"It's Kind Of A Spartan Lifestyle…"S

Meet Laura Werkheiser, just one of so many young and fabulous New Yorkers who has devised "ingenious" ways of living fabulously on a sub-six figure budget. "It's easy for me to give up manicures and pedicures and hair appointments in lieu of of clothing," she says. (That and so many more hints are also available for your listening pleasure, from the clotheshorse's mouth itself.) This story - they attend open bar parties! they share Wi-Fi signals! they buy DRUGSTORE MAKEUP! — is too comprehensively beyond-loathsome for me to sufficiently respond at this hour but I have some choice quotes if you click the pic. [NYT]

Ms. Werkheiser's salary as a publicist, while well south of six figures, might be considered enviable elsewhere in the country, but in New York she has had to reprioritize. Before moving from San Francisco last fall, Ms. Werkheiser realized that paying salon prices for platinum tresses in New York would require cutting back on needs like food and shelter. "So I went natural," said Ms. Werkheiser. "I dyed it dark, a New York brunette."

Anticipating, rightly, that her Manhattan digs would be cramped and her budget stretched, Ms. Werkheiser, 26, shipped 18 boxes of her clothes to her parents' house in Omaha before moving here from San Francisco. The boxes sit in her parents' basement. When she feels she needs to freshen up her look, Ms. Werkheiser has her mother ship her several outfits from what she dryly refers to as the "Nebraska boutique."

"If I shop," said Ms. Werkheiser, "I can't have a social life and I can't eat."

Allison Mooney, 27, whose first job in the city was in publishing, often skipped dinner before going out, and instead took along mixed salted nuts in her purse. When things got really tight, she occasionally sneaked a flask filled with vodka into bars. Other times, she reluctantly resorted to flirting.

"I find in other cities guys are more apt to buy you drinks and expect nothing from it," Ms. Mooney said.

"Here, if they do buy you a drink, which is rare, you have to suffer through flirtations. It's true," she said, adding, "It's really cheesy."

Some indulgences are less negotiable than others. So Ms. Varney, formerly a self-professed "huge Sephora shopper," allows herself Dior mascara and high-shine lip gloss, which cost about $25 each. "Everything else, I've regressed and buy at Duane Reade," she said.

Ms. Werkheiser refuses to give up her Bumble and Bumble shampoo. "I don't do drugstores,"she said. "I will eat Pringles for dinner instead."