millennial in debt

I’m writing this to help us all continue to stunt for the gram and live your best life. Or… to continue to help you make sound financial decisions that will lead you closer to your financial freedom destination. Either way… this will be useful for you.

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live rich while spending like you're poor

15 Ways To Live Rich While Spending Like You’re Poor

1. Reduce your food budget (if you don’t have a food budget… make one): This is probably one of the harder things to do on the list because well… shawty gotta eat. I shop weekly at Trader Joes and always go in with the mentality of spending 30 dollars a week. Unfortunately I usually fall within the 40-50.00 dollar mark on a weekly basis. This means I spend about 200 dollars a month on groceries. While that may not sound so bad, remember, that I’m only cooking for myself, I don’t buy meat, milk, or eggs, and I don’t really cook dinner. When you add in all of those factors, 200 dollars a month buying mostly fruit and vegetables for breakfast and dinner is a bit high. I’m currently trying to figure out how I can get back to my 30.00 dollar a month budget and what corners I need to cut. If you find that your food budget is extremely high and you’re really not getting much (like me) then you are going to have to take a seat and see how you can capitalize on your money. So many people are great at doing 2-5 dollar meals… I’m not one of them BUT it can be done!

2. Get A Side Hustle: If you’re like me and think that you’re always busy, or too busy to add anything on to your plate, there’s a good chance that you aren’t capitalizing on your time. If I calculated ( and I won’t) how much time I spend wasting my own time, that wold free up a good amount of time for me to do other things. Though you can’t/ shouldn’t cut down on sleep, you can cut down on the time you spend surfing the internet, scrolling through social media, and playing iPhone games (we all are guilty). You might find that you free up 3-4 hours a week just by cutting the time you’re wasting in half. This would give you 3-4 hours a week of side hustling to make some extra spending or saving money. (8 Easy Side Hustles To Help Pay Off Student Loans) 

3. Track your expenses then cut them: I’ve been sharing my monthly expenses with you on Instagram and just by doing this I’ve been able to cut down in a lot of areas that help me hold myself more accountable, and spend more wisely. If you don’t have time (*coughs* you probably do) to track your expenses there are TONS and I mean TONS of apps that will do this for you. And since you are glued to your phone any way… this will be a purposeful way to use your smart phone to make your life easier. (5 Easy Budget Apps To Track Your Expenses In 2018)

4. Shop At Thrift Stores/Discount Hunt: This is still a hard one for me, but you don’t have to buy the latest trends or new clothes at full price/ the retail price. Thrifting is extremely trendy now a days, which can make the process even harder to get a good grab, it is worth it when you are saving 80-90% on the cost. Besides thrifting in the flesh, you can thrift on line, or sift through frugal communities (facebook groups are a good place to start) that share savings hacks and glitches. Everyone loves a good glitch!

5. CUT CABLE: I don’t know how many times I need to tell you… but apparently I need to do it one more time. You really really really don’t need cable and should not be paying hundreds of dollars for all of those channels you never watch. I am going on year two without cable and I honestly miss nothing about it. Get you a Netflix or Hulu subscription (borrow a password if you must) and a firestick. You’ll be good to go trust me. Save yourself the money for something you’ll enjoy a lot more down the road.

6. Invest: This may sound like the perfect way to lose money but if done correctly can be a great way for you to make some serious bank. I however do not suggest jumping ALL the way in to investing before you’ve learned the ins and outs. I stand by using ACORNS as my introduction to investment, because there is very very very little risk associated. Acorns takes your left over change (they round up your expenses on each purchase) and invests it for you. For the most part I use ACORNS as a savings account that I forget all about, and they do all the hard work for me. I’ve had an ACORNS account for about two years and have made quite a bit of money on top of what I have initially invested. I haven’t used any of that money, and just let it sit in the account. I consider it to be a rainy day fund I don’t keep at the forefront of my mind. Plus I earn way more “interest” on my money than in my regular savings accounts.

7. Get Rid Of Your Car (if you can): This I only recommend if you can survive without a vehicle (I know not everyone lives in a state that has a strong public transportation system). However if you can do without a car, I suggest that you do. For starters a car can be a massive financial drain when everything starts to go wrong. Cost of repairs alone can set you and your emergency fund back quite a bit. Besides unforeseen emergencies, having a car is a consistent financial responsibility. Maintenance, gas, registration, inspection, and car insurance add up to quite a lot of money that you could be saving or paying off your other debts. And if you have a loan on your car, that’s even worse. Save yourself the headache if you can. If not, shop around for ways to lower your car insurance without remming too much of your coverage.

