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Living as a stylish frugalista

posted by LIM College staff Staff Profiles Desktops & Documents lola.rephann My Documents website BLOGS Hubspot Blogs Short Takes AthanaellePaulFrugal-ista –
Pronunciation: \frü-g#l-nes-t#\
Function: noun
Etymology: 1frugal + -ista (as in Sandinista)
Definition: Fashionista on a tight budget.

At first glance, the average person would never guess I’m a college student living on a tight budget.  Five days a week you can spot me exiting the 47-50 Rockefeller Station toting a Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag, fingers adorned with coordinating Marc Jacobs Daisy Ring texting on a HTC Touch Pro 2, early morning sunrays blocked by Versace shades. Yet taking into consideration that my incoming cash flow has severely plummeted, I’ve now placed myself on a budget tighter than my leather leggings.

I was in the habit of consuming two large cups of Starbucks Tazo tea five days a week. In monetary terms that’s approximately $4.00 a day and $20.00 a week, which adds up to $440.00 for the semester. Currently I have managed to cut my $20.00 a week addiction to a $4.00 a week addiction.  

Then it struck me that Starbucks uses two tea bags and two cups for each order of large tea.  When I place my order, I kindly tell the Starbucks associate “large passion fruit tea, second tea bag on the side.”  One order of tea now lasts me two days. Before I even remove my coat, I separate the two cups and quickly remove the already used tea bag and place it on the lid.  By 12:00 p.m. my craving begins to surface, so I recycle the first tea bag for my second cup of tea. The following day I put my unused tea bag and cup to work.        

This adjustment has brought my semester tea expense down to $88.00 from $440.00. Now that’s a bargain. Two tea bags were always a bit strong for my taste buds anyway.

--Athanaelle Paul

The Wall Street Journal reports that market researchers see a serious long-term serious trend of fashion lovers spending less.

Follow Natalie P. McNeal of The Miami Herald, a well-known frugalista on Twitter:

Practical tips from Businessweek on how to save money every month:

Topics: fashion trends, Fashion Culture