A quiet night in: an exercise in frugal saving.

image1As much as any couple, family or group of friends might like going out, it’s never cheap. Whether it’s fine dining or going out to your local bar or restaurant, these are costs that add up all too easily. They may seem cheap once in a while but once you start doing it on a weekly or semi-regular basis, it becomes a larger and larger chunk of your expenses.

In contrast to this, understanding the benefits of a quiet night in can prove useful. More than offering something different and relaxing it can demonstrate a way to stay cheap and cost effective whilst still enjoying the usual perks of life.

Food

If you go out to eat, you should know how much this can cost. Cooking for yourself is usually the cheapest but there are still other options. For instance, if you have the urge for Chinese food, it may be cheaper for everyone to pool money together for chinese takeaways than visit your local restaurant. It’s much cheaper and doesn’t have the added costs of additional drinks and restaurant prices and other service charges that are often forgotten about.

Entertainment

Likewise, if you’re not going out, there is nothing to stop you from being social. Your home can prove entertaining enough with the right company. Cheap entertainment can be anything from a movie rental (if you’re only going to watch it once, don’t buy something you don’t need) to various games, which offer entertainment again and again. These are all cheap, whether you use it once or buy it to use again and again. This is another lesson to be learnt in saving, by understanding the real value of something.

If you come across some movies that you and your friends love, it makes sense to purchase the DVD so you can all watch it whenever you like. Luckily, you can save money by ordering your DVDs online, so you do not have to worry about breaking the bank. To make things more interesting, consider having each person purchase a DVD online and then choosing between your favorites every time you gather.

Additional expenses

Hopefully the two areas above should highlight how easy it is to cut down on those little costs for every social occasion but there are always other areas to look at. Take your appearance, for instance. If you don’t go out to an expensive restaurant you might not need to risk your best shirt or shoes. It can also save on other expenses, such as getting a taxi home late if you’ve been drinking or other travel costs.  So, next time you think you might go out, suggest staying in to the others and see how much can be saved.

Why Your Job Isn’t the Suckiest (Photo Essay)

All of us have days when we think our job must be the worst one in the whole wide world. Maybe it’s the insufferable boss. Or an annoying colleague. Or it may be the work itself. Even the lousy morning commute can put me off some days. Here are is photo essay that will hopefully put things in perspective. Bookmark it and return to it when you feel your job really sucks and believe me, you will got to work the next day feeling a lot better.

  1. Window Cleaners
  2. Would you rather hang off a harness every day, suspended several feet above the ground cleaning windows?

    Window Cleaning by kamoda via Flickr.

  3. Zoo Employee
  4. Or work at a zoo where you have to check the dental hygiene of animals or scrub them clean all over? Imagine the stench that will welcome you to work every day if your task is to clean the cages…

    (a)Open Wide by Turtblu via Flickr.
    (b)Hold That Pose by Eye Captain via Flickr.

  5. Rodeo Clown
  6. Or try to imagine this – your job is to grab the attention of an angry bull and distract it from the bull rider who has fallen off. You get the wrath of the bull, but none of the glory of the bull rider. The boss grabbing all the attention doesn’t seem that bad now, does it?

    Rodeo Clowns by the PhotoPhreak via Flickr.

  7. Funeral Home Employee
  8. Want to quit clowning around and get serious? OK. How about a job at a funeral home? Embalmer, mortician, funeral home director – anyone? Imagine having to deal with death day in and day out!

    He Was There All Along, II by DerrickT via Flickr.

  9. Septic Truck Driver
  10. Think your job is shitty? Wanna switch jobs with this guy who has to drive out every day to collect poo?

    Shitty Job by paperscissorock via Flickr.

  11. Slaughter House Employee
  12. Or work with carcasses hanging all around you? How can you enjoy a decent meal at the end of the day if you spend the whole day surrounded by raw meat?

    Slaughter House in Camberene, Senegal by smokecandy via Flickr.

  13. Jokeys, Models, Glam Babes…
  14. Imagine having to wake up at ungodly hours for training and exercise, eating only the bland healthy stuff, being criticized when you put on a couple of pounds even when your regular body weight is far below that of the average person…. all for a few moments of glory…

    (a)Jockeys by Ti-Bao via Flickr.
    (b)Couture fashion show at Waldorf Astoria by bnittoli via Flickr.

    OK. Now lets look at three of the most prestigious jobs a person can have. Would you like to switch with them?

  15. Soldier
  16. Would you rather spend months away from your loved ones, in a foreign land – different food, different climate, different language, different everything – where the locals detest you and try to kill you at the first opportunity they get?

    U.S. Soldiers in Iraq, March 23 2007. Public Domain. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway [via pingnews] via Flickr.

  17. Fire Fighters
  18. Or march into a burning building when every one is running out?

    Unnamed by bamakodaker via Flickr.

  19. Surgeon
  20. Imagine spending years together with no “life” to speak of mastering your trade so you may save lives and then one fine day after hours at surgery, the patient dies at the table. Or sues you for mal-practice. Sure, surgeons probably make a boat load of money, but would you be willing to trade your life for a life full of stress and where the life of another person is literally in your hands? And spend years of schooling and residency to get there?

    CPMC Surgery by crucially via Flickr.

    These are just 10 of the jobs for which I could find pictures on Flickr. It is just the tip of the ice berg. There are tons of other jobs out there which could make even these jobs look like a piece of heaven – have you ever watched the series Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel? Sure, my job may not be the cushiest or the best, but given some of the other things I could be doing, I think I will keep mine for now, thank you very much!

NOTE: All these photographs have Creative Commons licenses. If you want to use these photographs for commercial purposes, please contact the photographers directly (a link to their fickr profiles is provided below each photograph). This blog consciously tries to avoid copyright infringement. If you ever find a violation, please do let me know and I will immediately take the necessary action to rectify the situation.