8. Make Fiscally Wise Transportation Decisions: Besides giving up your car (which I wish I could do), making better transportation decisions will help you have extra money in your pocket. Instead of taking the 50.00 dollar Uber into the city (which I have done… twice) plan accordingly to hop on the train or bus. I know I also have opted to take the LIRR ( a much more expensive train option for my non New Yorkers) instead of the regular MTA train because I was running late and in a rush. During winter break I spent over 100 dollars in public transportation that really could’ve been closer to 15.00 had I planned better. Do your self and in turn your wallet a favor by taking the most fiscally responsible mode of transportation to your outings.

 9. Learn To Cook & Eat At Home: Eating out can be fun on occasion, but making it a habit is going to be costly. Instead of ordering take out learn to make that favorite dish that you enjoy so much. I guarantee you that what it costs you to make it is way less than what it would cost if you ordered. Besides saving you money, knowing how to cook is a great skill to have as an adult (or so I’m told) and it is the healthier option for you as well.

10. Coupon Like A Savage: I am trying with all my might to get better at couponing. A lady the other day told me that she bought 3,000 dollars in groceries and paid close to nothing. That is what I call extreme couponing and I commend her for her savagery. I don’t even know where to begin to look, but I do know that the circular is your best friend. Using coupons will help decrease the amount you spend at the market. Tackle that with learning to cook and you’re hitting a 2 for 1 deal.

11. Store Brands: I am not a snob, I swear to you, but there is something about buying store brands that made me feel like it wasn’t as good as the name brand. And now that I am older and have to pay for everything myself, I realize that 9 times out of 10 the store brand is just as good as the name brand product (not for everything… but for most things). So check your snottiness at the door (right along with mine) because there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying store brand versions of products. Especially when they work just as good and are usually way cheaper.

12. Get A Reusable Water Bottle: I have four of them because I’m weird like that. It’s become a thing now that I always have to walk around with a water bottle and many times this has saved me from having to buy over priced water wherever I am at the moment. You should drinking more water anyway, but if you are not a fan you can try adding fruit, lemon slices,  or mint leaves to make it more appealing.

13. DIY (If you can): If you are particularly crafty, or you’ve got access to the internet you can DIY many things that potentially could cost you an arm and a leg to purchase. A friend of mine just bought a house (shout out to him and his adulating endeavors) and has said several times that learning to DIY certain home renovations has saved him a ton of money and brought an odd sense of satisfaction when completed. I’m not telling you to go out there and DIY your car maintenance, but it is a good idea to know or learn how to DIY certain things that don’t require too much time or skill (*ahem* like changing a tire.. which I still haven’t learned how to do FYI)

14. Always Haggle:  This is some thing my dad has instilled in myself and my two brothers. At first you will feel a small bit of shame, but after you get the hang if it you will become a haggling legend. Nothing gave me greater joy than haggling taxi prices in broken Spanish when I was in Cuba. Looking back on it now, I really shouldn’t have because I know they do need the money, but I just couldn’t help it. Haggling when done correctly will help you get deep discounts that you never anticipated. And what is the worst they can say? No? Tuh… I’ve heard worse. Most of the time if you are purchasing from a place that is all about the back and forth haggle, the original price was over priced anyway so don’t feel too bad. And if the person truly values their product, they are set on a price and won’t budge. Either way it doesn’t hurt to try.

15. Choose the right bank: I know this sounds weird but… choosing the right bank can help keep your money in your hands, and make it work for you. First of all, you don’t want to have a bank that is going to charge you all of these ridiculous fees because you don’t have enough money in your accounts. Uh… I didn’t sign up for a bank account to be judged thank you very much. I signed up so you can hold my money, and give me more money. The second thing you want to look into when you are choosing where to put your money is how much money do you make back. Most banks don’t give very much in interest. There are a few that really help you capitalize on the interest. And or a list of those banks you can head here! 

So there you have it 15 ways to live rich while spending like you’re poor. In using these methods you’ll have more money coming in and appear like you’ve got it all together. You’re money well be growing, you’ll be glowing and your Instagram will be popping. What more can you ask for?

millennial in debt

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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.