Going Cheap

It has been weeks past since I started this blog. But I haven’t explained why I decided to live frugally, nor have I written in detail of the steps I’m taking to insure I meet the demands of this lifestyle. So, here goes.

The Road to Frugality
I am not a wealthy man. But I am a man wealthy with vices hobbies. In order for me to maintain these hobbies, as well as pay the bills and save money, I have to work extra hard. I have to put in three 12 hours and two 8 hours (part-time job) every week, leaving me with little time for my hobbies. And that sucks.

A lot of people have told me, and will keep telling me, things like: 1) Get rid of your hobbies; 2) Grow up; or 3) Go get yourself a girlfriend to alleviate my hardships. Well I say: Go fuck yourselves. Reading, gaming, music, etc. are my only reasons -as of yet- that I work hard, as they were my reasons for studying diligently when I was in school. To get rid of my hobbies is to give up on myself. Have you ever heard of a nerd who doesn’t play games, read comics or obsess about something? No. So these hobbies are staying. What didn’t stay though was my part-time job.

Yes, I left my part-time job. I’ve always wanted to. I was just raising enough money for my emergency funds before I can quit. Truthfully, I’ve never reached the amount I was aiming for (only 70% of it). But it just sucks when your employer downsizes its workforce and you end up doing the workload of two people without getting any raise. So I quit. Now I only work 3 times a week. No more work on the weekends, and I’m also off on Wednesdays and Fridays. I’ve never had so much time in my life to read, write, play games, or do whatever I want.

The only consequence of quitting my part-time job is that I don’t have enough income to pay for my hobbies. But the benefit of quitting my other job still outweighs the consequence. So, instead of getting another second job, I made a compromise and that is to live frugally.

The Frugalist Manifesto
Without a second job, I won’t be able to afford my hobbies. But with a little bit of adjustments and sacrifices, I’d still be able to play games, read books and comics, listen to music, and make ends meet. So here’s my manifesto, my guideline to being a frugal nerd.

I. Gaming

  • I will commit myself to a game or two and master it, instead of buying a game every month.
  • I will finish a game at least twice before buying a new one.
  • I will only buy RPG or strategy games.
  • I will only buy a game if has at least 30% off from its cover price, of it’s $10 or lower.

II. Books

  • I will only buy a book when I got nothing else to read.
  • I will only buy books that are at least %50 cheaper from its cover price.

III. Comics

  • I will maintain the number of comic books on my pull list to 5 (which amounts to $15 a month).
  • I will wait and read the collected paperback trades on superhero titles.

IV. Music

  • I will limit my music to $25 each month.
  • I will only go out and see live music if I really, really like the band.

V. Film

  • I will only watch newly released film in theaters at least once every two months.
  • I will not buy BDs or DVDs again.
  • I will only rent and stream movies from Netflix.
  • Maintain Netflix subscription at $14.

VI. General

  • Try not to spend more than $80 on music, games and books each month.

So, there, my manifesto. I just started living by these guideline not too long ago. But, so far, it’s working for me. Following it has already made my life a little bit easier. But if you have some suggestions on how to improve my manifesto, please do tell in the comments section.


8 Responses to Going Cheap

  1. gillboard says:

    i don’t want to attempt doing this thing, because for one, i’m sure i wouldn’t be able to follow it…

  2. hastydevil says:

    best of luck with your manifesto. im having trouble keeping up with mine.

  3. Lexie says:

    I must say, I’m impressed.

  4. Matt says:

    I would warn you against always trying to master or get 100% in games. While there are some games where the side quests and extra activities enrich and extend the main game, there are many others where they are mindless grind fests that dilute away any fun that the game used to have. JRPGs in particular often have completion quests based on random events with low odds that take forever.
    I used to try for 100% on all my games. After spending over 100 hours in Rogue Galaxy filling out the bestiary and playing the bug breeding game (and not even getting half done), I realized how little fun I was having and how little thinking the process required. From then on, I always thought twice before going for 100%.
    If you want to extend play time, some games get better when you play on higher difficulties (although some just get more grindy.)

  5. Pingback: The $25 Tunes: May 2010 « The Frugal Nerd

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