Budgeting. It’s an inevitable part of life, unless you were born a Kardashian. But for the rest of us trying to find some heart in the hustle, money management can be a hard subject to tackle. In this new series Broke Girl Budgeting, I will be taking you on my journey of being young, broke, and reckless in New York City. Together we will learn, laugh, and cry at our bank statements in the pursuit of gaining control over our finances.
Today I’m sharing my top five money-saving tips. These are the ones I actually try to (and occasionally successfully) use daily.
Write It Down
Every month I draw out a chart in my notebook with three columns; date, item, amount. I force myself to physically write down anything and everything I spend money on. Even though I know that I could just check back in my bank statements for the same information, something about having a written record makes in really easy to visualize and see where it is your money is going. By far the most written word on my lists is “COFFEEEEEEEE”.
Buy it in Bulk
Head over to the bulk section of your grocery store to pick up your staples. Beans, oatmeal, rice, nuts; they can usually be found much cheaper sold loose. It also means you can buy how much you need, instead of getting more or less of what it is you want. It’s good for the environment, and for your wallet… so no complaints here.
Any containers I get from food, any sauce packets, and especially NAPKINS. SAVE ‘EM! I use old containers to pack my lunch, store my bulk items, and for a thousand other random things. Instead of having to go out and buy storage, I just make the most of what I already have. It’s one less thing to spend money on and a way to repurpose something you already own. Living in a New York City apartment means I don’t have a ton of space for every condiment under the sun in my fridge. Instead, I keep all of the individual packets that come from take out in a little bag in my pantry. It’s both space and cost-effective.
Try it on Twice
I am guilty of buying clothes in the store I ABSOLUTELY love…then never wear. Whenever I buy something I wait 24 hours then try it on again. A lot of the time I find I’m not as obsessed as I was when I bought it. This a good way to double check yourself so you don’t end up staring at a closet full of wasted money. Master the return policy. Don’t be afraid to take things home, try on the new tee with your favorite pair of jeans, and if you don’t love it bring it back.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Discounts
A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. If you find scuffs on your shoes or a loose thread on your shirt while shopping check to see if you can get a discount at the checkout counter. Usually, they’ll give you anywhere from 10-15% off. Also, always check to see if there’s a student discount or any running promos.
+Image Credits: @onlineokte