As promised a list of budget saving tips. Many of you were freaked out when I implied living like a “college student”. When I was a student I never ate ramen. My roommate and I cooked a ton. We stuck to easy meals like bean burritos and stir fry to stay healthy and on a budget. Now that I am a big kid the same rules apply. I keep our meals simple and with lots of seasonal vegetables. No soda or bubbly beverages. Water is free and wine is our treat.
I think the main thing in budgeting is being aware of what your spending your money on. Little purchases add up. I was the queen of getting late afternoon lattes and cute new necklaces from Forever 21 when I worked in New York. At the end of the week I would ask myself where did that $100 bucks go. I thought since I was spending less by shopping at budget stores I was actually saving money. In some cases it fun to buy some silly necklace but buying something just because it’s cheap isn’t saving you any money. Honestly, now that I’m broke I wished I saved and bought quality jewelry because now I just have a drawer full of broken rubbed off gold junk.
Budgeting is big subject that can’t be summed up in one simple blog post. Here are just a few of my personal tips that I plan on keeping recession or not. Remember all of us having different ideas of budgeting. What may work for me may not work for you. Feel free to add your own in the comments section below.
1. Don’t shop hungry. This could be applied in so many situations. Don’t shop sad. Don’t cruise the internet drunk…click and buy on amazon is just too easy. You get the idea. Don’t put yourself in situations were you may be tempted to overspend. Make a plan what you need from the grocery store or while your out shopping. Need jeans? Get the jeans and leave.
2. Get rid of full cable package and watch it online instead. We cut down to just basic cable. We barely watch tv anyway. So spending $7 a month for an occasional boob tube time didn’t seem so bad. If I’m in the mood for something I can’t find on basic cable I can find most anything online. Try the free service hulu.com for some of your favorite shows.
3. We own one car. When we lived in New York metro area I took the train to work. When we decided to moved we intentionally sought out a town that had public transportation available. I live 16 miles from boston. But I can take the bus from my front door into the city for just $2.50. The commute to work for my boyfriend is a bit longer but his sanity and money saved is worth the extra time.
4. Having just one car in our driveway left us with an extra space. We ended up renting out the spot for the winter months to a neighbor. Greg loves getting his no effort put in parking check every month!
5. Turn down your heat. If it’s winter outside you shouldn’t be wearing shorts inside. Cranking the heat up is not only wasteful it dries your skin out too. We keep our heat at 63 degrees. Sounds crazy? Seriously you get use to it.
6. Our new goal is to stop eating out. When we lived in New York area we ate out all the time. I worked long hours and stopping for take out was faster then cooking. My time spent relaxing meant more to me then the savings. Now that we are home more I make dinner every night. I make sure to make enough for lunch the next day. Not only do we save money but we cut down on unnecessary calories.
7. We don’t have a land line. Actually, we haven’t had one since 2002. I just carry my cell phone. Thankfully, I have always lived in apartments/houses with good reception.
8. When making big purchases research like crazy. Read forums to hear what real consumers have to say about products. Researching definitely saves time and money. Their is nothing worse then make a big purchase and then have that product die out 2 months later. I hate those if I only knew moments.