Ballin’ on a Budget

By: Ali Benz

If you need budget advice, you’ve come to the right place. Not trying to brag or anything but I saved twelve dollars last week by switching to Geico. Just kidding, by practicing some self-control and discipline. For example, I decided to be a peasant and go to Dunkin’ instead of Starbucks. It was absolutely awful but I’m way richer now.

There are subtle ways to save money, you just have to get occasionally uncomfortable. Sacrifice where it makes sense. The other day I took an Uber pool downtown to cut the price in half. I realize this is the worst-case scenario considering the last thing anyone wants is social contact in a random car-pool. I wouldn’t even want to car-pool with James Corden. It makes me uncomfortable that he’d do karaoke sober. We can’t trust him. Anyway, it was a blessing that my driver spoke literally zero English. So far so good. Then, we picked up two girls from Murray Hill and do I really have to say more on that? If I wanted to be surrounded by Bud Light and Uggs I would’ve just went to Brother Jimmy’s. It’s cool though because I saved ten bucks on that ride and no one asked me to donate to their basketball team.

With all the cash saved on rideshare, you might be thinking you deserve to eat out. Relax P. Diddy, it doesn’t work like that. You don’t need to spend fifteen dollars on a bagel. There are better ways, like making your lunch order less dramatic. You can actually go somewhere like Chipotle and get a decent meal for under ten bucks, and even make it vegan or gluten-free if you’re into that sort of thing. Yes, I know guac is extra. I’d say you could pack a lunch but there’s nothing cringier than Tupperware in the office. That might be a personal phobia, but whatever. And let’s be honest, no one actually meal preps. Separating your leftover Bolognese into seventeen containers does not count as “prep”. You’re more of a hoarder.

In addition to food, people tend to spend ridiculous amounts of money on coffee. I think I spend fifty dollars a week on oat milk lattes and I don’t know wtf they are or why. I just do it without even thinking. Who even knows how to milk an oat. My suggestion is to leave whatever weird milk substitute you like in the fridge and then just buy an iced coffee. Sure, it’s going to look ghetto af but that should save you about a dollar per cold brew and by the end you can probably afford that fancy croissant you always hesitate to add but don’t because you just spent seventeen dollars on a latte with a foam heart in it made by a sexually ambiguous barista named Miguel.

Aside from the bombardment of street vendors, everyone is a huge victim of technology. Sometimes you need to delete all your apps. It’s way too easy to order literally anything. Take it from me: a recovering Amazon addict. There’s nothing I won’t prime. Also, definitely get rid of all food ordering apps. Immediate. If I had a dollar for every time I order Shake Shack on my way home from the bar, I’d have enough dollars to keep doing it.

Also, cancel subscriptions that you don’t need. I was once so desperate to watch Frozen I subscribed to Starz. Literally have no idea who uses Starz but apparently I did for four months. Control, Alt, Delete. You also don’t need every membership. It’s not that serious. I’ve been trying to remove myself from Massage Envy for years but I like their cucumber water. I think it would be more practical to buy massages as needed. Not to mention I leave there nine out of ten times feeling violated. I don’t get why they always tell you to drink a ton of water after the session, like why don’t you drink water? You’re the one that just worked for an hour. All I did was lay there wondering if these people are certified.

There are many little tips and tricks to save here and there. It just takes a little planning and self-restraint. Maybe you have to be obnoxious and ride a Citi bike. Maybe you have to suck it up and go on a Hinge date with a guy named “Seb”. Who knows. Just keep your confidence at a Lizzo and your bank account at a Gatsby. If anyone bothers you send them a Venmo request. Only donate to the homeless that have ~good vibes~. You can be in control of your finances.

In the words of Kylie Jenner, “Rise and Shine”, because you are now ballin’ on a budget thanks to my five-step plan. See you at Dunkin’ happy hour from 2-6 every day and on the 2 train that runs express except late night when it runs locally in Manhattan. Tragic.

WTF is Galentine’s Day

By: Ali Benz

I know everyone’s February 15th tradition is buying V-day candy on sale, but mine is usually apologizing to whoever took me out the night before. This holiday really escalates quickly. I didn’t mean to scream at that kid for taking me out on a Groupon date. I guess I just expected more from someone I’ve met once.

Why is it so crucial to have a boyfriend by the second month of the year? We literally spend all of December blacking out followed by an awkwardly sober January. How the f*ck can I develop a relationship when the months are so unstable? I doubt whoever liked me during my December bender was still there for me in my new year sobriety. I mean, come on, that’s literally two different people we’re working with. What is this, Split?

Then we have everyone and their mother posting about ‘Galentine’s Day’ like, can you not? Every day is G-day, b*tch. If you need to create a fake holiday out of an already fake holiday to black-out on CVS wine then you probably need better friends. Mine drown themselves in Barefoot Moscato and cry at least twice a week no matter what. Keep up.

And don’t get me started on flowers. What an insensitive gift. What am I, a f*cking bee? I’ll pass. Get me something I can cherish, like an Amazon gift card. It’s really not that hard. If you want to be my Valentine, get me a Valentino. It’s literally spelled out for you. Roses are cute and all but I can’t even eat them for f*ck sake. What’s the use?

This dramatic-ass holiday is also super awk for new relationships. You suddenly have a deadline to DTR. You’re either proposing or ghosting. There’s no in between. If you take your bae out, you’re saying it’s the real deal. Facebook official by the morning. If your boo-thang doesn’t make plans with you, it’s safe to assume you’re a classic side-piece. Ain’t nobody putting a ring on it. Sorry but it’s true. Get out of that one. We don’t do last calls.

Unrelated to love and all the BS on the 14th, this day really screws with my social calendar. This guy invited me to a BTS concert on Thursday. Then, when he realized what day it was, he told me the show was canceled. Relax buddy, no one’s trying to get with you, I just enjoy some good K-pop. Get over yourself. Safe to say all plans were canceled and rescheduled for…. literally any other day. Tragic.

Luckily, it’s all over now. Broken hearts everywhere and romantic Tinder rebounds galore. What a time to be alive. At least we have the remainder of Black History Month. And isn’t it Spring soon or something? What was good with that groundhog? Was he seeing shadows or nah? Either way, I’m getting out of town. Catch flights, not feelings. Peace.