Reason We Live in Chicago #4: Cold weather = Saving money

You’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution.

“Excuse me, New Year’s reso-whaaa?…” you may ask.

Ok, maybe you’ve already broken yours. Don’t feel bad about it. Many people already have or soon will. Just check your gym a month from now. I never keep New Year’s resolutions. This year, however, I vow to keep mine. In a bank account.

Yep, I’m resolving to save more money.

It’s much easier to save money this time of year. Let’s face it, there’s less motivation to leave the apartment with the snow blowing and wind blistering. I plan on doing the following to save cash:

  • Put a dent in the Netflix queue: We’re already paying $15 a month, so we might as well stay in more often and catch up on the films and TV series dancing in our heads, no? Maybe I can finally watch the movies that have been in my Netflix queue for years, like Coffee and Cigarettes and Hotel Rwanda. And take in the movies I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never seen, such as Annie Hall and A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Cook more often: You’ve heard it here…Dining out is limited to twice a week—once for lunch, once for dinner. I finally have a properly stocked kitchen with real knives, food processor and a Kitchenaid mixer, so there is no excuse not to use them.
  • BYOB-it: One of the best things about Chicago is delicious dining on the cheap. Even better, there are so many places that allow you to bring your own booze. In our early days in the city, Joe and I could eat dinner for $10-$15 at a tasty Thai or pizza place, plus the price of a cheap bottle of wine. Perfection.
  • Scour Time Out and the Reader for free/cheap entertainment: I’ve adopted my friend Ryan’s philosophy about seeing live music—don’t go unless it’s under $20. I’m actually adopting the same philosophy about any event right now. Certain exclusions may apply.

To make saving money possible, please intervene when I talk about purchasing:

None of these. Tell me to “just say no.” Except for the wine. Remind me that we’re saving to go to:

How do you save money in the winter? Share ideas. Please.



Filed under Chicago, city life, winter in chicago

2 responses to “Reason We Live in Chicago #4: Cold weather = Saving money

  1. You’re going to love Spain. We spent two weeks there once and loved it. Barcelona is the best. We flew into Madrid, drove down to Marbella, then drove along the coast to Barcelona–and wondered why we wasted so much time getting to Barcelona.

    Valencia sounds like it would be cool, but it has all the charm of Milwaukee. If I had it to do over, I’d just do Madrid and Barcelona, using the train to get from one to the other, and spend most of the time in Barcelona. For a less urban vacation, you can hit the beautiful beaches in the south, but Barcelona has a great beach too.

    Definitely worth skipping a few chilly evenings out.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Dave. Stoked for Spain, and Barcelona is where we’re thinking of traveling!

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