Life After College: Making Sacrifices

Woo! $1.00 off when you buy 12 cans of expired tuna!

Being an adult means making a lot of sacrifices. It’s about saying no to a dinner party because you can’t afford to bring more than stale bread ends. It’s about turning down movie offers because it costs 5 billion dollars to buy a ticket in NYC (and god forbid you want to see IMAX…bye bye, life savings!). And most unfortunately, it’s about buying store brands because you can’t justify shelling out for brand name mustard.

When I was younger (I’m referring to just a year ago) I would throw an absolute hissy fit in the grocery store if my mother even thought about buying non-organic eggs or frozen vegetables. The horror! I logically compared her buying non-free-range chicken to her murdering me in my sleep. But now I’m the one cruising the supermarket with a fistful of coupons and determination not to spend more than necessary. And if that means buying pre-opened food, cans with puncture holes, and expired meats on a discount, so be it. Like I said, it’s all about sacrifices. Like staying in on Saturday night because you have food poisoning from eating year-old salmon.

Penny pinching is one of my least favorite activities. It falls right between having to Google pregnancy symptoms and watching previews for Cougar Town. Yet the longer I’m out of school and the longer I go without finding out I inherited a fortune from a distant relative, the stingier I get. I practically fight over pennies on the street with homeless people. And that’s a new low.

Even for me.

I’m trying really hard to work on striking up a balance for myself. Like if I eat peanut butter crackers for a week for dinner, then I can treat myself by actually going out to dinner one night. But at the same time, I’m not getting out of control. By dinner I mean a side salad, an ice water, and a complimentary mint.

If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing when I was a college senior, it would be “You’re going to be poor so spend your drink money on lottery tickets and improve your pickpocketing skills.” But I can’t go back in time, because I depleted my Time Machine Fund on a ticket to see Avatar in IMAX. So now I’m stuck here in the present time, clipping coupons and eating old meat and wearing “irregular” socks under my faux Uggs.

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