Happy Halloween, Have A New Identity, Candy, and FUN by Christopher N

Halloween, what can you say about this American holiday. For most people growing up as a child, this was either the best holiday or the second best holiday after Christmas or Hanukkah. You get to become someone you would like to be, you get to get free candy, and you get to have fun on either a school night or more fun over the weekend.

For me Halloween was the start of decorating the house season. It was time to go to the store and get a lot of spiderwebs, feet, hands, skeletons, blood, ghosts, witches, vampires and Frankenstein. Outside in the front yard was so cool growing up, because many of my neighbors didn’t decorate as much. This was up from the beginning of October and it was great to anticipate Halloween. One decoration I can not forget was a giant Frankenstein that had to be stuffed, he made noises, and I thought it was the greatest thing even though he just sat down. It was great to see people reaction when they came trick or treating. But the worst part was taking it all down =( 

On a positive note, dressing up was the greatest. My elementary school always had this parade that we did every year. We would march around the school’s neighborhood. We came to school in our uniform and after recess we would come inside and get dressed. It was great walking into class with your new costume and once everyone was done, we will begin the march. When the march was over it was PARTY TIME, unfortunately there   were no alcoholic beverages, but if kids did that, that would not be pretty. This party included cupcakes, candy, chip and toys; it sounded cooler then than now. 

Today, my Halloween experience goes up and down. Sometimes I want to celebrate and other times IDGAF, this year is one of those IDGAF Halloween. With how the weather is now, I’m not tempted to dress up. But past Halloween were great because now I had alcoholic beverages and nothing is funnier than seeing The King from Burger King having a fun time at a party.  

Halloween is the greatest for children and even for adults that enjoy having that spirit. Its a time to loosen up and enjoy life and be funny, but you must be careful of the dangers. Have a Happy Halloween and be safe and have fun.


Halloween, A Time for Fun, Trick or Treating and Playing Dressing Up! By Loredana

As a child my family always dressed me up and took me trick or treating, so it has always been a fun night for me, especially since I love to dress up. As a child my family made sure they tortured us with the costumes they made us wear. My grandfather used to be a butcher and I don’t know if it was just coincidence, but one year me, my brothers and my cousins were all dressed as farm animals. I got stuck as the cow. That same year my aunt decided to enter me in a costume contest — having the aunt I have it’s no surprise she didn’t read the contest rules — it was a WITCH Halloween contest. Surprising I won third place (probably because they felt bad), but it’s a funny story my aunt always loves to tell.  

My mother was a little bit on the strict side so I continued trick or treating with my little brothers while my friends went out and had fun.  As I got older my mother became a little more lenient and I was finally allowed to go out.  I was never really the type to dress too provacatively, but I do like to look cute.  Wanting to be different I started making my own costumes with my mom two years ago. My first being was a peacock. Unfortunately last year I was sick and didn’t get to go out. It was very upsetting for me. This year I made sure I would go out. Again, my mom and I made my costume, a mermaid. I like to go all out for Halloween and look as glamourous as I can, but mostly I just enjoy being with my friends and having a good time.

Hope everyone had as much fun as I did this Halloween weekend and hope you all have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

New Money, New Budget

By Daisha Perez

Are you having a hard time building a budget and sticking to your plan? Do you find yourself constantly making purchases within your budget that are repetitive and boring?

Here are 5 easy steps to creating a budget that is simple and diverse!

1) Record your disposable income.  

Whether your income is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, this amount is a vital part in creating a budget. It is how much money you will have to dispose of on your needs and wants leading up to your next paycheck.

2) Record your list of expenses.

Starting with need based expenses: food, shelter, and safety.

 3)Disposable Income – Need Expense = Discretionary Income  

Now this is the income that you can get a little more creative with, discretion is advised!

4) Make a list of wants.  

Fulfilling a want on a budget is a creative challenge, make a list or create an inspirational archive of all your material and experiential wants, current and future, attached with a price and value. Don’t be afraid to go wild, the bigger the want the greater the fill!

