Ok let’s face it, saving money is hard.
But, once you’re really ready to buckle down and get your finances in tact, it’s very empowering!
Now, I’ll be 30 in two years (womp womp), and am now only really taking my finances seriously and here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned to help me save, and get ahead.
Make a well-rounded lunch
What? Elaine, that sounds expensive.
No, not really.
Say you work 5 days a week, and every single day you know you will be eating lunch (who skips it?) And if you were to purchase your lunch each day at, for example, Subway (a drink, 6-inch sub, and chips), it would be about $8. That’s $40 a week for lunch. Or $160 a month!
When you break down the ingredients to make your own sub, drink, and chip combo at home, it turns out something like this(I’ve rounded up):
- Bread $3
- Various vegetables $8
- Lunch meat $10
- 12 Pack of water/pop $5
- 12 Pack of snack size chips $7
This adds up to $33! Yes, thirty-three dollars! And not to mention that the pop and chips are good for another week. If you only pack these sandwich lunches for the month, it would cost you $120 a month. Saves you $40! Which you can put towards some bills or savings.
I don’t mean to walk slower. But hopefully, by now you’re getting the wild party all-night phase out of your system. Have you ever realized how much you might spend on a night out? I remember my bar-star days and the costs involved:
- Cheap bar outfit $20
- Pregame drinks $20
- Cover charge $5
- Drinks at the bar $20-60
- After party food $10-20
See how fast that adds up? I know your ‘clubbing list’ might look a lot different, but I know you get the point. Now I’m not saying to completely cut it out, partying is fun! Just not as often as you use to.
I’ve also noticed the older I’ve gotten, the more dinner parties or lounges I would go to, and the less desire to get completely smashed at every outing.
Not going out as much has saved me a ton of money, and not to mention I found fun in other shapes and forms.
When shopping. For non-essentials.
Do you need that 6th pair of shoes? Do you really need that kitchen gadget to slice your vegetables? You already have sharp knives to do that. Do you need that $3 dollar bottle of water?
Absolutely just think about what you are attempting to buy. Ask yourself these 3 things:
- Do I have something else like this or can do the same job?
- Can I afford this?
- Will I actually use this?
That was a problem I had. I’d buy a bunch of purses that I didn’t need and didn’t use much at all. It felt like a giant waste.
This takes a bit more effort, but it’s so so versatile. I’ve seen many millennials start their side hustles to pay of tons of debt and save up for large purchases, like a house! This is where you can really hone in on your own passions, gifs, and interests and use them to their money-making potential.
A few ideas I’ve seen done:
- Start a blog (Check out my tutorial here!)
- Learn stocks
- Freelance writing
- Freelance coaching (any area that is needed! I’ve used a career coach which was her side hustle)
- Online surveys
- Freelance handiwork – can you build something? I can’t, so I’d probably hire you if I could.
etc. You get the idea. There’s a lot of opportunities out there for side hustles and make some extra cash on the side.
Learn to be thrifty
I’m a real believer in being thrifty. I love a good sale, especially for essential things that I need. Use a few apps on your phone to find you the best deals, then look for coupons! Seriously – it’s not as hard as you think.
A few apps I use:
- Flipp – Great to view your local flyers
Also, Costco. I know it can be overwhelming there and they need a membership, but for reals guys – worth it. The cheapest membership is $60 for the year and worth every penny. if I’m having a party, Costco provides me snack /dinner food at bulk. If I need cleaning supplies, Costco has ’em in bulk and I know they won’t expire too fast so I’m good to stock up. PLUS if you’re like me and on a few expensive medications, I’ve found their pharmacy to be about 25% cheaper than my local drug store. I just absolutely love shopping there.
Example: I had to get a new battery for my car. I called the Honda dealership and they told me it would cost $164 for the battery and $24 for the install plus tax. The same battery at Costco is $95 and I’d buy a case of beer for my friend to install it for me (can you say another side hustle?). Right there pays for the membership.
This might be a bit scary to do, but like the saying goes; you don’t know until you try. If there’s anything I’ve learnt, it is to ask for something I want, and the worst is that someone could say no and nothing for me changes. Here are a few things to ask:
- a raise or bonus at work
- a lower interest rate with your credit card company
- to consolodate your debt
- for discounts with your service providers (cell phone, cable, internet, etc.)
- bargain shopping and asking for discounts
Ditch the baggage
We all have it. That monthly subscription we don’t use. Those extra channels we don’t want on our cable. The magazine subscription that you don’t read.
It’s all money baggage. You’re carrying it around but not doing anything with it! (Remember to think thrice?) Cut these things out, since you’re not using them, you won’t even notice it’s gone.
Have your bank automatically deposit a portion of your pay cheque into a separate account you cannot touch. When I first started working when I was 16, I would have $20 put away each cheque. I’ve had to dip into that account sometimes when some emergencies popped up, but over all, you don’t even notice the money being taken on payday. When I started making a bit more money I was able to increase the $20 to a higher amount and was able to save a bit more. Before you know it, you’ll have a few thousand dollars put away!
A little goes a long way. From cutting expenses to being thrifty, and to even make some money on the side – it all adds up. Take some time to think about where you could trim some expenses and earn a bit more on top of that. You don’t know if you don’t try, and I believe everyone can achieve financial freedom when they’re ready.
Do you have any money saving/money making tips? Let me know in the comments!
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