Money isn’t always easy to come by, but it certainly is easy to spend. In an age when there are few free activities left and where having the latest and best new items feels like a cultural imperative rather than a fun bonus (or, as realtors on reality television would say, a need-to-have rather than a nice-to-have), making sure you have enough dollars in the bank to cover the basics can occasionally be a struggle. Not to mention that the cost of living is continuously rising while wages across the country are staying at steady rates. Let’s not even get into the housing market!
If you’re finding it a challenge to keep afloat in this complicated economic era, keep reading. Whether you only have a few extra dollars to make use of every month or whether you just want to be more careful with your savings, below you’ll find a few simple tips for living smart on a budget.
No More Avocado Toast
Joking! Obviously. Not eating avocado toast will certainly not solve your financial woes, but it is a meme-ish way of saying don’t spend money on food that was cooked for you. It is far cheaper – and far healthier, for that matter – to cook for yourself at home.
If cooking isn’t your thing, it doesn’t have to be a chore! You can easily come up with four or five very simple recipes to rotate through each week that are painless, tasty, and good for your pocketbook. Batch cooking on a Sunday – where you make a large portion of chili, soup, curry, etc. – is also a great way to make sure you have lunches to eat all week that are healthy and, more importantly, free!
Seek Out Good Sales
Being on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean you have to deny yourself nice things. You just have to be smart about buying them! One way to do that is to be smart and shop sales and keep a sharp eye on competitive prices between different brands. For example, some tech brands offer good prices on particular items, hoping you’ll develop loyalty and stick with the rest of their products, too. You can find phones, computer accessories, and laptops for cheap if you compare brand pricing regularly.
You can also be smart about seasonal sales on particular clothing items – at the end of a fashion season, when brands need to get rid of old stock, they mark it down in price significantly in order to make way for the new stuff. That means that autumn clothes will go on sale in winter, and spring clothes will go on sale in summer. Time what you think you’ll want to buy and get it the season beforehand to save money while still looking stylish.
If you’re living on a tight budget, making sensible choices about what you buy and when – and what you choose not to spend money on in a week – will help ease your stress in the day to day.