The Trophy Wife Recession Survival Guide

You may not have much sympathy for the Wall Street fat cats and CEOs who have lost their jobs in recent months and been forced to survive on the eight or nine figures they have saved up in the bank. But spare a thought for that voiceless group just as battered by the sudden change in circumstances: the trophy wives. After all, it wasn't they who made reckless investments in the subprime mortgage market and caused a global financial meltdown. They played no role in blowing up the markets. On the contrary, they've been doing their part to boost the economy for years now: They've been busy shopping. And yet many Manhattan women are now finding that the entire basis of their marriages (their lives?) has been pulled out from under them. We're here to help! After the jump, a few handy tips on how to modify your lifestyle during this trying period.

Working out
Do you normally start the day with a personal training session from Joe Dowdell? Believe it or not, your muscles won't actually know the difference if you jog over to the West Side YMCA, where the whole family can get a summer membership for the price of an hour with Joe. And you won't have to listen to his tedious exhortations to "work with me" and "you can do it!"

Food
Meeting your girlfriends at Fred's for a $30 salad? A salad from the corner deli is $4.99—you can sit on a park bench to eat it, with the bonus of not being put off your food by the visible facelift stitches at the next table.

Shopping
So usually after lunch, you'd wander downstairs to pick up a little number by Diane von Furstenberg or Stella McCartney. Instead, you might want to check out this store called Forever 21. They do such good knock offs, they frequently get sued for it!

Hair
We're not going to tell you to forgo the basic essentials of haircuts and color, but did you know about these places that cost a bit less than Sally Hershberger? Supercuts on First and 70th only charges $20 ($780 cheaper than Sally!), you don't need an appointment, and you won't get bumped because Sandra Bernhard called in a panic.

Body
We know: There's no better way to round off an afternoon than a 90-minute Thai massage at Cornelia's. However, Gong Tui-Na, who works from a second floor room at Second and 57th, will give you an aggressive rub-down for a fraction of the price, and you won't have to make chit chat with your acquaintances in the waiting area.

Flowers
You've obviously had to cancel your regular arrangements of orchids and lilies from Miho Kosuda, as they probably cost $500+ dollars a month, correct? But why not stop off at the Korean deli, where you can pick up several bunches of carnations for a less than ten bucks? No one will notice the difference. And even if they do, they'll just think you're being ironic.

Dining
Evenings at Babbo or Waverly Inn can get a little boring, let's be honest, so now's the perfect time to patronize your local Red Lobster. Unfortunately, that means going to Times Square, but on the plus side, dinner for two including cocktails (such as a tempting Lobsterita®) will mean you'll get some change from a $50 bill. Also, you'll realize that even though you're having to tighten your Bottega Veneta belt, life could be so much worse: You could be a fat Midwestern tourist!

Philanthropy
As for the endless round of galas and benefits, sure, it's good to do your bit, but opportunities for altruism are all around. The hobo couple who park their shopping carts outside the Starbucks on First and 75th? Buy them some forties, and we guarantee that the resulting warm glow will easily rival the one you got when your husband paid $6000 for tickets to the Robin Hood Foundation benefit.

There, living like a pleb doesn't sound so bad, is it? It does? Well, then, perhaps it's time for an upgrade. Moscow has more billionaires than any other city in the world, and the activities of those lawless Russian entrepreneurs have been barely dented by the market downturn. Happy hunting!