In the culture we live in today, constantly being exposed to stylish clothing and luxurious lifestyles on Instagram and Pinterest, it’s SO hard not to want to spend our money. Every day as I scroll through my Instagram feed, I get sucked into people I follow that always seem to have the most amazing clothes and are constantly traveling to beautiful and exotic places. This in turn made me wish I had that life and could afford those vacations. Rather than realizing why I couldn’t afford that lifestyle, I would open up my Urban Outfitter’s or Revolve app and get to shopping, leaving me with only temporary satisfaction.
This is where the first tip I can give you comes into play:
1. Don’t get sucked into beautiful Instagram accounts!
While following them is completely okay, don’t try to change your life because of someone else’s. What many people don’t realize is that those people traveling to different places are often getting paid to advertise those hotels or certain products. It is part of their job to travel! I finally realized that it is not in my job description to travel to exotic places, but if I started saving my money I could hopefully reach a financial point where I could travel abroad without a worry in the world.
2. Live within your means
If you are just graduating from college, odds are you don’t have a ton of cash to just throw around at whatever you feel like. Like me, you’re probably drowning in student loans hoping you land a terrific job right away to get you on track towards paying off your loans. When I say live within your means, I am saying only buy things you know you can afford. You can still live a fun, colorful life, but if you only have a couple thousand dollars in your bank account, you shouldn’t be attending a music festival every other week that costs a fourth of your entire life’s savings. When you can afford it, dance and sing your heart out! But until then, save your money and sing your heart out to the radio.
3. Create a Menu for the week
Leaving College can be a bit daunting. For me, one of the most intimidating parts was not having someone to cook for me anymore! Whether you lived in a dorm, Sorority, or even a Frat (hey guys!), or wherever, you probably rarely cooked for yourself. When I moved across the country to Tennessee, my saint of a mother sent me on my way with a cookbook filled with all her favorite recipes to help get me started. She also gave me a great recipe for a smooth transition into being an independent adult (see what I did there). Plan your meals out and make a weekly menu! Not only does this save you that hassle of figuring out what’s for dinner every night, it saves some dollars on the grocery bill! Buying in bulk is cheaper, and filling up on groceries once a week rather than nightly saves gas and time!
4. Shop with Deals in mind
While I am no extreme couponer (props to those of you who are!), I do love me some deals. If a coupon or discount is out there, which there likely is, why not use it and save a few bucks? Chris and I love to pull up our Retail Me Not app while waiting in a checkout line to see what we can save. It is so simple and there are always great deals on it! My favorite place to use this is at Bath & Body Works. I don’t think I have ever paid for something full price there, and you shouldn’t either!
5. Be your biggest fan
This is easily my biggest piece of advice. A huge factor into saving money is being content with our life and loving our selves. When we love who we are and are happy with what we have, we won’t be consistently spending our money on temporary happiness. Something I didn’t realize until recently is that no matter how many articles of new clothing I buy, or how many new things I own, my happiness within will always remain the same. Once you realize this, saving money becomes a whole world easier. It becomes easy to say no to those girl trips because it just isn’t in your budget, and you are okay with that because you know you will have that much more money left in your account! While you may want to go on a vacation so badly, the more vacations you take the further away you are from becoming financially secure.
These tips just scratch the surface but I believe in this day and age they are the biggest ones to keep in mind. As I mentioned in my Meet Me section, if you are willing to live the next few years of your life like no one else is, you will be able to live the rest of your life like no one else can. So let’s be thankful for being beautiful individuals, loving our selves and our lives, and get to saving!
xo, Heather Marie
*Image from The Budget Mom via Pinterest