I decided to sit down to see where I am financially and honestly, I didn’t like the numbers. My dream of living in the city one day has come true even if it comes with a high rent bill due on the first of each month. Once rent is paid, I have car insurance, my parking garage fee, my student loan on top of other monthly expenses that also come up. Since I don’t plan on winning the lottery anytime soon, I decided to see where I could cut expenses and where I could save money each month.
I need to add that I am very lucky that I still have my parents support financially if I ever need it. Now that my parents have recently retired, it is not just given to me every month, but I know that if I ever need it I can go to them for help. When I graduated from college, I started paying for everything myself; car insurance, groceries, all of my shopping, etc. so I try to avoid asking for money as much as I can! I know that I am very lucky to have them if I need it, but I try not to as much as I can.
To budget correctly, I needed to see where my money was going each week. While some people may suggest you don’t follow this advice, I, on the other hand, use my credit card for everything. Over the last few years, I have been able to build up my credit score and I am able to take advantage of the cash back reward systems. I knew with this move to the city and getting an apartment by myself while working an entry-level job that things would be tight financially. For now, I put everything on my credit card and pay off what I can at the end of the month. I am being smart with my spending and I am sure there are ways I can save money each month – but for now, I use my American Express for everything.
Since I use my credit card for everything, I have really good documentation of what I spend my money on. This way, I can see what purchases I can avoid making in the future to save money.
Ways I Save Money Every Week
- I walk everywhere in the city and have used Uber I think less than five times since moving to the city. Luckily, everything in Philly is in walking distance (kinda) and I save so much money each week not using public transportation. I have my car in a parking garage near my building, so if I ever need to go somewhere I can use my car.
- Luckily, I often get free food at work for lunch so that saves me a lot of money during the week. I try to make it a rule that I don’t eat out during the week or even when I am really lazy at night I try to make something for dinner instead of ordering food. This way, when plans with friends come up, I don’t feel guilty for going out for dinner or something.
- I only go food shopping once a month, which may seem crazy to some people, but I stock up on everything that I need at one time. If I shop correctly, I will have enough food for dinners, snacks, and lunches for the month. It also prevents me from buying snacks or ordering food because I always have food in my kitchen.
- I make my own coffee every morning and take advantage of the free coffee offered at work. I only buy coffee on the weekends if I am out running errands or something, but for the most part, I save so much money making my own at home.
- I buy cases of Snapple so I can bring one with me to work each day saving me from having to buy a $3 drink with my lunch. I started to keep a few of them in my desk at work in case I forget to grab one that day. I added it up one week and I save so much money when I don’t buy a drink when I am out.
- I take advantage of free shipping at Target.com and throughout the week I will add those items to my cart and have them shipped to my house on Fridays. This way, I can buy the things I need and don’t get distracted and come home with a million other things that I don’t need! I usually only spend around $40 a week on Target orders, which is a lot lower than what I would spend if I went in stores.