After spending two years in college and realising that the only thing I was learning was in religion classes (and I'm an atheist!) I gave up trying for a bullshit CS degree and jumped into the job market. I have worked two tech jobs, one paying $6.50/hr to be an onsite hardware and software troubleshoot, QA, setup and support tech while trying to implement and test new long term projects with the boss and when he left doing some light admin work... at the college I was paying them to teach(??) me how to be an MCSE and call it a degree. I then quit and worked for $9.50/hr at a local ISP doing normal support type things. We got bought out and I moved to a pizza joint washing dishes and throwing dough for $6.00/hr because of the stagnant job market at the time. I am now a (severely) underpaid bouncer. After paying off necessities (rent, bills, whatnot) I am left with an average of $50-$200 per month to spend on cigarettes, beer, hardware and food. All in that order to. I present to you all what I have learned, please add your own suggestions.

Cigarettes: I smoke camel lights, not the cheapest brand in the world. I have found that gas stations cycle their promotions. There is always a special on camel lights near you. It may be buy one get one free, buy two get one free, $.35 off, whatever. You just have to find the store with the deal. Mom and Pop shops can also have better deals on cartons than a kwik-e-mart.

Beer: Yumm. Beer. I love PBR. It is cheap, decent and doesn't have a lot of hops. YMMV. I recommend going to a gas station that sells individual beers and buying one of every inexpensive beer their have. In some places you can just take one out of a six pack, bring it to the counter and pay. Experiement and find one that doesn't suck too hard. I have also picked something up from living^H^H^H^H^H^Hworking in a tavern. Tip your bartender well. You may not be able to afford as much beer as you could from being a stiff but soon the benefits will roll in. Always tip bartenders well. If you are the kind of person that just has to have a stout or some expensive import occaisionally then find a bar the does a wall of beers. A wall of beers is where, if you buy one of every beer there within a year, you get a discount on a beer or all beers. Beer walls rock.

Hardware: Other than trashing, going to flea markets and second hand/retro computer places I haven't found any good ways to get cheap hardware. The best way I have found is going to one of the above mentioned places, opening all the boxen, finding one with what you need and buying it. After doing this a couple of times you should have enough extra hardware laying around to build a couple of crappy old boxes to sell for ~$50. You almost make your money back this way.

Food: Ramen noodles. You know them, you love them. I exist on ramen noodles, rice, bologna and salad.

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