Tag Archives: Saving

Groupon Goodness

You guys. Are you familar with Groupon?

You should be.

They have it in over 30 cities, so my non-Chicagoan friends can enjoy the wealth as well.

This is how it works. Every day you get a coupon in your e-mail for some kind of deal. Some are weird, like when they offered a deal on a teeth cleaning (useful though, I suppose. In fact, I’m way overdue for that. Maybe I should have gone for it).

But usually, they’re great deals on restaurants, or manicures, or sports tickets, or museum memberships. All kinds of fun.

So if you’re interested in the Groupon of the day, you simply purchase it. And if enough other people purchase it too, then the deal is on!

None of my deals has even been off, but I suppose if there’s something super bizarre and no one’s interested, you might be in jeopardy of getting your precious Groupon.

I hope you never have to experience that agony.

Anyway, so far with Groupon I have gotten $15 worth of Dinkel’s goodness for $5 (JW and I actually bought three of those–we couldn’t help it!), $40 worth of 44th Ward Dinner Party for $20 (haven’t used that one yet, but plan to soon!),  and today JW and I picked up $50 worth of Coobah for $25. I’ve never been, but heard good things, and this is a great way to try it out and save money!

In conclusion, if you’re not signed up for this, you should be. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting to do something fun in Chicago for a good price, believe me.


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Filed under Running

A leak in my umbrella and some extra bucks

Although I thought that yesterday the rain and I had come to some sort of agreement, it turns out the weather wasn’t actually bargaining with me. In fact, it was mocking me, straight up. I woke up to rain, and figured that it would have to end by lunch–it’s been raining for days, how much damn rain can fall from the sky? It had to let up.

This was all very scientific.

However, the rain did not let up, and I took my umbrella out to lunch to meet my friend V (a sunny spot in my otherwise drippy day). Since I live in Chicago, not only was it raining, but it was blowing all over the place (wind-ing? Would that be the right verb?) At some point during my fifteen minute walk, I also realized that something else was happening.

It was dripping on me. Through my umbrella. Which apparently has a hole in it.

This is all so very predictable. I made it in one piece, ate lunch, and then was assaulted by the rain/wind/leaky umbrella trifecta of June in Chicago on my way back. I spent the afternoon working as quietly as possible.  And growling.

After work, I headed to the gym, where I took out my rain related aggression on several machines while listening to angry Taylor Swift music. Although she is but a dysfunctional nineteen year old, for some strange reason I have decided now is the time to relate to this kind of sappy, dramatic music. Despite the fact that I’m not unhealthily entrenched in a sub-par relationship (which seems to be happening to her constantly). In any case, it seems to make for good interval training music.

I made my way back to my apartment, where I found not one, but two pay stubs waiting for me. Let me explain something to you. Even though my paycheck is the same every two weeks, as I am a salaried employee, I cannot get enough of my pay stub. It just screams “You’re an adult–good job! Look at those tax deductions–and your 401k, nice job with that!” For some reason, this brings me great joy and reassurance every fifteen days or so.

But today there was an extra one, with a couple extra bucks in it. I believe this is because tomorrow marks my 3rd SB anniversary. Whoa. Where’d that time go? If I recall, they reward you with a small sum–sort of like, thanks for sticking it out, keep up the good work. This is perfect timing, as I’m set to jet to the East on Tuesday. In general, I like to hoard extra sums of cash like this, but I think this time I might do something compulsive and just…spend it. Scary. I might hide some of it just to make myself feel better, but we’ll see. I’m feeling dangerous.

In any case, I’m off to eat some chocolate pudding, watch all the bad TV I want, and hunt down purchases I can make with this tidy little sum. JW’s at rugby, and so I have free reign. See you guys at the weekend!


Filed under Near Disaster, Reflections

A few words on our Recession…

Ok, so I accept that we are in a recession. A depressing, tight-fisted little devil that was a long time coming has dumped itself right into my lap. I imagine that it looks like one of the villains, Beezle, from my favorite show when I was little, Unico. In case you are unfamiliar, this is what he looked like:

You get the idea.

You get the idea.

So in case you weren’t sure, I’m the pink and white 1980s Unicorn…Beezle’s the mop haired Recession. Now, a little lession from 20 year old anime. Beezle conspires to be as evil as he can be, and as ruinous. He’s small, but he’s powerful. But in the end, Unico makes friends with him.

I am so NOT saying to make friends with the financial crisis. And I don’t mean to minimize it in any capacity, but guess what? I’m bad at serious. So here are some things I’m learning while in the midst of this whole mess:

1. Credit cards = so not the answer. And I know for some people, who have lost jobs or gotten sick or dug themselves a hole, this isn’t helpful. But it is for all those people who haven’t fallen in that hole yet. I’ve been socking money into savings accounts since this whole thing started going down, painfully setting aside dreams of designer boots and exotic vacations. Is it painful? Yes. Is it worth it? Ugh, ask me in 15 years (Just kidding!).

2. We don’t deserve stuff. I mean, just because I work all week at my (sometimes) thankless job and am a really good person (at times) does NOT mean I deserve a new phone (even though–I really want that new Blackberry). This is hard to wrap my arms around, but I think it’s true. I mean, I deserve shelter and food and water and (maybe) my friends, family, and boyfriend. On a good day. I think that as a country, we’ve become obsessed with the idea that material possessions are an indication of some kind of success. And maybe they are sometimes. But my phone can’t make me happy the way JW making dinner for me can. And my lack of flat screen TV doesn’t seem to be scaring off my friends. So I’m actively working on my tendency to slip into “But I deserve it…” A lot of times I deserve to have my ears boxed, but I don’t always get that.

3. I have it so much better than so many people. Pause. Say it again. It’s true, you do.

4. Recessions make me creative. I’m trying new activities, new recipes, and new ideas of comfort (no, JW, there’s nothing wrong with keeping the heat at 58 degrees) in order to see what I can live without, and what I can live with…differently. Not better or worse, just differently. So far? Good ideas include rice and beans, using my library card more and for different things (magazine, movies, CDs!) than in the past, and finagling my way into free/discounted movies.  Dare I say, this makes it almost fun? Well guess what, it does.

5. I will be a smarter person because I have had this experience in my early 20s. And if I start to forget, I’ll check out my archives.

In the end, Unico always turned into a giant Unicorn and saved the day–Unico was always more powerful than Beezle, only Beezle didn’t know it. That’s how I feel.

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