Tuesday, December 09, 2008

quality of life

The business climate is taking a beating and I find myself cutting back on some nonessentials. Trips to anywhere are more carefully planned, our eating-out budget has been downscaled to P10,000 a month, and little electronic thingies in the condo that eat up money have been discontinued. I hate to admit this, but Oprah's episode on Living on Less really struck a chord. The freegans out there make it look like I'm wasting too much.

"Freegans say our culture's emphasis on buying the newest products—and throwing away perfectly fine older things—is a waste of the world's resources. Instead, they focus on buying less and use only what they need."

Three years ago, Madeline was an executive living in New York City earning a six-figure salary. After a six-month period of conversion, she says she became a freegan who gets almost all her food from what other people throw away. "I started thinking about what I was consuming," she says. "I started looking at how much I was consuming and how consumerism is really driven by corporations who make lots and lots of money by getting us to buy things."

Watch a video showing just how much people waste here.

* * * *

Asked by a friend why I still wear expensive shoes despite the economic slump, I just had to answer back:

I don't have cheap shoes.

Unlike women obsessed with heels, I only have 8 pairs (mostly flats), but they're all expensive. Life is too short to wear poor quality shoes that give up after a few months. You're really saving more money with a $700 pair that lasts a lifetime.

Aside from good shoes, there are a few other things I don't think I can give up,
recession or no recession.
  • Good bedsheets. I only sleep 6 hours a day, and I deserve a great bed, don't you agree? Sleep is far too precious. And cheap sheets are just plain tacky.
  • Real coffee. No instant. Period. Barako beans are not that expensive.
  • Trips abroad. I will be taking the business class less often now, but I am determined to still visit many places as I can + come back to places that I really love. My goal is to be truly well-traveled before my joints start to ache.
  • Books and DVDs. Unless there is an ebook / downloadable video, which might be cheaper.
  • Fine food. My soul will wilt without gastronomic delights. The best conversations are always over good food. By the way, I found new haunts in the last two week: Thai at Silk and Terry Selection.

prawns sarong

fried whole fish with lemon grass sauce

pad thai wrapped in egg net

black sausage

spanish omelette with potato and blue cheese inside

* * * *

So, what things can I give up? Things that won't compromise the quality of my life; things that I really should not have in the first place because they end up owning me / being bad for my health.

  • Junk food. I have not eaten in McDonald's for almost two months now. Unless I really have no choice, then it's bye-bye to double cheeseburger meals. That's about P500 of savings monthly, as I usually eat this junk at least once a week.
  • Lame restaurants. These days, MSP and I do not dine out as much anymore. We only go to restaurants that we KNOW will serve excellent food we ourselves cannot cook. We're still willing to pay good money for truffles or excellent sushi, but would rather cook our own creamy mashed potatoes. The savings pile up, and it enables us to go crazy on P8,000 fine-dining meals.
  • Bad movies. Tom Cruise is not worth it.
  • Luxury cars. I know, I know. This doesn't sound like me. However, I really am over the whole luxe automobile phase. The sight of a 1955 SL still takes my breath away, but it doesn't make me want to wipe out my savings account anymore. I am just an admirer. For now. The Japanese car that drives me around the city is fine. For now.
  • Designer bags. Really, I have enough. The value of my closet can finance five years of top-notch-private-school education. I don't mind using my Gucci/Prada/Dior/Hermes over and over. Besides, "it" bags are so parvenu these days, don't you think? If you still don't have a decent handbag by now, you are already TOO LATE. Don't buy that Chanel. It will no longer make you look fashionable; it will just make you seem desperate. If you had to save up for a long time and can only buy the bag now (a year too late), you really can't afford the bag. Keep your money in your ATM account.


Blogger PANINGIT said...

pareho tayo... real coffee.

7:37 PM  
Blogger ennui said...

"P8,000 fine-dining meals" --> are you referring to Wagyu beef?

PS - My faghag Van gave these for my birthday (next month) -- high grade jasmine tea, blue mountain coffee and weasel chorn coffee from Vietnam. HEAVEN!!! :D

2:17 AM  
Blogger acey said...

i love pahd thai, too. :D

you know, i feel the same way about this economic thing today. it makes me sad and worried that i have to control/deprive myself of quality stuff. i may not be making as much money as you, but if it grows worse, i know i'll have to stop being too picky...

4:52 PM  
Blogger mussolini said...

paningit> is there any other way to "caffeinate"?

ennui> that, truffles, and fancy ambiance. everything is overpriced.

acey> i just hold off on cheap thrills and save up for quality things. it's more cost-efficient in the long run.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous eyoy said...

mussolini..nag enjoy ako sa blogs mo..find it informative and also your so high profile but living in a simple way.i admire you for that.hope we can be friends..

2:03 PM  

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