So… summer is drawing to a close.
Um, I mean…
Anyway, summer is typically a season when people go on holiday, do all the things, and spend more money because sustained sunlight (especially in a place where the sun is like an estranged relative)
makes people so happy that they begin to feel like the glass is half-full ALL the time. “Money is for spending! Let’s do all the things, ALL THE THINGGGSSS!!!”
There are also those people who aren’t super into summer (because hayfever, and bugs, and it’s too hot out, and bleeaarrrghhh), but who spend too much sometimes anyway because they are emotional shoppers, and spending money makes them feel better in the moment.
If the intro wasn’t a big enough hint, I fall into the latter category. When I’m bummed, I buy books (yes, with an “s”), fancy food, and expensive tickets to luxury cinemas (b/c once you’ve been in a comfy armchair with an ottoman, eating good food, drinking booze, and covered with a cashmere blanket in a cinema, it’s just disappointing experiencing a movie any other way) among other things. However, there is hope even if you are like me. There are small ways a-plenty that you can save money every day!
You don’t have to eat out all the time. You don’t even have to eat out half the time. I usually do, because my stove is basically a set of 4 hot plates. And I can never be precise when heating ANYTHING b/c all the numbers were rubbed off long before I got here. That aside, groceries are generally cheaper and better for you than restaurant food. Save a few bucks by cooking something simple and delicious at home. That is… if you can.
Invite some friends over, snuggle up with your fuzzy roommates, or just have some “Me” time in front of your laptop with a movie. If you’ve been to the cinema in the last five years, you’ve noticed how spensive it’s gotten. It costs me more than the price of two paperback books to see a film at my favorite cinema. Isn’t that crazy?! Do y’all remember dollar theatres? Or the regular theatres that didn’t ask for the deed to your house as payment to see a movie you already knew you were gonna wish you’d never seen anyway?
Well you can relive those glory days by using Netflix or Hulu, renting from iTunes, or for next level money-saving, just watch a movie you already own. Keep that £18 tucked safely away. When the day comes that you don’t have quite enough to cover your phone bill, you can whip out that money from the secret money hole behind that painting on your wall and pat yourself on the back for thinking ahead.
Wait! Before you submit all fifty of those credit card applications, look at them closely, side by side, and figure out which one is actually right for you. Maybe there are a few contenders that look good, but only two out of five will accept your application either because you’re a student with next to no credit history, or because your credit is horrendous.
Whatever the case, there are places you can go. Internet places. Like Credit Card Insider, which has credit card reviews, and a page full of information on everything from what makes up your credit score alllllllll the way back to how credit cards even work. There are also old favorites like Credit Karma, which offers free credit scores. What I’m getting at here is that there are resources available to help you stay on top of things. Give ’em a try.
Make a budget!
I know, I know — you like to live on the edge.
But it really doesn’t hurt to be prepared. In fact, it can only help to know how much you’re spending every month on certain things. Rent, utilities, and holiday transportation are all examples of things you know the cost of before you spend the money. Food, clothing, and fun activities can be tricky, since you never know when you’re going to happen upon that can’t-miss sale or be invited out to a new restaurant by a friend. But for those unknowns, you can designate monthly allowances for “incidentals” and “entertainment,” etc. The more you’re able to plan ahead, the slimmer the chance you’ll have to sell everything you own to make rent next month.
Some things just…shouldn’t be sold.
Hope this was helpful to at least one other rain-maker out there, and that you’re eventually able to swim in all the money you save.
There’ll be a new Writing Wednesday post up this week. Until then, happy Monday, y’all!