Friday, January 4, 2008

... on a nonprofit salary

There are two irrefutable truths about nonprofit employment. First, it’s not the salary that attracts us to work in the nonprofit sector. Second, these wonderful nonprofit job opportunities often take us to cities that boast expensive living costs. Being fully aware of this, every month Commongood Careers will pick a city in which one of our clients operates and we will hunt down the “nonprofit-salary-friendly” neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, cultural events and yes, even hair salons. These spots will be sure to keep you living the exciting urban lifestyle that your lawyer and banker friends enjoy while keeping your finances afloat. First stop, Boston … home of Commongood Careers!

Good Eating

A Russo and SonsLocated in Watertown, Russo’s is a grocery store that offers the selection of Whole Foods at a fraction of the price. Highlights include fresh produce, rare cheeses and a wide selection of gourmet groceries.

Volle Nolle – The historic North End in Boston is famed for its quality and quantity of Italian eateries that will fill your stomach while emptying your wallet. Volle Nolle breaks the mold by offering great pasta salads and delicious soups and panini sandwiches (try the Cubano). The quaint interior and low prices make Volle Nolle perfect for a quick lunch stop or a small dinner. 351 Hanover Street Boston, MA 02113

Good Culture

Institute of Contemporary Arts Boston’s newest art museum by award winning architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Located on the waterfront, the design of the building rivals the artwork it houses. Enjoy the museum free of charge every Thursdays from 5pm-9pm. If you have kids under the age of 12, bring the whole family for free on the last Saturday of every month.

Museum of Fine Arts ­– With a permanent collection of over 1,400 European paintings and 1,900 pieces of decorative art and sculpture, the MFA, Boston never disappoints. Every Wednesday from 4pm-9:45pm, peruse the galleries and enjoy classics from Matisse, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh and Rembrandt at no cost.

Free Shakespeare on the Common – Summers in Boston are legendary for free outdoor events held in the Boston Commons and the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. One highlight is the weeklong Shakespeare on the Common held in July. Free plays acted by professionals on a warm midsummer night prove that the Bard himself was right when he wrote that “all that glisters is not gold”.

Good Looking

Filene's Basement Though the famed Downtown Crossing shop is currently closed due to construction on the T that runs near it, Filene’s Basement, with stores on Boylston Street & in nearby Newton, MA still offers designer styles at Target prices. Though selection can be “hit or miss”, the “hits” make a visit worth its while. ()

Liquid Hair Studios – I’m no hair expert (my brother-in-law cuts mine in his basement), but Liquid is known for keeping other Bostonians looking sharp. Located on Tremont Street in the South End, this colorful and hip hair salon cuts costs as well as bangs. Though the décor is funky the stylists work to match your hair cut with your personality and lifestyle. With hair cuts and styles running from $25-60 you will have money left over to buy some shampoo.

Are you a Bostonian who thinks we may have missed some great-deal places? Please leave a comment on this blog and advertise your favorite places and events. Let the discussion begin!

(Please note: On our staff we have someone who scored a perfect 800 on the verbal SAT. Thus, we are well aware of the grammatically incorrect nature of slogans such as “livingood”. However we are also aware that sometimes cheesy catchiness beats proper grammar.)


Ren said...

Here are some more cultural events to add to your list:

Harvard's music department is always having free events. (

The Lucy Parsons bookstore ( shows free movies, usually on timely political subjects.

The Workmen's Circle has free klezmer music jams. (

Contra dancing at MIT is $6. (

Brandon H said...

Living good on any salary is easier if you budget correctly as well but it can be hard sometimes. Besides cutting costs, here is a way to control them:

3 Fast and Easy Budgeting Methods