The Glamorous Life — On A Budget

May 4th, 2012

In 2011 I owned and operated a yoga studio in Hollywood. We quickly acquired 600+ customers and built an online community of thousands that’s still growing. We got shout-outs from publications like Los Angeles Confidential and Huffington Post as the “cool new yoga studio.” Despite these successes, we ran out of capital too quickly due to the cost of things like rent, utilities, and having a dozen yoga teachers on salary. I made a tough decision to close the studio at the end of the year.

Now my time is spent job hunting, networking, freelancing, and philosophically appreciating 2011. I have learned that a good life is possible on a lot less money. While my savings and retirement accounts are empty (I promise, Amanda, that will change soon!), it’s comforting to know life’s still fully enjoyable on less. How? With a few little comforts and bits of fun to stay sane.

My 3 Tenets of the Good Life:

Food: I love cooking at home for friends instead of spending money at restaurants. But I sometimes use BlackBoardEats coupons. You pay nothing upfront and the discount isn’t devastating to vendors (who have to eat an 80% discount with Groupon).

Wellness: Runs, yoga, and Pilates are at LA Fitness for $20/month. A fitness routine provides mental clarity and structure. If I really need a high end yoga class, I go to discount classes offered by studios during off-peak hours. I also barter, offering my technical services in exchange for massages and facials. Gotta look pretty for interviews!

Fun: Hubby and I enjoy the free offerings via Netflix. A Breaking Bad marathon makes your own life seem less screwed up! We also love going to Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon for “therapy hikes,” getting our blood pumping and venting to each other about work, or lack of it!

Looking for a fun way to make some extra dough and pick up a bargain to freshen up your wardrobe? I’ve sold lots of stuff on Craigslist, eBay, and at Crossroads Trading Company. I occasionally give myself back a little clothing bargain I find. As of this writing, I’m wearing a $10 jacket that I get compliments on every day. I’ve even worn it to interviews!




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Our Friends Say
  1. Becky says:

    Great advice McKenna! I love bartering and often use my skills from a previous life as a professional photographer to trade for services. I took photos for a local gym in trade for a membership, headshots in trade of chiropractic care and massages, and product shots in exchange for stuff. I found the prices for produce at my local ethnic market (I cannot verify 100% organic unfortunately) are ridiculously low in comparison to a commercially known market and I buy my strawberries fresh from the farm stands. Being a bargain hunter and setting limits on spending can become almost a game and often we realize that we never really needed all that extra stuff anyhow. Stopping to “smell the roses” can truly become a lifestyle to enjoy.


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