As many of you know, the economy has not been performing very well over these past couple of years. First of all: Sorry about that. True, it's been recovering in some areas, but the unemployment rate is still high, and a lot of average folks are poorer than ever.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the need for these average Americans to sacrifice things like medicine and health in order to save the economy. Agreed! A lot of people are trumpeting absurd notions like "stop giving the rich a free ride" and "make the rich pay their fair share of taxes" and "hands off my grandpa" as solutions to our economic woes. Let me tell you: It's ridiculous to ask the most successful and wealthy Americans to sacrifice, even if they can easily afford to, because that's like telling the winner of a prestigious pie-eating contest that he has to share his prize with everyone.

As I am the most average and least successful person I know, I have taken it upon myself to suck it up and make the hard choices. That means sacrificin', and lots of it. My hope is that by doing so, I somehow inexplicably and spontaneously rebuild America's fragile economy and save the day. At the very least, perhaps my list of personal budget cuts will inspire other derelict Americans to follow suit.

My Hunt for the Zodiac Killer

I have been quietly investigating the true identity of the Zodiac Killer in my spare time for several years now, and while I haven't made any breakthroughs, I still think I've got a shot at cracking this case wide open. Sadly, in these foreboding economic times it's no longer feasible for me to dedicate $10 a month to my investigation. I'm declaring this a cold case and pocketing the money.

Savings: $10/month

David Thorpe Friendship Fee

It turns out Something Awful writer David Thorpe has been charging me $200 a month to be his friend. I don't remember agreeing to such a fee, but he's always been a shrewd, cutthroat businessman and he has my banking account info. I still think it's important to be his friend, so I was able to negotiate him down to $150 a month. He will no longer acknowledge me at parties, but that's fine since we live in different states now anyway.

I strongly urge everyone to check and see if Dave has made any such arrangements with you, because I got the impression he runs this backdoor billing scheme on a lot of people. You might be able to save some good money by lowering the quality of your friendship with Dave, if not eliminating it outright.

Savings: $50/month

EverQuest Account

Due to catastrophic oversights, I forgot to cancel my EverQuest account roughly 136 months ago. I have no regrets. Six weeks of intermittent gaming in 1999 was easily worth the estimated $1500 price tag, especially since I was able to pay in installments.

Savings: $14.95/month

Secret Second Netflix Account

For the past six months I have been maintaining a secret backup Netflix streaming account for purposes of watching all the softcore movies and action-comedies starring professional wrestlers I want, without them ever showing up as recently viewed when my girlfriend decides to watch something. This one's going to hurt, but it has to be done.

Savings: $7.99/month

Food

I crunched the numbers and I'm spending upwards of $5.95 a day on food, sometimes more. Sure that $5.95 gets me five delicious things off of Arby's 5 for 5 menu, but it's still too much. I can do better.

I'm not proud, but in order to save money I have returned to using a classic ruse to procure free meals. I start by waiting outside of burger joints and sandwich shops. When someone comes out, I politely ask to see their burger or sandwich. If they comply, I quickly eat it as fast as possible. Barring a major sting operation or an undercover cop, there's no way I will ever be caught. Any evidence of a crime is destroyed by the crime itself. Even if the victim presented a receipt or bill of sale for the food item, a sandwich for example, I would simply say, "what sandwich?"

Savings: ~$180/month

Personal Hot Dog Guy

When I was riding high on the hog, I decided to keep a hot dog vendor on retainer, so that I might avail myself of his services anytime I desired a juicy all-beef hot dog, Polish sausage or spicy bratwurst. It turns out that translated to once or twice a month, making it a remarkably poor investment. I have decided to cancel my agreement and just purchase hot dogs on an as-needed basis on days when my sandwich con proves unfruitful.

Savings: $6,000 annually

Now all that's left for me to do is mail my savings to the federal government or transnational corporation of my choosing. It wasn't easy, but I feel like I helped brighten the future of my country and perhaps restored some luster to America's reputation as a rock-solid fiscally solvent hard body.

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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