Budget tips for young women. 6 tips on how to enjoy life and not overspend.

Written by: leonora  |  Published on: October 29th, 2010  |  Category: Blog

Life does not have to stop just because you are broke. Even if you wanted to, it probably still would not. Life doesn’t have to stop just because you are broke. Even if you wanted to, it probably still wouldn’t. Guess what, your friends will still invite you out to dinner, birthdays and holidays will still come around, so will dates and nights out.

1. Cook in, instead of dinner out - Instead of going out to dinner, which in LA will cost at least $20/person (without a drink) when you include tax and tip, consider having nights in when you either have a pot luck or have your friends over for dinner and you all help out. Vegetarian recipes tend to cost less. You can make vegetarian risotto for 4 people for less than $10. Add 2 reasonably priced bottles of wine on sale and you still end up spending less. Consider trading weeks. I would refrain from being too rigid with the schedules, since the point is to have fun, not reenact your college dorm years with the revolving calendar of chores.

2. Shop smart – I am not going to tell you not to shop, because let’s be honest, you won’t listen. However, there is a way to spend less and not feel deprived. Consider spending more on things that will be an “investment” like jeans and shoes, and less on things you will wear a few times, like club/dance clothing or a really trendy piece of jewelry (think statement necklace). I would regularly look in stores like H&M and Forever21 for bargains on trendy things. In fact, if you have a good eye, you may find things no one will think you bought for less. Yes, we all need clothes, but if you find that you are constantly throwing out or donating unworn things, maybe it’s time to sit down and figure out what you can change about your shopping habits.

3. Exercise – Those yoga classes at $14/class can get expensive. Consider hiking with a friend instead of doing cardio at the gym or buying a video and going to class only when the funds are there. We have some by donation classes in LA you can take. Also, maybe try out new studios that offer a discount for new customers. Consider volunteering at the studio to reduce the costs.

4. Learn to cook – Yes, your mother probably told you, but all that stuff about it being healthier and cheaper is true. I would challenge you to find a healthy meal you can prepare at home that will cost more than what you would pay at a restaurant (after the initial investment into the basics). Get recipes on line and get cooking.

5. Think where you can cut without noticing – I am not going to tell you to stop buying your favorite shampoo or moisturizer especially if those areas need extra attention, but think about things that are not a priority for you. Never have dry skin? Maybe you can settle for the pharmacy brand moisturizer instead of paying $40 at Sephora. Have awesome hair that’s easy to manage? Maybe you can stick to Clairol instead of the salon brand. Review your cable bill and cell phone bill to see if you can cut the extras you are not using. Do you need the expensive car gasoline? They have numerous studies showing that using the brand beyond what the car manual recommends is basically a waste.

6. Spend time with friends, not money – I am not saying stop going out or be the Debbie Downer that is sucking on water when everyone is having drinks, but consider going to happy hour instead of a pricey hotel bar for cocktails. Consider doing lunch instead of dinner, if you must go out to eat. Go through each other’s closets and trade things you are sick of, but that your friend may find exciting.

Look no one wants to hear about your money problems all the time, but you should share with close friends that you are trying to stick to a budget. You may be surprised that your friend is also, but was too embarrassed to admit it. Consider holding each other accountable and encouraging good spending instead of over-spending. Times are tough, but you don’t have to deprive yourself. Being on a budget really doesn’t have to be boring or lonely. Go on , have fun and save!!!

One Reader Comment

  1. tax free shopping

    I concur, saving cash on the net or in real lifetime is 1 of the most critical things right now. With the way the financial system, career scenario, gas rates and housing industry are everyone is hoping to conserve a dollar right here and there. I think that how to preserve income and how to be a far better shopper ought to be a course taught in high school. So that children can have an even probability and comprehend what occurs to funds when they have to pay out their own costs.

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