5) Affordability & Significance

Find a balance between what you can afford at the moment and how much you really want it. Then, consider your options: purchase, hold-off on, save for, split with a friend, hint as a Christmas gift, etc.

Budgeting is very important, especially for college students! But just because your on a budget doesn’t mean you have to act like you are. There are limitless possibilities to what you can do when working with a budget, but only you know what you truly value in exchange for the money you worked so hard for.

No Halloweens to Remember by Mary

While all the other boys and girls in grade school went out to go trick-or-treating every Halloween with their friends and parents, I was the one loner that stayed home every year because my mom didn’t believe in Halloween. Now, like any 10 year old, I just wanted free candy and never got an explanation as to why I never got any. Kids would come in the next day with bags of candy for lunch and I would move along with my regular lunch meal because my Mommy dearest didn’t believe in Halloween. I went my whole life dreading October 31st every year because it meant a candy-free night.

As I got older, the holiday became less about candy and fun and more about “Slutty Nurses” and “Slutty Kittens”. Year after year, I would see girls from school dress up in these clothes (or lack thereof) just because Halloween is supposed to be the one day you could use as an excuse to dress up like a street walker and have it be okay. To be honest, I never understood that concept and still really don’t.

So now, every since my childhood memories allow me to remember, I’ve been pretty isolated from the whole idea of Halloween. I’ve been scarred for life thanks to my wonderful Mother neglecting me the right to get free candy as a child. Additionally, ridiculous costumes the girls I’ve grown up with will forever be engraved in my head as unneeded. So, if any of you have any desire to swing me the other way on this (what seems to be) crazy opinion of mine.. please do so. I’m ready to finally get into the Halloween spirit and have been for the 5 years. Let’s get this show on the road!

Happy Halloweenie!
x – Mary

5 Fun things to do in NYC on a Budget by Geraldine Rivera

 So it’s true, you don’t need to be rich to have tons of fun in NYC. I always worried about not having any fun if I’m always working and in school but not only did I worry about not having a social life. I also worried about money! But then again, EVERYONE WORRIES ABOUT MONEY! It’s normal. And if you’re looking to have fun and still be on your budget then don’t stop reading! Here are the 5 best advice I can give to you.


1Free Kayaking in Chelsea, Pier 40

 Pier 40 offers walk up kayaking every weekend and holiday from 9AM until 6PM with the last boat going out at 5:30, and Thursday evenings from 5PM-7PM with the last boat going out at 6:30PM. Pier 40 offers has lockers, a changing room and shower and hose to rinse off with. Very fun to do with your family or friends. Also, it’s free! What more can you ask for.


2. High-line Park and Chelsea Art Galleries 

The High Line runs through three of Manhattan’s most dynamic neighborhoods: the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Hell’s Kitchen/Clinton. It’s very modern now but back then it use to be a train station. It’s a really cute park to go to especially on a date. Right next to the park are pretty cool walk-in galleries you can visit.


3. Be on TV and see your favorite talk-show host 

 There are surprisingly many TV shows you can attend. You get to see huge stars up close and people might even see you on TV! Here are just a few that you can go and get free tickets for: Anderson Live, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Dr. Oz Show, The Early Show, Good Morning America, The People’s Court, and much more.


4. Lots and lots of Museums

Many museums aren’t free but the ones that are aren’t too bad. Here are a list that are free: The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, National Museum of the American Indian, New York Transit Museum Annex & Store and much more. You can also visit the Brooklyn museum but it isn’t free, you can either pay for admission or donate money, however much you like, it can be a penny!


5. Brooklyn Brewery tour

Brooklyn Brewery hosts free tours every Saturday that start on the hour between 1 and 5pm—learn about the past, present and future of the company. (Under 21s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.) Afterward, grab a seat at one of the indoor picnic tables and (if you’re of age, of course) purchase beer tokens to sample some of the brewery’s wildly popular creations, among them Brooklyn Lager, which can be found not just in bars throughout New York but in 25 states and 20 countries.


