What Have You Done to Save Money?

01/06/2010 3:00 AM |

The first thing we did when the economy went south was to downsize our personal staff, from a valet, a manservant, a driver and a chef, to just a chef and a valet. It’s been tough.

Where I hailed him:
Where he hails from: Pakistan
Years as cabbie: 6
Previous profession: Waiter
Don’t join a gym if you want to save money. It’s amazing how much money people spend on gyms—and for what? I have a shower at my house. I can run in the park. Don’t buy any real estate right now, obviously. Mortgage rates are too high. Rent, and rent with a roommate. Never use a credit card. Too much interest. Remember you’re paying more than the price when you use a credit card, and that includes cab fares and everything. If you have one, chop it up. If you want to keep it, just don’t carry it around with you, especially not when you go drinking in bars. Have friends over and drink with them. At the bars they only put this much liquor in the drink and they charge you $10. Then you have to tip, of course. Three drinks and you’re already up to $35. I myself, I drink Chivas Regal. That’s $40 a bottle. See what I mean? Drink at home.

Where I hailed him:
Grand Central
Where he hails from: Pakistan
Years as cabbie: 12
Previous profession: Always a driver
You should always put 10 percent of what you make in the bank, or more if you can. You should also have a retirement account, especially since you’re young.

Where I hailed him:
Where he hails from: Nigeria
Years as cabbie: 2
Previous profession: Delivery man
I’ve always had a budget, even before the economy went bad, since I’ve never been rich. I have a lot of expenses every month, and since I don’t know how much I’ll get in tips each month I can’t spend too much without eating into my savings or going into debt. I was in debt, but I got out of it—I don’t want to go back in again. The only sacrifice I’ve made because of the economy is I don’t buy food from restaurants anymore. I used to sometimes get sandwiches or halal cart food, but now I only eat stuff I bring from home. I save maybe $20 a week.