Broke Girl in the City, Part 2

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It’s a new year and I’m still making it on a wing and a prayer, but have discovered a few more ways to stay in the black. Resolved to save more money in 2014? Maybe some of these frugal fixes will help you curb your spending habits. Half the price but all the fun! (Just like taking me to a bar!*)

Do Your Own Nails
Jin Soon used to take beautiful care of my petite paws until I realized that spending $25 on a manicure every two weeks meant I couldn’t eat for three days. So bought a fancy top coat and started tending my own cuticles. But whenever I get tired of my regular rotation of Chanel Ballerina or Essie Bahama Mama, I go to Sephora where they have Nail. Painting. Stations. Seriously. You have to stand amidst the tactless tourist crowds, but you have access to hundreds of delicious shades by Marc Jacobs, YSL, and Deborah Lippmann. So keep your head down and apply another layer of that Dior hue, and your date that night will never know you had to fight a tacky Russian girl for the top coat.

See Movies in the Morning
I’m sort of obsessed with movies, and with Oscar season fast approaching I’m nearly overwhelmed with the glut of awards bait in theaters right now. (Redford! Streep! Bale!) But with tickets running $14.50 a pop, how’s a broke girl supposed to reconcile her need for cinephile satisfaction with her lowly bank statement? Enter AMC Theaters. If you can rouse yourself out of bed in time to catch a flick before noon, you can snag a movie ticket for $8 or less (depending on the theater). Granted, I don’t think 12 Years a Slave is necessarily an ideal way to start your day, but for lighter/ less emotionally disturbing fare, seeing a morning movie is a great way to get your flick fix on the cheap.
(Pro tip: If you know a college student, ask them if they’ll buy you a few movie passes from their campus ticket office. NYU students get passes good anytime for $6!)

Read at the Store
As a kid I was a voracious reader, routinely leaving our local public library with a stack of Nancy Drew and Babysitter’s Club novels stacked to my chin. Adult Jessica reads far, far less, in part because novels for grown-ups are often so dang weird/ oversexed/ depressing (one can only read the words “quivering member” so many times before getting turned off forever). But when someone has passed on an enthusiastic recommendation that I want to dive into, I can’t afford to just go buy a book I’ll then have to lug around in my suitcase or wedge into my storage unit, so what do I do? I go to Barnes and Noble and find a comfy chair.

This works twofold because 1) it gives me an out-of-the-house-but-still-inside activity to do on cold/ gross days, and 2) it’s noncommittal (ie: no book to lug around) and FREE. I simply go to my local bookstore, find my book, scout out a good reading spot, and cozy in for an hour or two of reading. When I’m done, I return my book to the shelf, making a note on my phone about where I left off, and return another day for the next installment. Boom. Barnes and Noble is my library.
(Note: If you have any non-weird/ -oversexed/ -depressing recommendations, please send them my way.)

And there we have it! Broke Girl, Part 2: el fin. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Free manicures, cheap movies, and a bookstore for a library. Sounds like a good Saturday to me.

*I’m a Lightweight. Capital L. Half a beer and I’m ready to go.

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