The Secret to Living your Best Life on a Budget

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The Secret to Living your Best Life on a Budget

By: Shante Grossett

Summer is practically here. I know we all want to go out, have fun, eat great food, and make lasting memories with our friends and family. But, how can we do all that without breaking the bank? If you’re a college student or maybe even a recent grad, chances are you don’t have a ton of disposable income yet. Perhaps you’re just starting to figure out your pace in life and it’s more important for you to save than to spend. But, don’t worry. There’s a way to balance the two. You can live your best life on a budget. Here’s a few tips to help you do this.

1. SHOP THRIFT OR VINTAGE

Try shopping at local thrift and vintage stores. Trust me, shopping second hand is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a great way to save money on really nice clothes you’d otherwise pay hundreds for. It’s also a great way to practice sustainable living. A few quick tips when shopping second hand. Shop in the middle of the week instead of the weekend. It will be easier to shop since there are less people in the stores. Also, learn when your local thrift shops restock so that you can get the first access to new items. Finally, if physically scouring through racks of clothing isn’t your thing, try an online thrift store like ThredUp or a clothing resale app like Depop.

2. MAKE YOUR LUNCH INSTEAD OF EATING OUT EVERYDAY

This one is huge. Eating out adds up really quickly, especially if you live and work in a big city like New York. You can save over $60 each week by simply meal prepping at home and taking your lunch to work with you each day. Plus, it’s so much healthier. And, if you enjoy going out on the weekends, you can use some of what you saved from eating home cooked lunches towards going out.

3. CHOOSE AIRBNB WHEN TRAVELING

AirBnb is a great way to travel to new places affordably. It’s way cheaper (and cooler) than staying in a hotel. You can save even more with AirBnb if you travel with friends and split the cost. Now, instead of having huge post-travel bills hanging over your head after your vacation, you can have fun in the moment without any major consequences later. If you ask me, I’d say that’s the best kind of fun.

4. SAVE UP FOR LUXURY ITEMS YOU WANT

Next, if you want something that you cannot currently afford, save to buy it instead of putting it on a credit card. Don’t buy into the instant gratification culture, it’s not worth it. If you want a new laptop or the latest phone, put down some money towards it each month. Before you know it, you’ll have enough and you can head to the store and buy that new phone out of pocket. If you’re not sure how to budget and save towards a goal, check out these budgeting tips for beginners to learn all about how.

5. KEEP TRACK OF WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING

Finally, please keep track of your spending. Find out if you are paying for any unnecessary services or subscriptions and cancel anything you don’t need. Think about how much you spend on groceries and how you can save. Look at your bills and make sure you aren’t being wrongfully charged for items you did not purchase. A great way to track your spending is by using Mint, an all-inclusive budgeting app. It helps you to visually track your spending in each category of your budget and alerts you when you’re going over budget. I love that Mint is so much more convenient than writing everything out with pen on paper.

I hope these quick tips were helpful. Try putting them into practice so that you can have an amazing and exciting summer without breaking the bank. You can totally live your best and most fulfilled life on a budget.