When The Money’s Gone


Did you have a wonderful dinner at the Chateau Marmont for three?  A lovely weekend away at the Montage in Laguna?  Acquired a new fabulous pair of shoes at the Neiman’s sale?  Well I hope you enjoyed them because now it’s the end of the month, you’re looking at your account balance and what’s left wouldn’t even be enough for a massage in Korea Town.  What to do when rent’s due, credit card bills are showing up in the mailbox and the tank in the Lexus is almost empty?

This is a predicament that the jet set pauper can occasionally find himself in.  Since, 5 star hotel rooms, first class travel and organic food for a spoiled Pomeranian are not yet subsidized by the federal government, they occasionally have to be funded by American Express, who eventually want something in return.

The most important thing is to not let this dire lack of funds get you down.  That is much too bourgeois.  You spent that money and you damn well enjoyed it.  So no use sulking when there are no returns on sale items anyway.

You might think – but how am I going to keep up my social life?  I have lunch invitations, cocktails with clients, parties that require a new outfit.  Cancel everything – it’s time for you to take a vacation.  No, not a real vacation.  You can’t even afford rent, let alone airfare in coach right now.  You must take a vacation from socializing.  This is the time to pull it all in, when the jet set pauper goes into hibernation, a rest replete with scented candles, bubble baths and delicious food.

Tell your friends you’ve been asked to a week at a cousin’s home in Gstaad or that you are going to an ashram upstate to work on your chakra balance.  Meanwhile you’ll of course be at home updating your Netflix queue.  Don’t worry about falling off the social radar so quickly.  By suddenly becoming unreachable for a swath of time, one cultivates an attractive air of mystery.  Your friends will wonder – what are they doing?  Are they having some fabulous time somewhere without me?  What is going on?

Do not use hibernation periods to wallow in misery and stuff yourself full of Pringles in front of the television.  Take this time to invest in self-improvement.  Start teaching yourself Italian or master the handstand.  This time is a luxury – most people with consuming jobs complain about never having the time to do these sorts of edifying activities.  They stop learning and growing, becoming stale like yesterday’s kale quinoa salad (incidentally a low-cost staple food for the jet set pauper).  You are too interesting to let this happen to you.

The majority of things you do should not cost money.  Reading actual books is a retro idea.  You could finally get around to reading Madame Flaubert in native French to be more interesting at a dinner party or a Poker for Dummies to be more lucky in Vegas.  You could also take increasingly long walks on the beach in the mountains and sit in meditation, focusing on attracting an abundance of cash.

While you will spend most of your free time at home instead of at the Four Seasons, you must take care not to become a hermit, as this is very unchic.  Assuming you either have no job or work from home as this is essential to the lifestyle of the jet set pauper, you must have some outlet that you can visit on a regular basis to help keep you sane.  Whether this is the gym, the tanning salon or the dermatologist’s office, it’s your call.  Just get out of the house every once in a while so you don’t lose touch with humanity and cultivate an unfortunate hairstyle.

During periods where you feel financially stultified and the only new things you’re getting are more bills, it can be satisfying to engage in some vision boarding, or as I like to think about it – imaginary shopping.  Go through a stack of old magazines and cut out all the clothes, houses, jewelry and men (or women) you like and paste them onto a collage board.  With some Sade in the background, a little weed proffered from your kindly neighbor or a bottle of chilled Proscecco (since you can’t afford Champagne right now) this can be a very pleasant evening.  You’ll tuck yourself into bed that night with a warm buzz and the feeling that your true life is just around the corner.

The point is to not let the momentary lack of funds affect your feelings of vast self worth.  You’re only in this situation temporarily and soon enough everything will right itself.  If you have to, repeat this mantra will luxuriously soaping yourself in your bubble bath, “I am fabulous.  I am fabulous.  I am fabulous.”