Regardless of what we spend money on, there are some things that should simply never be purchased. That doesn’t mean you can’t acquire them, just don’t spend money for them.
Let’s start with condoms; every caring gay man has a stock of these. You can get them anywhere you party, every gay bar, community center and many gay oriented stores have bowls of them for the taking. Even if you don’t want to be seen grabbing a handful of free protection there are the local county health department and many college health clinics that give them away to all comers; yes, pun intended.
Don’t buy plastic storage containers. Many items you buy in the supermarket and even more you order for delivery come packaged in storage containers perfectly suited to reuse. Just run them through the dishwasher once and bingo, free storage containers!
Though you may want to impress your friends with your crisp style an ironing board is a major don’t need it. Really, this is simply a useless purchase. A counter in the kitchen, the breakfast table, even the bed can easily be covered with a towel and instant ironing board. And you don’t have to figure out how to fold the foolish thing up and find a place to store it for 8758 of the 8760 hours each year.
Here is one we dance around regularly. How foolish is cable TV? There are many less expensive alternatives online. Check out Hulu for one. The most common complaint about cable TV is that there are a thousand channels and nothing on, which is mostly true. The best gay shows are on the Internet and if you want a specific football game grab the dollars you saved and head to a local sports bar and get hammered watching the game with a hundred of your new friends.
Ever wonder what to do for your birthday? Eat. Eat for free. There is a long list of restaurants that will give you a free meal on your birthday. They may not be the hippest new gay place but hey the meal is free so just eat it. Some require that you bring a big group of your friends and even if you don’t really want to, bring them anyhow so you can get the free meal. Maybe one of them will buy you a drink in celebration and save you that money also.
Taking a bag on an airplane is getting more and more costly. Many airlines still let you carry one on with you for free and unless you are touring Africa for six months most trips can be done easily with one carry on. Skip the huge bag of stuff you will never use anyhow and don’t pay the airline to check it. Or if you simply have to haul all the drag gear along book with an airline that still allows a bag checked without a fee.
People still pay for email? Yep. Some haven’t gotten the memo yet that Google, Yahoo! and any number of other email platforms offer free email addresses. And who needs to buy a hard drive in today’s world? The place is full of clouds starting with Apple and Google and several others that will host all your documents, pictures and even music for access anywhere you are for free. Sure hard drives are getting cheaper than bison dung but who needs one in the first place.
I thirst for the day when people stop paying for a drink; no, not a vodka martini, a bottle of water. We have this really cool thing in our house. It’s near the sink and called a faucet. When the lever is moved water falls out. The water has been lifted from far underground, filtered, purified, sanitized and delivered to my kitchen. When I find a need to go out into the world I put some of it in a clean stainless steel container and take it along. You can spend 500 times as much for the exact same thing in a convenience store and you have to stop, go in the store, find a bottle of water and stand in line to pay; how convenient is that?
If you really want to save some money skip the soda. The other night someone at our table ordered a soda and the price was $3. Add tax and tip and that soda was $3.50. See water above and keep your money in your pocket, a pocket you can get to without reaching under an extended belly, extended by too much soda.
Everyone needs some music to listen to while saving money and there is no better way than services like Pandora and Spotify. These guys provide all the music you want for free on line. Purchasing music seems so obsolete.
So go ahead and waste your money if you like, just waste it on stuff that you can’t get for free. Your money looks better in your pocket. Ric Reily