More often than not, freelancers have to get by on meager incomes for much of their career. While it's not ideal for some people, others try to make the most out of it. The internet is packed with tips for saving money in our down economy, but some are worth repeating. For me, one thing I always try to look out for is overspending when I eat out with friends. It's really easy to sit down at a restaurant and order a $9 entrée, a $3 drink and a $4 dessert without even registering the relative cost of the food. That same amount of money could rack in a complete wardrobe on a Salvation Army dollar-clothing day. Yet so many people order way too much uncessery food which, quite frankly, only lasts a matter of hours in your system.
Instead of ordering a 2000 calorie mega-meal the next time you're out with friends, why not keep things simple? Check out the "Sides" section of the menu. Often times, sides are priced in relation to adding it onto a full entrée, and when done so, comes in a smaller portion size. But in many restaurants, the kitchen/serving staff will actually "super-size" your portions when ordering a side by itself, without increasing the price in the least bit. The french fries photographed above cost a grand total of $1.99. And that was before I ate most of them, when the basket was still full. Sure, I could have ordered the $6.95 Gyros meal like I usually do, but it's often too much food for me. That extra $5 can go a long way, and when combined with a glass or two of water, a large serving of fries fills me up pretty fast.
The downside to this is, of course, the fact that most sides do not offer a complete nutritional range. But as long as one adjusts their other meals of the day at home sufficiently, this should not be a big issue for most individuals with standard diets. And it sure beats indulging on insane quantities of food, only to feel sick afterwards.
The popular French news site LeMonde.fr published a phenomenal collection of news and multimedia related to World War I at the start of this month in remembrance of the 90th anniversary of the Great War. The édition spéciale, which corresponds to a print publication in France, compiles stories, photographs, audio and video associated with the war nearly a century ago.
One such video is a shot documentary highlighting the works of Jacques Grison who, as a child, played in the countryside of Verdun without even realizing that 300,000 men died there in 1916. Now a photographer, Grison has documented the landscape of Verdun, capturing a world that looks as if the war ended only days ago. Even if you don't understand a single word of Français, the six minute long video is worth watching.
We all get junk mail, it's just a normal part of life. I always recycle the junk mail I get, but sometimes I go one step further and reuse it instead. Such is the case with the mail I get from Veer.com, a creative design company. A few months ago, they sent me a giant poster with a dark pattern on one side, and a catalog on the other. I didn't find much use for the catalog side, but the pattern side made great wallpaper. Their most recent mailing, however, found life in a much more useful function.
Their most recent catalog came in a more traditional book form, but was printed on heavy paper. As a college student who is taking mostly online classes, I needed to find a way to keep track of the date. After failing to find a simple calendar I liked, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own. What I came up with was a series of 2inx2in squares, made out of the Veer catalog, propped up on simple mounts made out of some old cardboard. The first mount holds a square with the day of the week, followed by a mount to hold the date, and finally a mount to hold the month.
As you can see in the images above, I chose to make my calendar in French, as I'm currently teaching myself the language with hopes of being able to live abroad in a French speaking country someday. Each day, I change the squares to their appropriate values. Not only does this help me keep track of the date, but it also helps me improve my French. The unused squares are stored in an Altoids tin in my desk drawer, which holds them perfectly and provides easy access. Experimenting with your creativity and artistic abilities can be a great way to make use of items that would have otherwise been tossed out or recycled. I saved money, and I created a functional work of art.