As a twenty-something working 3 jobs, I understand the value of a dollar. Not being poor is my daily goal. I’ve experimented with keeping a daily, weekly and monthly budget, I’ve bought unknown brands, attempted public transport and made a sad dinner instead of ordering mouth-watering drunken noodles. I’ve even watched Extreme Cheapskates to try and get ideas, however their solutions are, ehem, rather extreme. I’d rather buy toilet paper than reuse poop-stained washcloths thank you very much. Pinterest provides some wonderful money saving options and trust me, I’ve pinned them all. One thing these bloggers refrain from informing you is that the saving-money route SUCKS.
1. Making your own coffee. Totally doable. $25 coffee pot. $6 coffee grounds that last weeks. Maybe $4 creamer. $5 mug. Bam. You save at least $3-6 every day. But you know what? My stupid Folger’s tastes nothing like an iced caramel latte from Dunkin. Hell, my iced coffee tastes like poop. Homemade coffee is forced down my throat while coffee brewed at the local cafe gently slides…okay, too sexual, excuse me. You get the picture.
2. Buying produce at the local Farmer’s Market. When I wasn’t working Saturdays I’d go to the local farmer’s market and pick up a ton of produce for $1-2 each. Cheap as can be. I totally approve of this method. However, feeding one person a pound of snow peas becomes a ridiculous task and my $1 purchase now brings me guilt after wasting almost all of that deliciousness. The alternative is buying overpriced produce at the supermarket…which I haven’t done since. Whoops. Canned and frozen veggies for me thanks!
3. Take public transportation. Gas is expensive, especially during the summer. Public transportation will get you from point A to B without much hassle in a timely fashion (if you’re lucky). The only problem is you have to take it with everyone else. Crowded trains, subways and streets bring out the worst in people. No one wants to give up their seat, or their spot holding the bar or move in if that means inching closer to another person. By the end of the day everyone wreaks of B.O. and you’d prefer not to smush your face into some guy’s back sweat. I tried to take public transportation to work, but it was SO not worth the saved gas money. I’d rather listen to my morning radio shows and swear at the Masshole drivers than be sardined on a train and then a bus for an hour and a half. MBTA is fine and dandy for a night out, but a daily commute is not an option.
4. Make your own dinner instead of eating out. Again, totally reasonable. Learn to cook. Create your own meals. Follow a recipe. But sometimes you’ve got to treat yourself to a professionally cooked meal at a restaurant. Yes, you’ll save money by buying your own groceries and ultimately cooking your own meals helps you grow into a real person, blah blah blah. If you never get out and explore the place you live, you’re not really getting the full experience. Cut it down to once a week, or a few times a month if need be, but don’t cut it out all together. It’s not worth it.
5. Stop buying alcohol. Ha! Listen, you will save a TON of money if you stop drinking alcohol. Think about it. No money spent on pregaming with liquor or 12 packs, no money spent on cabs to and from the bar since you’ll be sober, no open tabs to add more and more drinks to…it’s genius! If you feel that this an option for you, you will save hundreds of dollars a month depending on your social life antics. But if alcohol isn’t the sole factor leading to a negative bank account, then go for it. There’s nothing wrong with social drinking. Just be smart about it. Spend within your budget. Why not first make a budget? A beer budget, if you will. Or liquor. Or wine. Whichever you prefer. Go from there and see if that helps.
6. Making your own clothes. Thrift store finds seem super cute once they’re tailored and fitted or completely restructured. However, I can’t F@$%ing do that! Maybe one day when I get my ass in gear I’ll learn to use a sewing machine, but right now my only hope of making a dress out of fabric is if little birdies and mice came to my aid. Hey, I could be Cinderella. Don’t crush my dreams. Until that happens I’ll be continuing to blow money on already made clothing.
What money saving tips do use? Any that don’t make you yearn for the real thing? Let us know! Comment below or tweet me @tobyjaye19!
Don’t spend all your money in one place.
Unless it’s on a pony.