As young people, it’s important to get into the right habits sooner rather than later. I know it can be tempting to spend your entire paycheck on a new summer wardrobe or weekend getaway with the girls, but unfortunately, the fun options aren’t always the most practical ones. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t treat yourself, because you definitely should. The key is to treat yourself to a new sun dress, not 10! Now let’s get to the money saving!
Pay With Cash Or Debit
I rarely ever have cash on me (like ever), but using a debit card is essentially the same thing. The idea is that you’re not swiping your credit card for every purchase. That can get very dangerous, and before you know it, you’ve racked up hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars on your credit card. And if you can’t pay the full amount when it’s due, you’ll be charged a ridiculous amount in interest. If you decide go out to dinner, go shopping with friends, grab coffee at Starbucks or get your nails done, try to get in the habit of paying with cash or a debit card. Those are all purchases that don’t need to be made, and paying with cash or a debit card allows you to only spend what you have available to you. If you were to use your credit card while you were out shopping, you’d likely spend much more than you planned to. It’s just the facts!
Make Your Lunch
This one is huge. And I have to admit, I’m not always the best at it. However, I do know that this saves a ton of money. OK, maybe not a ton, but it definitely makes a difference. If you were to buy your lunch everyday, you’d be spending on average, about $6 a day. $6 a day doesn’t sound like a lot, but that translates into $30 a week, at least. If you do that for the entire year, you’d be spending over $1,500 on lunches alone. And that doesn’t include your typical grocery shopping and going out to eat on the weekends. You could easily save yourself over $1,000 just by bringing your lunch to work/school.
If you’re anything like Matt and I, then you like to go out and have a good time. With that being said, eating and drinking can get pretty pricey. Finding restaurants that are BYOB can save you a ton of money. I mean think about. You can buy a $12 bottle of wine to split between 2 people. I’m not sure how many glasses of wine are in a bottle, but I know it’s more than 2! Plus, if you order 2 glasses of wine at a restaurant, you’re going to be spending more than $12 on that alone. So, my advice is to do your research and find some places that allow you to bring your own. And this doesn’t just go for alcohol either. I’ve been to breweries (Matt and I’s favorite) that allow you to order a pizza and eat it there. Going out doesn’t have to break the bank!
Use Your Credit Card For The Essentials
I know this kind of contradicts my first tip entirely, but hear me out. Unfortunately, we all have expenses that we just can’t avoid. This includes groceries, body care products, cleaning products, gas, bills, etc. Most credit card companies have some sort of a points program. X amount of dollars translates into X amount of points. For me, my credit card points get applied to my Amazon account. The awesome part about this is that you can find anything you could ever want or need on Amazon. And because I’ve used my credit card for things that I know I need to buy, it’s essentially like getting free money. For example, I use my credit card when I buy groceries. This is something that I need to do in order to live. Therefore, in this instance, it makes sense for me to use my credit card instead of cash or debit. I will then use my Amazon points to buy other things.
Track Your Spending
This is so, so important. Break out excel and track what you spend each month vs what you bring home each month. You will be able to see where you can cut back. For example, spending $50 on Dunkin coffee each month isn’t necessary (although it’s delicious). And if you cut that out, you just saved yourself $50 that you can now put towards things you need. I know $50 doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up when you realize you’ve been spending your money on unnecessary things all this time without really being aware of it.
Money is a scary thing, and unfortunately, we need to be smart with our money in order to thrive in life. So, I hope you take some of these tips and put them to good use! Best of luck, friends.
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