Let’s not beat around the bush here — I am no money expert. Numbers tend to make my head spin. My math SAT score was nothing to write home about, and I really, really like oat milk in my coffee — helloooo .50 extra cents!
After moving to New York City from where I attended college in Maine, I realized that all the brand-new awesome things at my fingertips (like museums, concerts, and bars that stayed open past 11pm) were also
. Pretty quickly, I figured out that if I was going to live my life in the big apple to it’s fullest, I was in need of a serious budget rebrand. expensive
Lucky for me, I have some pretty wonderful, money savvy friends — and with their guidance (and some of my very own trial and error) I’ve honed my saving skills, cut loads of extraneous costs, and best of all, learned cheap ways to treat myself. Here’s what has worked for me and some of my pals. We by no means have all the answers — but we are really, really trying!
tips from millennial babes, for millennial babes
Maybe you love to draw. Maybe you’re crafty. Maybe you have a way with kids/animals/plants.
Whatever your thing may be, now’s the time to capitalize on it! Create an art Instagram and sell your work. One of my pals has a popping beading business
on Etsy that gives her a steady cash flow, another babysits all she can (she suggests using Care.com or SitterCity to get connected with families), and one is constantly using depop and Poshmark to get rid of her old clothes — in exchange for funds!
We all have skills to share — why not get paid for ‘em too? At the very least, they’ll cover your morning Starbucks run.
name your savings account.
My bestie got this from Erin Lowry’s bomb book,
Essentially, the idea is to name your savings account something worth saving for – i.e., “Grad School”, or “Girls’ Trip to Austin”, or maybe even “#BlogHer20 Creators Summit Ticket Fund”.
Our Community Manager Amanda Lederman uses the
Qapital app for saving account, which rounds up her Lyft rides by $2 each time she jumps in a car and puts that money in to an account. She was able to pay for her trip to Bali from the extra $$$ she didn’t notice was missing!
Once you can put a “face” to your savings account’s name, it’ll be easier to stow money away. You’re working toward something, not burning through it.
get smart about your food shopping
Grocery shopping can be intimidating — and can easily take a huge chunk out of your paycheck if you’re not buying smart! Lucky for us, there are apps for that.
Flipp is an app I check before I go on any grocery hunt. It lists tons of deals, coupons, and bargains for favorite brands and sorts them by your preferred grocery store! Grocery Pal is another great app to keep track of bargains by you — but my hands down fave is AnyList.
AnyList lets you build as many grocery lists as you like. I have one for my essentials, and separate ones for my fave recipes so I never forget secret ingredients. The best part? You can share those lists with your housemates, your romantic partners — anyone! Treat it like a collaborative google doc for your pantry.
girl, stick to your damn budget.
It seems obvious. But who among us HASN’T gotten deep into our excel-budget-spreadsheet, laid some ornate and elaborate financial plan, walked away feeling good as hell — only to see Free People is having a sale and couldn’t you squeeze out $20.00 for the black t-shirt you’ve been spending all 20-something years of your life waiting for?
NO MORE! I know it’s tough — but the feeling of being in control of your finances, able to tackle everything on your plate, and have some to squirrel away? Better than the perfect top.
Mint or Wally are budgeting godsends. They let you set monthly or weekly limits on categories like groceries, bars, clothing, pet care — you name it. Getting a friendly reminder when you’ve hit your max is truly a game changer.
that said — budget for what you love.
And sure, maybe that means budgeting for the perfect $20.00 top.
No one is saying you need to hole up in your apartment eating cheese singlets and using your parents Netflix to meet your saving goals — although if that’s what you’re into, doesn’t sound like the worst night.
You know what brings you joy. If you’re someone who likes to indulge in a good meal, or if you LIVE for exhibit openings, or if you can’t miss a performance at a certain venue — budget for it. Make it happen. These are the golden years, kid!
Pssst – heading out with friends? Don’t want to divide the check between ten million people? Download
Splitwise — the app that helps you keep track of what you owe and who owes you, as you go.
I hope these tips help you cut costs, save for your goals, and live your best life. And if you have any advice for me, comment below! I’m still learning, too.
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