FInding Great Designer Shoes on a Budget! By Loredana

So it’s no big surprise when a girl says they love shoes. I for one have an extremely unhealthy obsession with shoes. I love them, but I can’t keep spending my paycheck on designer shoes that cost so much. Over the years I have shopped at many places for my shoes and although I love Macy’s and Lord and Taylor, sometimes they can be a bit pricey. I have found the perfect places to get amazing shoes without breaking my bank account and I am gong to share my top 3 shoe stops with you.


I LOVE Mandees! I used to shop there when I was younger because it was right by my house but now if I want a new pair of cute shoes that’s one of my to go stores. They have the cutest shoes for under $60. They sell designer shoes here as well such as Steve Madden, and I love Steve Madden so I know I will always find a pair at Mandees. I can never go in there and not find at least 5 pairs of shoes that I want to buy. They have a variety of shoes from flats to pumps to boots. The boots go a little higher in price but nothing that will go over your budget.


This may sound wierd but this place has the best designer shoes for a price that will blow your mind! I have bought Betsey Johnson shoes for $29.99 at a time and Steve Madden shoes that range from $19.99 to $39.99. Great right? I never would have believed it either if my cousin didn’t introduce me to the wonderful world of Burlington. Whenever I go to Burlington I always find a hot pair of shoes!


DSW is another great place to find designer shoes on a budget. The prices may be a little higher than Mandees or Burlington but still affordable. They have a variety of different shoes for men, women and kids of all ages. DSW is another store that I always find a hot, funky pair of shoes that I love. A pair of Marc Jacobs shoes were $35 when I went, so obviously i just had to get them. This place is so big you will NEVER leave empty handed. You will always find something you like!

Shoes so great people will think you spent a fortune! Shhh don’t worry I won’t tell!

Transplanted Working Dude on a Budget

by Heidi

A great guy pal of mine is now in town from Los Angeles.  He’s shooting a new television series for a cable channel and he’s living here temporarily for the next few months.  He already has a house in Los Angeles that a pal of his from New York is staying at since he’s shooting in Los Angeles.  My pal Mitch is a single guy and a house swap with his mate isn’t possible as his mate is married with a kid.  So Mitch is here in NYC on somewhat of a budget coz it’s not easy to have homes in both Los Angeles and New York.

The writing office for Mitch’s series is located in Tribeca.  The production office is located in Brooklyn.  Mitch has sublet a furnished one bedroom apartment, complete with linens, kitchenware, wi-fi and a gym, in a brand new building on the water at the Seaport.  He has easy access to the subway so he can easily jockey between Brooklyn and Tribeca.

Mitch went to film school at NYU so he’s a die-hard NYC fan.  Whereas he’s made movies and television shows all over the world (South Africa, India, Europe, America, Canada, South America) he’s quite psyched about being back in NYC for a few months.

Mitch had a credit on an online dating site so he’s cranked his membership back up and is wine-ing and dining a few lucky ladies.  He’s doing most of his dinnering in Brooklyn as he’s found many more options to fit his pocketbook.  He tells me Williamsburg is teeming with fantastic frugal finds.

He’s reacquainting himself with his old stomping grounds and has taken advantage of the great weather to walk the city–top to tail.  Central Park, The Highline, Meatpacking district (which he remembers when it was just slaughterhouses down there) have all been on his path.

Mitch is an entertainment freak so he’s taking advantage of what’s on Broadway by buying discounted theater tickets.  Also, catching a movie before noon enables you to a $7.00 ticket versus $13.50.

It would be great if you have any more ideas for a transplanted working dude on a budget if you’d share them here.  Mitch is great fun to hang with and I’ll be sure to pass all ideas along when I see him next!  Thanks, in advance, on his behalf!

Fashion On A Budget by Christopher N

I hope you all received helpful advice from my “The Do’s and Don’t Of Fashion Styling”. Today I will give you some helpful tips on how to be fashionable on a BUDGET.

Lets face it, we all love to save in every aspect in our lives, especially when those Dior shoes are on sale. But with the rise of fast fashion such as H&M and Forever 21, people are starting to look the same because of these low prices, but there are other ways to save without losing the quality of item.

