Actually Sit Down and Budget
- Open all your banking apps and write down how much you have to spend every week after you pay your bills. Anything left over needs to go in a savings account. Stick to that amount every. single. week. Even if you have a good week and don’t spend a lot, keep that money and have it in case you really need it like something happens to your car or your mother’s birthday is coming up. Also, be aware of when any memberships renew and will cost extra for an annual fee. Gym memberships, insurance and magazines are just some examples of things you may forget about the annual fee and all of a sudden you want to go to the Nickleback concert, but you just paid a surprising $40 for some dumb magazine renewal that you keep forgetting to cancel. Also, I’m kidding about Nickleback. I don’t know your music taste.
Look at Your Bank Account Every Day
- What better way to not spend money than be reminded that you don’t have any? It’s brutal, I know.
Cancel Your Gym Membership
- Sure, I like people watching and the group fitness classes as much as the next person, but working out can be FREE. Go for walks until you build up the endurance to run, use the stairs in your apartment or find a YouTube workout channel you like (for me, I LOVE The Fitness Marshall). I live in a very active city and there are a lot of parks with equipment that can be used to get a great workout. I also live on the 12th floor of my apartment so I make it a point to use the stairs whenever I am not carrying anything heavy or I am not wearing heels.
I saved $25/month
- Come on, I know you haven’t forgotten this gem from college. A case of beer from the liquor store will cost you the same as roughly 4-6 drinks at a bar. The bar scene is the best thing about Milwaukee and it is very inciting to go to happy hours and stay out late days multiple times a week. My friends and I have found that we have more fun playing drinking games and cooking dinner at someone’s apartment and then going out so we don’t have to buy $6 shots just to start feeling the buzz. I suggest you make tacos. Everybody likes tacos.
I saved $30/month
Rotate Your Closet
- You’re probably wondering why putting your warm clothes away for the summer would be mentioned on a page about saving money. Here is what I have learned about myself recently: If I don’t see something for a while and then find it again, it brings me back some of the excitement of when I first received it. I had all my clothes hanging in my closet and always dreaded getting dressed in my boring old clothes so I found myself online shopping a lot. Thank’s to having to share closet space with my boyfriend, I found that when the weather changes outside, I am excited when I get to hang up and wear those shirts that I haven’t seen in months.
I saved $200/year
Going off of that point, cancel your magazines.
- Everything can just be found on the internet anymore. If you actually read your magazines, sign up for that company’s email subscription list and get all the latest news and trends right to your email. Those free year’s worth of magazines sound great until you are automatically renewed and you now are out $80… and magazines make it difficult to cancel those on purpose, speaking from experience.
I saved $80/year
Ditch the daily Starbucks
- DON’T HATE ME! This one was tough for me as I always used to take my laptop to Starbucks, order a bucket of caramel macchiato and get to work. I’ll even admit that I still do it from time to time, but not three times a week like I used to. I save over $400 a year by cutting back on coffee alone. If you do the math and figure out how much you spend on expensive coffee, you are going to die when you see what you could have had instead. I could have flown to California and back. You know what I did? Three years ago for Christmas I asked for a Keurig and different flavors that I liked. To this day, my Grandma still gets me a box of K-cups every birthday and Christmas and it not only saves me money, but also the time it takes to get in and out of there. Starbucks is a treat and should be treated as such. To touch on a point I made earlier: Would you rather spend $5 on your daily coffee or save that money and have more money towards drinks with friends on Saturday? Which one is actually going to make you feel more fulfilled?
I saved $30/month
- You cannot justify paying for cable to me. You absolutely cannot. There are ways to watch the shows you want to watch without paying $30+ a month. A lot of channels have an online portal that you only need an Xfinity or Comcast password to. Ask your parents, grandparents or siblings if they have one and there you go. $360 you didn’t spend.
I saved $30/month