How I Save Money without Feeling Like Scrooge
Budgeting. It's probably one of the biggest components of adulting. While I certainly don't have my finances mastered and the mention of money and paying bills makes me want to crawl under the covers and put on earmuffs, I'm pretty good at managing my spending. Here are five ways that I keep (or try to keep) the dollar bills in my bank account.
Brown Bag It
I am one of the cool kids who brings her lunch to work. Sure it takes a little extra time to plan out when grocery shopping and each morning as I pack it up, but it's easy, always delicious (anyone else ever buy what looks to be a delicious sandwich salad and *surprise* it's awful or the shop was out of everything you wanted and you settle for something meh?), I don't have to deal with long lines or going out in icky weather, and it saves me mucho dinero.
Buy In Bulk/Discounts
I'm not yet a coupon lady, but I will always take advantage of a 2 for the price of 1 such deals (so long as it's a product I can use that much of before it expires). It's not always a huge savings, but a dollar here and there adds up overtime- think about it, $3 saved is the tip for the delivery man (when you splurge :)).
Unlimited Metro Card
My job requires a lot of running around the city for client visits, not to mention that I commute via subway each day. Without my unlimited Metro Card, I would be at the machine topping up at least once a week. True story, I once took the subway 11 times in one day.
When it comes to clothing, I tend to be very frugal. That said, I do give my wardrobe refreshes and have done a good amount of shopping since starting my job and no longer being able to wear jeans every day. It would be easy to rack up some major bills as I fill my closet, so to keep costs as low as possible, I take all the advantage of sales and don't poo poo budget-friendly brands. I have found some of my best pieces at Old Navy, not to mention my most-complimented summer dress was under $25 at Forever21. Pro tip: Check out Target's Junior's department, it can be a goldmine. This isn't to say that I don't do my fair share of luxury shopping, I just keep it in check and make sure that the pieces I choose to spend on, are worthy of it. Thanks to my dad, I've also installed the honey app. Basically, it searches the site you're on and lets you know if there are any discounts you can apply to your order. I have no clue how it works, but it does.
You Like Coffee, I Like Tea
I once saw an interview with Kevin from Shark Tank in which he said, you should never spend money on coffee, or in my case tea. For the most part, I abide by this. Coffee dates (platonic and not) are always going to be a thing in my life and I haven't yet figured out a good way to have my morning tea at my new job without buying it, but when I can, I opt to make my own. Again, a couple dollars here and there add up! If your morning visit to your local stop is non-negotiable, then make sure to join their loyalty program or get a punch card so you can earn rewards and every now and then a free treat!
Where I'm Stuck
My one downfall in all of this is fitness. I'm working on figuring out how much I'm actually spending and how to still take the classes I love without totally breaking the bank. I don't have a great answer yet. Luckily for me, Cyc recently lowered their prices, bringing the price-per-class in a 20-pack under $20! If anyone has tips here, let me know.