5 Fiscal Decisions of Relative Importance in 2012

by Chanel Dubofsky

We asked our contributors to take a look back at their year in $$$. Chanel Dubofsky made some key decisions.

1. Quitting Netflix (+$8.00/month) I cancelled it FOR REAL because all the tv needs I have are now fulfilled by YouTube, my computer was getting old and weak and sometimes doesn’t want to participate, and the amount of stuff in my queue that I’ll never watch is too long and makes me nervous. (That’s normal, right?) I hoped that it would lead to me eventually quitting tv all together, but let’s be real. I’m not made of stone.

2. Buying new glasses (-$350.00 includes frames and new prescription) I have terrible eyesight, and I constantly think I’m going blind. But I’m terrified of doctors. This year, since I had health insurance AND a savings account AT THE SAME TIME, I decided to go to the eye doctor and spent the afternoon having an anxiety attack. (Spoiler: I’m not going blind.) I have new glasses now, adjusted according to my hilariously bad astigmatism. I should probably start wearing them.

3. Taking cabs (-$30–35.00 each way): A year ago on Christmas eve, I got hit by a car in Brooklyn and broke my ankle. I ended up in a cast for a month and then in a snazzy walking boot for three more weeks. While I was in the cast, the very concept of the subway terrified me (I had dreams about falling onto the tracks, getting my crutches stuck in the door, tripping over people, etc) and so I took an expensive and awkward car service from my house in Brooklyn to work in midtown and back every day. I was a sad creature, perching desperately on corners trying to lure cabs with one crutch in the air while leaning heavily on the other. By the time I was healed enough to be in the walking boot, I had spent a lot of money on cabs, and a lot of mental energy feeling sorry for myself. When it’s damp or rainy or too cold, my ankle hurts (like, don’t get too comfortable, kid).

4. Eating lunch at the anonymous salad bar after 3 p.m.: In New York City there is this phenomenon of these hot and cold buffet style salad bars. They generally charge by the pound, and feature food that is deliciously gross (super cheesy macaroni and cheese, stir fried things, dumplings). I like the fairly anonymous nature of these places, especially when I’m too hangry (hungry + angry) to interact with people long enough to order food. This particular salad bar was located down the street from my office, and the 50% off discovery changed my lunch life. There’s almost no one in there after 2 p.m., ever, and I’m pretty sure that the sign advertising the discount has been there for a while. Use this power for good.

5. Collecting coffee stamp cards: There are currently eight of these in my wallet, in various states of completion. The one I’m most likely to finish is from a kiosk in Midtown.) Every coffee of dubious quality I buy brings me one step closer to a free large latte of dubious quality. I don’t work near that particular kiosk anymore, but I still use that card. It’s important to have goals.

Chanel Dubofsky lives in Brooklyn and is interested in your personal decisions.

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