Pretty much everyone I know falls into a student/recent grad/grad but still broke/never graduated, broke category these days (yours truly absolutely included).
Whether you're watching your spending, saving up for something big, or living the life of a high-roller, who doesn't like saving a little?
In my recent thrifty attempts at living, I've found a few things that really work for me. Now presenting:
6 Tips For Thrify(er) Living
1. Dine in AND with others- This might seem like a no-brainer, but cooking at home rather than going out to eat can save loads over time. Look for options that can give you bang for your buck- eggs, bread, and pasta are cheaper ways to make a full meal. Cooking for one can be difficult-true. That's why I've added "with others"; making potluck-style meals (you make the salad, they make the entree, etc.) are a super affordable way to have a three-course-meal! I'm also lucky because one of my housemates like to cook- alot. She frequently makes dishes that need to be shared before they spoiled, and I try my best to return the favor. Easy!
2. Bike (or walk) as much as possible- I've pretty much made the rule for myself that anytime I'm running an errand around my neighborhood, I have to take my bike. It may not make a huge difference all at once, but again, over time, that's less gas spent on somewhere accessible. Not to mention a little extra exercise, and I'm all about that "two birds" mentality.
3. Sell/trade your clothes! Ok I'm sure this is old news to everyone, but think about it: selling old clothes you don't wear anymore is a great way to make a little extra cash. Additionally, many places give a higher "trade-back" rate for store credit, that is, by selling your clothes for credit, you can get new clothes at the store! For many girls (raising my hand) shopping is a vice especially when you're trying to save...SO: sell your clothes. Clean out your closet. Add some new additions a thrify way!
4. Do free/cheaper things- This may also seem like a duh, so hear me out. Obviously doing free activities instead of those that cost money is cheaper. However, you can only go on so many bike rides before you want to go to the movies again! Keep in mind that many places have a "cheaper" night: theaters have matinee pricing/student discounts, Museums/zoos often have a free or discounted student day, even bowling alleys and mini-golf courses usually have a family night. The same thing goes with eating out, and I'm not just suggesting you eat fast-food (though I do love Taco Bell!). Plan your dinners around happy hours or nights with specials. Especially if you're into the bar scene, NEVER pay for full-priced drinks if you can help it! Almost everywhere has a happy hour-take advantage of that!
5. Use coupons- I'm not an extreme coupon-clipper, though I kinda wish I were! Still, there is something extremely satisfying, and obviously money-saving about using a coupon. Many stores give you coupons for similar items that you shop for- use those! And if you're feeling particularly crafty, there are about a million places on the internet where you can find coupons.
6. Use what you have- I think this has honestly saved me the most lately. Here's a great example- most girls have bottles upon bottles of beauty products at home, and yet, aren't you always shopping for more? I challenge myself to use up what I have sitting around- lotion, shampoo, nail polish, travel toothpaste, etc. This stuff literally sits around and collects forever. And by all means, if it's not usable: THROW IT OUT. If you hate that color of eyeshadow, you will probably always hate it. This lesson can also be applied to clothing, books, and even food. In fact, today I made a mini-lasagna from some random noodles I rescued.
I hope one or more of these inspires you toward a thriftier lifestyle!
More importantly, I would LOVE to hear your tips on how to save. What works for you?