I met a professional dominatrix at a party the other night. (Being able to say this sort of thing 100% truthfully is reason #1364 why I love New York.) Now if I was really the stellar personal finance blogger that I aspire to be, I would have thought to ask her some relevant questions about her work, such as "how much do rubber bodysuits cost these days," "are your whips and handcuffs tax deductible," and "does the dungeon you work for offer a good 401k?"
I'm sure she would have been willing to talk to me about some of these issues, as she was off-duty and really quite friendly: at one point, she sat on my lap and stroked my cheek, and twice, she bent over and slapped her own ass in my direction, which I think is dominatrix sign-language for "I like you."
Anyway, that was about as much dominatrix as I could handle, so I doubt the PF interview will ever happen, but the encounter did leave me feeling like it was about time we had a few more RULES around here! So appropriately enough, I present Rule #11:
- Sensory deprivation.
I don't watch TV. I think this alone is a huge factor. If I don't see something, I won't want it. And let's face it, advertising works. I can't tell you how often I've had to grit my teeth and pass up buying a Swiffer-- my brain tells me a regular mop or paper towel will do the job, but the commercials make the Swiffer look so much more fun!
I don't read all the catalogs I get. Of course I don't have the willpower to throw out every single one, but most of them go straight in the trash, unless there is a chance I might find something I particularly need.
I don't go window-shopping, and I rarely read fashion magazines, decorating magazines, etc. Just more glossy, beautiful ways to think you need something that you really only want.
I try not to listen to the proverbial Mr. & Mrs. Jones, so I won't be tempted to keep up with the various vacations, new cars, clothes, social activities, and real estate that they are no doubt bragging about.
And though this one might really seem impossible to most people, I don't tend to listen to music radio stations. I used to listen to a great alternative radio station back in the 80s and early 90s, and I was constantly buying records, tapes and CDs of the bands they played. Now I listen to talk programs on NPR and use my iPod for music, and I'm much less tempted to buy new CDs. I still hear music in stores and through friends, and I still read reviews and check things out on iTunes and then buy the CDs I really want. My CD collection may not be the most up-to-the-minute, but I have plenty of great things to listen to, and if I miss some catchy new tune from a one-hit-wonder, I figure it's no great loss.
So that covers some options for the senses of sight and hearing, which are, as it happens, the senses of which a dominatrix is most likely to deprive you. I'm sure there are also ways to save money by not allowing oneself to touch, sniff, or lick things, and if you happen to think of any, please let me know! But be aware that from now on, I will be enforcing a strict policy that all comments be prefaced by "May I speak, Mistress X?" I know you love it, you miserable worms. Thhhwack!