Young, Fabulous, and Broke: How to Survive Without Much Green

Of course there would be a clothing designer to capitalize off the twenty-something lifestyle. Young, Fabulous, and Broke is another high-end label that produces denim pricing-out around a quarter of my monthly rent and a cute little dress for my bi-weekly food budget.

Awesome! I can advertise the truth at last!

There’s no shame in being le broke, whether you’re in college or just out of it. The trick is to live it up without blowing through your checking account. Truthfully, the percentage of recent college grads making bank isn’t that high, we just have a lovely little tendency to live beyond our means and lack patience.

Label whores, I address you first. I’m one of you. The trick here is to get the look without going broke. Sales are where it’s at.

Instead of shopping consistently, go less often and go for classic pieces. Hit up outlet malls (there are some fantastic ones out there. In the tri-state area, I fully endorse Woodbury Commons, where I snagged a pair of Dior shades for $60 this summer and have seen BCBG at 75% off), wait until end-of-season, whatever. If it must be designer, you can tough it out until you can afford it. Trendpieces are best left to Forever21 and H&M.

Foodies. After moving to New York I can only aspire to join your ranks. If wining and dining is what you love, you don’t have to give it up entirely; just do it in moderation. Maybe instead of trying all the fancy new restaurants, limit to one a month. Go places where you can share plates with friends or try everyone else’s (tapas is huge right now).

Seriously, you learn to appreciate food if you’ve got to prepare it, and cooking can actually be pretty fun. Plus it ups your value as a roommate. Just try it. You may surprise yourself!

Social butterflies? Leave the top shelf alone. You do not make the kind of money that pays for Grey Goose. Unless it’s a gift, stick to mid-range or even well drinks. Also, I fully endorse pregaming. You can make your drinks as stiff as you like at home and then minimize how many you buy, and how much you tip, at the bar.

Split a cab with friends or make sure there is a sober driver. And by sober I mean SOBER, not “okay after 3 or 4-ish”. If it’s a true college-town, walk it out.

Movie whores? Wait til it comes out on DVD and rent. Actually, only in NY is this truly expensive, so I suggest a movie night out in lieu of a bar night if you want to save cash and relax. Also, make like a little kid and sneak in your own gummy bears to avoid any astronomical concession costs (I must say, though, movie theater popcorn is my personal weakness and worth every penny in my opinion).

Other ideas for saving those dollas and having fun? Tell us what you got!

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