…or just putting it away.
All this talk about fashion steals, affordable design, and the like got me thinking – have you ever been poor enough that you can’t buy ANYTHING? I certainly have been, and in fact, spend much of my life in that state.
So when it comes to that point that yes, a $4 bowl is an extravagance, one often wonders: is it possible to live in a city and go through a happy day without spending a dime? With a few accommodating circumstances (food in the house, monthly bills paid), I gave it a test run:
8:00 am – morning workout and picnic breakfast
Meet for a post-sunrise walk up the West Side Highway, or along the East River, with backpack stocked with homemade banana muffins and iced tea. It takes flour, sugar, bananas and tea bags – all things a kitchen should have already. Stop at Christopher Street to cruise the pier, cat-call with fun-loving trannies and walk through the street lamp-spritzers at the end of the boardwalk. Use the ladies’ room, again with more trannies. If you’ve got time, bring a few old gossip/cooking magazines and be lazy.
12:00 – sandwiches at home and a cool shower!
Dig out the samples you’ve been saving and have a little spa express day.
2:00 – money-free errands.
Errands kill me. Having no money can cut down your to-do list, so sometimes it’s a good thing. Things you can accomplish when you’re broke:
- Drop off old clothes and shoes to Salvation Army
- Clean the bathroom
- Get your library card
- Catch up on emails in a park with free wifi
- Write thank-you notes, and hand-deliver them to save on postage and get some more exercise
- Go to open houses – you know, for inspiration for when you’re just rolling in the dough
5:00 – Happy Hour
There’s got to be a pal out there who’s turn it is to host drinks. Either have him/her grab you a brown-bagger, OR go to Cherry Tree in Brooklyn for FREE PBRs during the first inning of Mets games. Even in NYC there are free drink specials. If all else fails, go to an industry party, pound a few, and leave.
Evan Sklar via Under a Paper Moon
8:00 – Date or just Dinner
Date for dinner – sorry, this one only usually works for the girls. If you don’t have a date lined up, snag an older sibling, visiting relative or dig through the fridge and cook the food that’s going to go bad unless you eat it all now. Invite friends, tell them to bring salads and sides for a price-effective pot-luck.
10:00 – Romantic Evening Out
Things you can do that are romantic, sexy and free:
- Staten Island Ferry (with your metrocard)
- Free outdoor movies at Bryant Park or a park near you
- Comedy Shows – OFTEN free!
- Bookstore readings from Lauren Conrad to Michael Pollan
- Free CONCERTS!
Go to bed early, make out, stay up late, lay out under the stars, make a bed fort, etc. Think you’ve got it by now.
Total spent ALL DAY LONG: $0