Ways in which I am fastidiously frugal (father’s influence):
• 80 percent of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores, second-hand shops and sidewalk free pile foraging.
• I live in a tiny shoebox closet bedroom in a house with three other people and a single bathroom—because the rent is unbeatable, and because my housemates are sweeties.
• I haven’t bought shampoo in years—I wash my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
• My hairdresser is my friend who went to beauty school once. She cuts my hair in her kitchen. I lighten it with Sun-In and a hairdryer, $4.68 for a bottle that lasts months.
• I have a personal rule to pack my lunch four out of five days of the work-week, with an allotment of one restaurant-bought lunch to be used at my discretion.
• I don’t have a smart phone. My phone is of average intelligence.
• I travel much less than other people I know, partially because it seems like such a hemorrhage of money (airplane tickets, WHAT?).
• I run in the park. Can’t stomach the cost of yoga classes and gym memberships.
• I don’t buy books, I go to the library.
• I don’t eat meat. You can save SO much money this way, I can’t even believe how much fresh meat costs at the grocery store. Beans is where it’s at.
Ways in which I am exorbitantly flagrant (mother’s influence):
• The other 20 percent of my wardrobe is made up of exquisite artisan-made goods and one-of-a-kind vintage treasures, all with pricetags to match.
• My therapist doesn’t take my insurance any more so I pay his full rate out-of-pocket, because I like him too much to find a different therapist who does take my insurance.
• I buy art. I have spent hundreds of dollars, significant chunks of my budget, on special pieces that I could hear whispering my name. I took a big wad of cash I was going to spend on a tablet and bought a sculpture instead. No regrets, it’s fucking beautiful and I look at it every day and think about how much I love it.
• Expensive makeup is just better. I pay top dollar. Same for bras—I get the nice ones, the ones that cost an arm and a leg. Worth it.
• Organic groceries.
• When I do go out to eat, I go OUT. (That means I get dessert.)