Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Main Event!!!

This is a huge weekend for sports! College football playoffs on Thursday (January 1st), NFL wildcard Playoff games on Saturday and MMA fight later Saturday night!  If you’re a red blooded human being you’re excited about these sporting events! Now, if you’re a person trying to live the new cheap life, you realize there are ways to view all of these games without breaking the bank!  If your mom is like my mom, a huge meal will be cooked on New Year’s Day. Go over there, eat, and watch the games!  Since your turning your parent’s home into your personal sports bar, take your mother some flowers. Moms love flowers, and somehow flowers from your kid translate to $500 in US currency. We got Thursday covered, so now let’s tackle the wildcard games & MMA event on Saturday.  The challenge here is that the MMA fight is PPV (Pay-Per View), so you’ll have to fork over the money if you intend to watch this. The alternative to this is going to a sports bar to watch. Most bars request a cover to enter on PPV events. Once you’re inside the bar, you’re sure to want drinks and food.  You could easily rack up the cost of the cost of the PPV event, inside of a crowded bar.  I suggest you buy the PPV, and invite a group of your friends over to watch at your home.  Request that each person bring something to the viewing party. Also, if you want to have drinks, request that everyone bring a six pack of their personal favorite.  Encourage everyone to try the different types of beer available. If you’re running short on the guest list, allow your friends to invite others to the party. (This won’t work if you don’t have a large enough TV; it’s tough to host a fight party with a 32inch TV).   Now please keep in mind it will be tough for guys to get away from their girlfriends for an entire day, so it is likely you will have female guests at this party. It is your job as the host to make sure they stay engaged to the sporting events. There are all types of betting pools that allow non-sports fans to take interest in the game. One that comes to mind is the football squares game. It’s fun, easy, and doesn’t require much knowledge to make a bet. 

There you have it, a quick and easy way to make it through this great sports filled weekend while living the New Cheap Lifestlye!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Years for the NEW CHEAP

New Year’s is upon us folks, let the planning begin! The credit cards are getting maxed out, and group chats are getting lengthy planning for this year’s event. Ladies, you’ve taken dozens of pictures inside dressing rooms of every store in the city. You’re  not even considering a club if it isn’t VIP, because you have to start off 2015 VIP!!!  Ladies and gentlemen allow me to offer you an alternative to blowing hundreds of dollars to get all dressed up and spending way too much money getting drunk at the club.

As a child my family always had the tradition of spending New Years in church. We would arrive at church at 10pm and stay until midnight. This practice was continued into my adult life until I moved away from my home. The first time I spent NYE away from my hometown and not spending New Years in church, I got all cleaned up and went out in the city. I did all of the wasteful things I mentioned.  I bought a brand new suit and paid for the VIP tickets (VIP was just a table with a party city table cloth over it, nothing fancy). I woke up the next morning looking at my debit card to access the nights spending and became discussed with myself. I literally blew $500 to get drunk and bring in the New Year with strangers.  That $500 could have been used to travel or save money for the house I am planning to buy. It only took me one time to realize that wasn’t how I wanted to spend every New Year’s Eve. I get it, New Years is a big holiday, it’s a chance start fresh. I agree this day holds a symbolic meaning to many, but I don’t agree you should go broke celebrating. So, with that said, we offer a few alternatives for you to consider as you prepare for the New Year’s holiday.

New Year’s Eve Church service:
Many African American churches hold Watch Night service. This stems from a tradition of slaves waiting to see the emancipation proclamation take effect on January 1st, 1863. While African American’s are no longer awaiting freedom from physical slavery, many still enjoy celebrating the coming of another year with their church family. This is inexpensive, and most churches usually provide a breakfast after the service (the further south you go the better the breakfast gets, trust me). This is a great way to spend NYE, as you get sober reflection time to think about the happenings of the past year and your goals for the coming year.

Host a NYE party
Hosting a New Year’s Eve party is a great way to minimize cost and spend time with friends. Invite all of your friends over and request that they bring their favorite drink and side dish to share during the party. You cook a large serving of meat to serve to the guests like a turkey and chicken. This is a small and more intimate way to spend your New Year’s Eve. Meaningful conversation can be had with the people you care most about, while waiting to ring in the New Year. Let’s be honest, how can you seriously expect to have a conversation while a DJ is doing that weird horn thing that every DJ loves to do?! Celebrating New Year’s this way will also allow your residence to be the hotel for anyone who’s had too much to drink. Take all of the car keys and encourage people to spend the night, sleeping off any drinks they consumed. The police will be out in full force attempting to combat the drunk drivers on the roads after a night of partying. It would be a shame for one of your guest to be one of those caught during a traffic stop. (Side note: there is never an excuse to drink and drive; there are way too many travel options available that don’t include an idiot driving after drinking). You can make this night as fancy as possible, have everyone dress up, go to the dollar store and grab some decorations for your house, and also score some reasonable party favors.


