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Home > Archive: May, 2008

Archive for May, 2008

A case for not working?

May 24th, 2008 at 05:31 am

I often wonder if it would be cheaper if I didn't work or only worked part-time.

Why, you ask? The associated costs of full time employment is getting more and more expensive. Outside the big ticket items, such as income tax (I read somewhere that most people work from Jan to May only to pay Uncle Sam), smaller items are suddenly not so small anymore.

For example, I thought I'd get a head start and run all my errands on Friday so I can fully enjoy the upcoming three day weekend. It was an expensive day. Here's a breakdown:

- Metro North train pass for June = $290
(station parking is an additional $120 -- I could get the monthly park pass, but there's a long waiting list and I'm still waiting)

- Drycleaning (9 items) = $50 (and that's with the 20% pre-paid discount...and no, the items were the usual stuff - shirts and slacks...and no, it was not for expedited service either)

- Groceries = $50 (I pack my lunch so I don't have to pay the NYC deli prices). Yes, the items were mostly on sale...and yes, I actually had the sense to cut and use manufacturer's coupons

- Did I mention gas? But since I just filled up two days ago for $50 (see earlier entry), I should be ok for the next two weeks

I know that working brings many other benefits, but I wonder if I can get same by working less or working from home....

One tank or less

May 22nd, 2008 at 01:34 pm

Local (and frugal) ideas for Memorial Day weekend:

1. Pick up beach pass from City Hall, which will entitle me to free access and parking at the two beaches in town. Cost of beach pass for one vehicle = NONE!

2. Lobster roll at Stew Leonards. Generous portion with lots of lobster meat. Cost = approx $5 (+ tax)

3. Matinee at the Westport Playhouse (currently staging "The Pavilion"). Cost of one mid-priced ticket = $40. (I could have gone one level cheaper and saved $5. In addition, I could have saved the $5 convenience fee if I purchased my ticket directly from the box office...what can I say? I'm still lazy!)

4. Picnic and jazz at McLaughlin Vineyards. I may have to pick up above lobster roll (see #2) for the picnic and purchase a bottle of vino at the vineyard. Cost of entry = $17. (Again, I could have saved a few bucks if I purchased my ticket in advance. L-A-Z-Y!!!)

Any other fun and frugal ideas? My goal is to maximize fun and minimize gas consumption (especially after paying $4.19/gallon).

Happy memorial day weekend to all!

I should have been paying attention

May 22nd, 2008 at 01:19 pm

...at the gas pump when I stopped for my bi-monthly fill-up. The board read $4.03 per gallon. Compared to the two other stations nearby, this was pratically a steal (in Fairfield County anyway). Until I saw the fine print and realized that I paid $4.19 per gallon with my American Express card. I swiped my card without thinking twice and only realized my error when it was too late.

The moral of the story? Pay attention. Routine chores will cost more, especially if I'm not looking at the fine print.

Now I know...