When I was growing up, I have been privileged to be surrounded by closets full of all designers, My parents have them all, mostly my mother, but there kids were not going to get it that easily. I have my designer items but sometimes I have to hunt like everyone else. Here is a list of some stores that have great brands and still fashionable and have expectable prices.

Lord & Taylor: This store has many bridge/contemporary designers. For those that do not understand this concept, this means that its not too expensive nor is it too inexpensive, but the quality is expectable and the price is great for what you are getting. Brands like Calvin Klien, Ben Sherman, Hugo Boss, Michael Michael Kors,  and DKNY. Even thought the prices are in the middle, Lord & Taylor is AWESOME because they have COUPONS and they have lots of SALES, which bring the price down drastically. If you have a Lord & Taylor card, even more discounted.

Macy’s: We all grew up with Macy’s some way or another, There are many inexpensive brands, and there are bridge/contemporary brands. They also has COUPONS and have many SALES, and with a company card, your prices continues to go down. But to find good quality items, you have to dig through the store, but you will find them. But fashion doesnt have to be expensive, so here buy your cool pair f Levi’s.

Loehmann’s: This place is HEAVEN, there are so many high end designers here and also bridge/contemporary designers, this is a place to go if you want designer for the best price. They give you a BIRTHDAY DISCOUNT and they have REWARD CARDS, when you add both together, you feel that you robbed the place. You will find Valentino, Victor & Rolf, Prada, ect.

Im not a fan of fast fashion, but out of all the fast fashion, in my opinion Zara is the best. H&M does not do it for me, unless its a collaboration with a designer. Zara produces less pieces which gives you more exclusivity, and they are more fashionable and the quality is a bit higher than H&M. Even though the price is a bit higher, its worth it.

How can I forget high-end department stores. Nieman Marcus is great because of LAST CALL, you better be there the first day of this sale, thats the best stuff. This is do or die, when this sale comes along, but you will be so happy getting those Tom Ford boots.

When you have pieces from all of these stores, mix it up, and you would look like an individual, you saved and you have great pieces that can be used for a long time because of quality. With these great brands you look like a fashionable person. Again, from my previous post, find things that speak to you and your style would speak to others.

I hope you all enjoyed these helpful tips.

Romancing on a Budget: 5 Affordable date ideas to sweep your lady off her feet BY Fantasia

Everyone has a habit of always trying to find a way to save money these days, even when it comes to dating. If you and your special love one are trying to stay on a budget, there are plenty of ways to do so while keeping the romance alive. Today I will be sharing some romantic and fun ways to save money and spend sometime with your love one without thinking about money.

We have all asked ourselves the question, “Where should I take her/him?” Often times we find ourselves complicating on where exactly we should go. The reason why we get stump is for two reasons; we are thinking about the perfect place to go and we are budgeting out the fees along the way.  Still wanting to impress your love one, you would do anything to stretch your budget beyond what is normally affordable for us.

REALITY CHECK! In reality we don’t need to spend a lot of money to impress our significant others or our new date. Let’s be creative! When planning a romantic date or outing think outside the box and perhaps around the corner a bit. Allowing yourself to be creative can earn you more kisses and hugs then what you expect. Stop thinking about the 5star restaurants  and learn how to cook a romantic candle lit dinner.  I am going to guide you in the right direction with some affordable tips and ideas on how  Are you ready for some idea’s on how to have an affordable and fun time out.


Dinner and a Movie
1. Go out for pizza — ask them to cut the pie into the shape of a heart.

2. Try live entertainment, such as a band at a local bar, instead of a movie. (NEW YORKER’s GREAT LOCATIONS TO GO: The Downtown area and the East Village)

3. Pick a TV show, get a season’s worth on DVD and make a running date to watch it together every night over some delicious popcorn.

4. Cook a candle lite dinner and then a movie to follow, while cuddling up under a blanket. 

5. Try brunch and a matinee; fancy restaurants are way more affordable in the a.m.

Have some other ideas? Feel free to share them by tweeting me at @FantasiaNYC! I hope to hear from you soon!

Written By: Fantasia Hunt