Spend it with your parents
Call your parents and tell them that you want to spend New Year’s with them (make sure you stress to them that you don’t need a loan, so that their not apprehensive all night). If your mother finds out you want to give up a night of raging to sit on the sofa and watch Ryan Seacrest with her and your dad, she may begin to cry with excitement! The benefit of this is, you are the guest of honor, so mom will be willing to cook and make sure you are comfortable and enjoying yourself. Invite your partner over and make it a family gathering. This will be a great way for your parents to finally start seeing you as an adult or taking your relationship seriously. Stay the night and let mom cook you breakfast, then you and dad go take out the tree while mom puts away the Christmas decorations. Not a dollar spent and a great, safe time ringing in the New Year.


Whatever you decided, please be safe! As said above, there is no reason for you to drive drunk! If you plan on drinking please secure your transportation prior to the start of the night. It is much cheaper to pay for a taxi than the fees for a DUI.  A sleeping friend would much rather pick your drunk ass up, than attend your funeral to start the year off.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Travel

It’s time to get on the road! Only things standing in the way of moms
cooking are  miles and police radars. Traveling home for the holidays
can be expensive if you don’t prepare for the long road ahead. A
couple tips for your travel this holiday to help you maintain your
"New Cheap" lifestyle.
When it comes to packing, take EVERY thing! It is more than okay to
over pack!! If you’re driving and space is available, pack it! How
many times have you bought  something while out of town that you own
back at home? If you pack everything that you could possibly need, you will
avoid spur of the moment buys.
Make sure you pack your snacks for the road. Buying food on the way
home for the holidays, has to be one of the silliest things one could
do. Why would you stop and pay for crappy fast food when you’re on the
way to your personal food mecca?  To avoid wasting money, pack snacks
for the road. Pack enough to get you through the entire trip. So,  if
you require energy drinks, chewing gum or coffee buy it all before you
leave.  Go to your local grocery store to purchase these
items, or anywhere you can find your required items cheapest. Gas
stations sell items at a mark-up because they know that they  have a
monopoly on quick and accessible items when traveling. Always remember
the goal is to arrive home with your stomach on E, ready to be
The Music
You need to prepare your playlist prior to leaving. Organize you CD’s, and
find the local radio stations for the areas you will be driving
through. What does this have to do with saving money, you ask? If
you’re distracted during your drive and get into an accident, it could
cost your more than just money… So it's important to be prepared for
this drive even when it comes to your music.
There are so many gas price monitoring apps available, there’s no
reason should settle for higher prices. Map out your trip,  find
where the most inexpensive gas prices are and stop there to refuel.
Ride share
There is no reason why you should drive all the way by yourself if you
pass a family members starting location on your route. My college was
directly in the middle of my grandmother’s house and an older cousin’s
house . Every time he went home he’d stop and pick me up. The
benefit of this,  we both could handle the driving and the cost of
travel. Since we were both going to grandma’s, only one car was necessary.
If  someone from my home town wanted to
hang, I would have them pick me up. There is no reason for you to
drive around town (wasting gas) after being on the road all day. If
people want to see you, they will drive to you since you’ve already
driven the furthest.
Eating out while home
Never do it! There’s no reason to eat out, when you have  relatives
ready to cook you a meal, just to hear about the happenings of your
life. Now I will be honest, whenever I'm back in the south I have to
have Zaxby’s whenever,  I"m out west I always get  In and Out burger. It’s one
meal, don’t get crazy here! Go sit at the dinner table and share a
meal with your loved ones and save the money!

If you’re driving by yourself, take this time to call friends and
family who you may not be able to see this weekend. For someone who
can't make it home for the holidays,  it would be great to get  a phone
call from you! Having someone to talk to on the road helps you as
well, it keeps you alert avoiding falling asleep during the drive (use a Bluetooth!!) . As
said above, a wreck could not only cost you money but life!

Be safe and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

$500 for all of your Christmas Gifts!!


The Holiday season is here! And if you’re like 70% of the world, you haven’t even started Christmas shopping yet.  You’ve missed every sale (using the word “sale” loosely), and have to run into that crazy house  known as the mall. At the mall, you’re sure to over spend, racking up credit card debt that will take all of  2015 to pay off. Getting into debt Just so you can see the excitement on someone’s face when they open up your present on Christmas morning is not necessary. What if I told you there was a way to create that same excitement for $500?? This $500 would take care of gifts for every single person you knew (not including your Facebook friends, because who really knows all of their Facebook friends?).
Take $500 out of the bank, get the bills in the following denominations:
  • 1 X $100 Bills
  • 2 X $50 Bills
  • 5 X  $ 20 Bills
  • 10 X  $10 Bills
  • 20 X $5 Bills
Once you have the bills, walk into your local dollar store and grab a couple packs of Christmas cards. Put one bill in each card.  Write a simple, but caring message, and sign your name. Arrive to the Family/Friends Christmas party and make the announcement that you have cards with various bills in them for everyone. Then, pass the cards out at random. The key is to make sure there is no way to tell what bill is in each card. Want to see pure excitement on someone's face??  Give someone a card that could either have $100 or $5 in it!!!   A couple of things will happen when you do your Christmas giving this way….. You  get through the holiday season stress free , you save money, and most importantly,  you are able to  find the true meaning of  the Christmas season ( HINT: It isn’t the presents).
                                                                                                           -The New Cheap