The other day, my friend texted me that he might finally be able to buy a home. I was super happy for him, because it’s been a goal of his for a while.
It got me thinking: When will I be able to buy a home? Well, at the rate I was going earlier this year, it was going to be a long time before I’d be able to afford something. But I’ve recently made some changes to the way I spend – and I wanted to share with the other girls out there what they, too, can cut down on so they can have more savings.
But fear not! Just because I’ve sacrificed doesn’t mean my quality of life totally sucks now. It just means I've accommodated; you learn to adapt.
Weekly Nail Appointments
I used to get a weekly manicure and pedicure because I always feel like a BAMF when my nails are perfect. But nails are expensive AF.
So what do I do now? I go to Walgreens, pick out 1 or 2 seasons colors that I like (Essie and OPI are my jam), and do my nails myself. It's much cheaper to do it yourself - and if you have shaky hands, you can always get a friend to do them for you. I save up to $200 a month doing this.
Solution: do your own nails
How much I save: $50/week
A Gym Membership
Gym memberships are pricey. Also, there's nothing worse than paying a monthly fee when you only end up going, like, two times a week. (Is it even worth it then?)
Solution: Get creative. If you’re a yoga person like me and you happen to live in Austin, you can even go to free classes. My favorite yoga studio here is called Black Swan Yoga, and it’s donation-based, meaning you can technically go to class for free. If you’re feeling generous, though, you can donate as much as you want.
You can also work out at home. Buy yourself 1 or 2 pairs of dumbbells and an exercise mat. One of my favorite fitness channels on YouTube is Popsugar. You're welcome!
How much I save: $50/month
My Starbucks Addiction
Every day for the past year, I’ve walked my dog to the Starbucks near my apartment and bought a grande iced coffee. It's my favorite thing in the world. But buying coffee every day adds up, and my Starbucks habit was beginning to become a little too overindulgent.
Now, I will buy one every other day, which makes a huge difference. See? I don't have to give up Starbucks entirely. It's just about being smarter.
Solution: Treat yourself on occasion. Buy yourself a Mr. Coffee, which only costs $20, and make your coffee at home.
How much I save: $20/week
I used to go bar-hopping with my friends every weekend. These days, I don't really go as much, but I'll usually make a plan to go with them once a month.
The benefits, other than saving money on alcohol? Not being hungover, which is huge in my book. I've gone to bars where drinks cost up to $20 each (what?!) which is just plain ridiculous. (Notice a pattern here? YOU DON'T HAVE TO CUT ANYTHING OUT COLD TURKEY! Just cut back).
Solution: Go to happy hour rather than going out on weekend evenings because drinks are cheaper. Limit bar-hopping to once a month rather than every weekend
How much I save: $100/month
Going to Department Stores
Y'all, I don't remember the last time I set foot inside a department store. Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus used to be some of my faves, but why go to a department store when you can hit up TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack for designer stuff and great deals?
I recently bought a Michele watch from TJ Maxx. The retail price is $350, but I got it for $185. Be a smart shopper and watch all your dreams come true, without all the high prices.
Solution: Shop at outlet stores, and go bargain hunting.
How much I save: Anywhere between $50-$300/month.