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- Frugal Living
Easily Save $250 a Month Without Feeling Deprived
I frequently come across numerous “Save Money” articles, don't you? Problem is, I've never seen any that target young adults. I'm interested about saving money without feeling deprived. All these articles I find talk about refinancing mortgages. Well, I don't have one. Another suggestion I read all the time is not to use ATMs because of their fees. How many college kids pay ATM fees? I don't! My bank (Bank of America) has free withdrawal fees at their locations and I couldn't imagine wasting $15 a month on simply withdrawing my hard-earned money out of the bank. Furthermore, do you really want to brown bag your lunch to work? Most people I know, myself included, do not have the time to bring a bagged lunch to work. Moving forward, I've compiled a list of my own experiences that could realistically save you around $200 a month. The best part is? You won't even feel deprived. I promise.
It's always a blast to go out to dinner with a group of friends. How much is your average bill? Mine used to run around $35-$40. That's $80 a month, if you go out twice and you're not careful!
I now spend around $25 a meal. How? Instead of ordering a $15 entrée, I opt for a (healthier) dinner salad for around $10. Instead of having 2 cocktails, I'll just have one. And usually, I can either split a desert with a friend or I can always opt not to have one. Being conscious with dining out at average priced restaurants can really add up.
Total savings here, assuming that you average twice a month: $30.00
I love lattes. They are my favorite non-alcoholic beverage, by far. I used to drink a minimum of one at least everyday. At $5 a pop, that's $35 a week on coffee alone. I have been able to save a lot lately by making a simple transition. Instead of buying my lattes, I bring my own mug to work and keep some milk in the refrigerator. I mix about 3 parts coffee and 2 parts milk. I also have a bottle of Davinci's Sugar Free Caramel Syrup that I use to flavor my “faux-latte”. No, there is no espresso in this mixer, but you know what? The taste is almost the same. On days that I really need an extra caffeine boost, I usually opt for a coffee house latte with espresso.
If you replace 5 lattes a month: $25.00
Hitting the Bars
I love going out and having a few drinks with friends. But, we all know it can get pretty expensive! Especially if you're planning to have a really fun night out. Consider having one or two drinks at home before you hit the bars to partayyyy. (ONLY if you have transportation, of course!) This can easily save you $15 an evening.
Do you party twice a month? Your average savings would be: $30.00
Cell Phone Plan Savings
Do you look over your cell phone bill every month? A lot of us are paying for plans that have more minutes than we'll ever realistically use. I used to pay around $125 a month for my plan, but after analyzing my minutes usage, I realized that I wasn't nearly using all the minutes that I was paying for on a monthly basis. I have unlimited nights and weekends and most of my minutes are consumed then; at no cost. On the other hand, be careful; it's very expensive to go over your plan's minutes. If you are safely below your minutes around 300-500 minutes a month, considering lowering your plan.
You could save around $25.00
Monthly Tanning Fees
I used to pay $35 a month for tanning. I don't really have time to tan anymore. Why should I pay $35 if I'm only going to tan 3 times a month? Totally not worth it. Instead, I am now a HUGE fan of Jergen's Natural Glow body lotion. I apply it everyday and I have a very natural, very healthy glow. Best thing is? It's about $9 and a bottle lasts me about a month.
Not going to the tanning salon saves me about: $25.00.
Renting Vs. Buying
No, we're not talking about Real Estate. How much do you spend a month going out to the movies and buying DVDs? I used to spend around $80 a month. I'd go out to the movies once a month and buy a few DVD's for $20 a piece. When I go to the movies now, I attend the local discount movie theater. On Tuesdays, they run a promotion and I can see a movie for just $1, as opposed to $12 at the local new release movie theater. Instead of buying an average of 2 DVD's a month, I rent via Netflix for $9 a month. I was running out of space to keep my DVD collection, anyways.
These changes save me around $60.00
Let's Recap, Shall We?
Dining Out – Save $30/month
Hitting the Bars – Save $30/month
Coffee Runs – Save $25/month
Cell Phone Plan – Save $25/month
Monthly Tanning – Save $25/month
Renting Vs. Buying – Save $60/month
So, there you have it. If you are a normal human being and dine out, go to bars, drink coffee, watch movies, and have a cell phone, then you should be able to save approximately $150- $200 a month, just from these subtle changes that won't leave you feeling deprived.
Treat yourself to a new outfit with your savings or boost your savings account!