Maybe we just make poor financial decisions. Soon we will be moving to a smaller apartment since currently we pay more than half our monthly salaries on rent. At the moment we have a two bedroom and use the second bedroom as an office, but I think we could get by in a one bedroom. I’m not sure we could get any work done in a studio, although we shared a tiny house for a while. Both our desks and computers were in our little 12×14 room and we folded up our bed each morning in order to make space for walking around.

We rarely eat out or got to the movies anymore and have only one car since we can get to school by bike or public transit, but we do have some luxuries, for one we have pets. As my recent public television viewing has taught me until recently only the very wealthy could afford to keep animals that didn’t work. We also spend more money than we should on groceries and alcohol. We are working on consistently packing lunches and not spending on coffee or soda on campus.

Our main luxury though is our computers, our high-speed internet, and our online gaming. We have given up Netflix and other movie rentals, but haven’t given up gaming. Online gaming gives us as much entertainment as we want (and sometimes more than we really want) for around $20 a month. I usually only play a few hours a week, but I still think it’s worth the expense.

A few months ago we gave up on World of Warcraft. Since we only play a little bit a week we can’t keep up with a guild that wants it’s members to regularly participate with endgame raiding. Raiding feels more like work than play to me anyway.

After playing Civ 4 for a few months we started beta testing Lord of the Rings Online. To me all online games have the same ups and downs, but there are some things I like about LRO. For one thing it’s nice to play a game that isn’t known inside and out by several million people. I can’t just go lookup all the quests on Allakhazam. The main thing I like about it though is the scenery, the graphics are just beautiful. The clouds float across the sky, the flowers wave in the breeze, and the water sparkles and shimmers.

What luxuries do you want to keep when money is tight?