I’m sure you have heard of or seen the famous TV show “Sex and the City.” Every time I see the show, I can’t help but think of how much money the four ladies could have saved if they didn’t eat out at such fancy restaurants, buy such expensive clothes and shoes, or go out to drink at clubs and bars.
I know it’s a TV show and those activities make the show more alive and interesting. (Who wants to watch four ladies sitting at home talking on the phone about how frugal they are?) I also know that the four characters make good money as a lawyer, owner of a PR firm, a columnist, and an art dealer.
For me, watching the show is about seeing the kind of life that I have never experienced or just can’t afford. It’s like breaking out of my stable yet somewhat boring routines but don’t have to worry about the consequences because I only live another lifestyle vicariously from a TV show. I don’t eat out that much, don’t pick up guys from a bar, don’t buy expensive clothes, don’t live in a vibrant city that doesn’t sleep, and don’t have many relationships. So I guess that’s what makes Sex and the City so appealing to me. It shows me what I don’t have.
I would love to fine-dine every day, but my budget says no.
It wasn’t until I saw the episode about Carrie having less than $2,000 in her accounts and about to be kicked out of her apartment that I realized maybe they’re just like me in a way: they don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars saved up at a bank. It’s just that they’re not so conscious about saving money, so they spend much more than I do.
Carrie was so shocked to hear that Miranda had $15,000 in her account. And I was shocked because Carrie was shocked. When I made $1,600/month a couple of years ago, I was able to save that much after 4 years. Carrie was a well-known columnist in her industry. I was just a regular employee. Why is it that she doesn’t have as much savings as I do?
The answer is simple. Carrie is not careful with money; she’s not frugal. But I am. Carrie has 500 pairs of shoes at $400 each or $20,000 in total. I buy Payless shoes for $15 each and have 2-3 pairs. Carrie doesn’t like cooking, so she eats out most of the time. With the price tags in New York, that can quickly add up and drain her bank account. I cook at home most of the time.
One thing I don’t do is compare my life to their lives and feel bad because I don’t have what food/clothes they have (maybe a little bit). But I definitely will stick with my frugality and don’t have to freak out about being homeless like Carrie did.