By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
FORGET FRUGAL — EMULATE THE MOCA SPENDING MODEL
In the end, I decided not to save a boatload of money by moving into the Rosslyn. I instead chose to move into a giant studio in Silver Lake and pay 25 percent more than my current rent. I call it my MOCA strategy: Speculate to accumulate, spend in order to maintain an aura of fabulousness. I also went ahead and bought a new laptop — a teeny, tiny Acer Aspire from Radio Shack for $99. It connects to the Internet wherever you are, much like a phone does, and no DSL connection is necessary. (Which will be useful if I do, indeed, need to move into my car in a few months.)
I decided to start my own business, too, and I bought a domain name through GoDaddy.com for my new fashion Web site, called StyleStrategist.com. I bought a virtual office address through EarthClassMail.com, and signed up for e-mail marketing software through AWeber.com, so I can send our e-mail newsletters. My friend told me I have an (empty) Wikipedia entry in my name, which also made it all feel better.
DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY — EXCEPT ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE
I posted a Facebook status update that read: “Caroline is bored of her own unending optimism.” Hellin Kay, recently laid-off from her job as West Coast fashion editor of Women’s Wear Daily, has yet to tire of her own unshakable pragmatism. “Aren’t you worried?” I asked her. “Nope,” she said. “One door closes, another opens. Whatever is happening now is what the universe wants. I am just perpetually positive.”
Except when it comes to health insurance, which Condé Nast had been paying until the company kicked her to the curb. “It was shocking. I got my form for COBRA health insurance, and it is exorbitant. I can’t afford it.” She said she’d be laying off her personal trainer as a result.
(The Freelancers Union is offering low-cost health insurance: www.freelancersunion.org.)
GOOGLE YOUR WAY OUT OF THE RECESSION ... OR BE A CARTOON COW
I talked to Chris Hardwick, writer for Wired magazine and professional tech nerd (he runs Nerdist.com). Hardwick is a lifelong freelancer who has never had an office job. “I’ve been fortunate enough to freelance in the entertainment business for 15 years. It’s rare that people actually arrive at that place where the anxiety comes true, where everything falls apart and you’re living in your car.”
He recommended using Google to fight the recession. “Google ways to cut down expenses,” for example. He told me about a Web site called Mint.com, which securely accesses all of your bank- and credit-card records and offers suggestions on how to save money. Likewise, if you have a business idea, Google it. Then go to elance.com to find freelancers to help you build it. And then sign yourself as a freelancer looking for work.
Hardwick also supports himself by playing a talking cow for Nickleodeon’s Back at the Barnyard. To remain competitive, he’s perfected the art of the “sarcastic moo. It’s like you just say the moo, without actually mooing it,” he explained.