to hang out with me, but that didn’t happen, clearly.  Also, I think I would have seemed a bit sadder, but whatever.  Do New Englanders typically spit on/beat up any “outsiders” who dare tread upon this sacred soil?  Did I just get lucky when that didn’t happen to me?  I have friends, people find me to be quite charming and tell me so.  In fact, I think I may have too many friends, and need to cut a few people out if they don’t start pulling their weight.  Seriously, who thinks like this?