Making The Money You Have Go Further
If you’re new to the work force or haven’t quite established yourself there, you’re probably keeping a pretty close eye on your bank account. On top of new regular expenses like rent, gas, groceries, you may have student loans to contend with. For a lot of people every cent has been allotted before they can think about what to do with it.
Of course your goal is to eventually start making more money, but in the meantime we’ve collected a few tips to help you make the most of what you have.
A first real job often means the ability to finally get out from under the family roof. But just because you can get out, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to. Staying home for a year or two beyond what you have to can set you up with a solid savings foundation, that will give you a lot more choices down the way.
According to the article, How long is too long to live with your parents from Marketwatch, studies indicate that the number of adults between 18 – 31 living at home rose 36% in 2012. That was the highest percentage in four decades, and the trend hasn’t shown any sign of reversing since then.
If you absolutely want to get out then remember, as much as you may love a certain location, ultimately it’s still simply a roof over your head. Until you have income to spare it’s better to keep your rent lower than you can afford. Better yet, find people to share the load. Shared accommodation is shared expenses.
Instead of automatically jumping in the car every time you need to go somewhere, decide if your destination is close enough to put on your sneakers and walk, or bike. Work out to online videos. There are all kinds of free ways to get in all the exercise you need.
Work out without the gym
Speaking of exercise, if you have a gym membership and money is tight, think about cutting it out and building exercise into other areas of your life without the cost.
Switch to free wifi services
For a lot of people cell phone bills are a pretty big expense, but with the availability of Skype, Whatsapp and other apps that are cost free in wifi areas, that bill can be cut back to the bare minimum.
Clear out your pantry regularly
While we’re out shopping, especially if shopping while hungry, most of us end up with groceries we didn’t intend to buy. Things that we buy on the spur of the moment, because we wanted to try them, because they looked interesting. Then those things end up in the back of the pantry, forgotten about. If you make a point of clearing out what’s in your fridge and pantry on a regular basis by eating it, not only is there less waste and clutter, you’re also saving money by eating what you already have rather than buying more.
Speaking of eating, even if lunch only costs $5 or $6 a day, that money is going to add up over time. Bring your lunch regularly and eat out occasionally to save.
Pay off your credit cards every month
Don’t give in to the temptation to live beyond your means. Buying on credit is the easiest thing in the world. Dealing with high interest payments is not so easy. Much better to spend within your means and pay off your credit cards every month and skip the wasted interest costs.
If you really want to make a purchase beyond your means, give yourself a cool off period, say 48 hours to think about it. 48 hours should be enough time to balance out the impulse factor.
See what you can get for free
Maybe I have a perfectly good couch in my house, but I no longer need it. Rather than throw it out or try and sell it, I decide I’d like to offer it to someone else. Sites like Freecycle and Craigslist offer all kinds of free items as well as forums where you can make a request for what you’re looking for. You may have to wait a little longer, but in the end it will be worth it!