Q: What can you advise for those seeking magnificence without a great deal of financial means? I'm talking below the poverty line here: I'm a graduate student, and after rent, transportation, and tax, I have less than $120 to spend a month for food, drink, laundry, and so forth. So in what ways can a guy get the most bang for bastard buck?
A: Have you ever thought about learning to play the guitar or building a time machine? The only way we know to live on $4 a day and still attain a degree of magnificence involve imminent rockstardom (and the helpful female benefactors that come with that) or inhabiting the 18th century.
Our best advice for you circa 2011 if you don't think you have it in you to be the next Axl Rose? Spend $15 a week on food. (That should get you a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, a jar of peanut butter, a giant sack of rice, and maybe some butter.)
Devote $10 a week toward your entertainment fund, by which we mean a monthly 1.75L bottle of Bulleit. Also, get a library card. We sound like a public service announcement here, but reading is one of those rare pleasures that can be enjoyed as much by a pauper as a king.
Devote $5 a week toward your wardrobe and pay close attention to the "Classifieds" sales that Landsendcanvas.com has fairly regularly. (A new sale just started this weekend.) If you're lucky, you can pick up a polo shirt for as little as a $1.50.
It won't be as nice as a $150 polo shirt, but you will have at least one advantage on your side: The flattering silhouette of a man surviving on 2 bucks worth of food every day.
If you find that extreme hunger is making you dizzier than the bourbon is, adjust your budget accordingly — i.e., forgo the wardrobe budget for a month or two and spend more money on food. Don't ever compromise on the bourbon — that's your recreation, your health plan, and your heating bill all combined into one convenient package.