The New Good Life

The economy may suck, but life doesn’t have to. Here, 68 simple ways to trim some fat, live a little smarter, and make the very most of your money

SLIDESHOW: 68 Awesome Ways to Spend Less (and Still Be Happy)

FEATURE: The Death of the Yuppie. (Finally.)

The tide, it seems, has turned. Before the dust had settled from the market crash, while our portfolios were in free fall and our jobs (if we still had them) were put on the chopping block, there was a new mantra on the lips of all the money men: Spend less, save more. A new president spouted words like “responsibility” and “sacrifice.” And suddenly, all those trappings of the good life in Philadelphia (Main Line McMansions, valet parking for the Escalade at KOP) felt more like excess than success. A new reality had arrived, and it — like everything else — was downsized. We usher in a new day for Philadelphians. And while, yes, at first it may be hard to embrace a return to frugality (or to see any silver lining in the cloud that swallowed your 401K), we prefer to think of it all as a sort of return to good sense: mending clothes instead of replacing them; haircuts that don’t cost as much as dinner for two at Le Bec-Fin; a dinner for two that doesn’t cost as much as your first car. Now, we’re not suggesting that you trade in Le Bec for a Big Mac (we said frugality, not brutality), just that you consider supping at the bar, where the tab is cut by half. Or that you hit up a happy hour every now and then. Or learn to ride a Vespa. And who knows? With tips like these, you may even find it takes a lot less than you thought to be happy.

Reported by Andrew Allmond, Carrie Denny, Zach Falk, Victor Fiorillo, Sandy Hingston, Dan P. Lee, Lauren McCutcheon, Ashley Primis, Bridget Salmons, Allison Schultz, Allison Stadd, Janine White and Valerie Yeager