We are a generation that puts a premium on living our best lives. Just look at our social media accounts, which are teeming withphotos of us doing crazy things, going to beautiful places and accomplishingimpressivefeats.
When were flipping through our newsfeeds, we see these pictures ofother people and its completely natural to feel left out. Were enviousof our tangential friends amazing lives,and were left contemplatinghow we can capture the same fabulousness. We check out the first airline that comes to mind and look at flights to Europe, just to compete. And thats when it hits us: We just dont have enough money to do anything that cool!
Well, Im here to tell you that this frame of mindjust isnt true. You know how people are able to afford awesome trips and once-in-a-lifetime experiences? They budget. They save money. And then, in a few months, they have enough to make it happen.
If youre in need of inspiration, heres aguide of how to live your best life on a tight budget.
1. Get a membership to a big box store.
For a relatively small annualfee, you can have a membership to a big box store. Once you have that card, you have unlocked a magical world where you can buy things in bulk, making each item in your pack cheaper than anything youve ever dreamed of. Ten boxes of tissues for 8 dollars? Dont mind if I do. Twelve sticks of deodorant for 20 dollars? Ill take two packs, because deodorant is usually heinously expensive.
Take that card to the store and never look back.
2. Pause your gym membership when the weather is nice.
When the weather is dismal, a gym membership makes perfect sense (as long as you go at least three times a week to make the money worth your while). But when the weather is nice, who needs the treadmill? Take advantage of running in the sun and yoga in the park and pause that gym membership. The treadmill will still be there in the winter.
3. Do NOT buy clothes the momentyou fall in love with them.
Weve all fallen in love with a piece of clothing after seeing it in the window of our favorite store. But even if you try it on immediately and it fits like a dream, resist the urge tobuy it on the spot. Wait a few weeks because there is a very good chance itll go on sale either in-store or online. Think of the regret youd feel paying 100 dollars for something thatis marked down to 40 dollars just a fewweeks later.
4. And alwaysbuyclothes at the end of the season for the next year.
The cheapest clothes are always sold at the end of the season, so stock up then!
Its worth it to pack them away for next year, but there are also items that you can wear regardless of the season. For example, if you buy a super cute chambray dress, youcan pair it with tights for the winter. Or if youinvest in a short-sleeve button down, youcan pair it with a cardigan when the weather turnscold.
Bottom line: You GOTTAhack your closet to make it work for you!
5. Travel with friends.
Plan a vacation with a few of your closest friends so you can defray the cost of traveling. You’ll payless for yourhotel room, and you’ll save money by sharingentrees at fancy must-visit restaurants and splitting the cost of a rental car.
6. Use your credit card torack uprewards points.
If you have a credit card that accrues points when you spend money, then use thatcard to payfor everyday purchases and take advantage of that great perk. You’ll earn pointsalong the way and whenyou pay off your bill at the end of each month, you’ll be especially pleased to see what those quickly-accumulating points can get you.
Its free money, y’all!
7. There is a right way and a wrong way to do cultural events.
You have to keep yourself cultured by going to museums, plays and concerts, but theres a smart way to do it. Sign up for ticket lotteries that let youbuy cheaper and (most of the time) better tickets. Check out what nights your favorite museums offer free admission, and buy day-of concert tickets on re-selling sites.
Thefinal step, of course, is to Instagram the hell out of whatever it is youre doing.
8. Pregame at someones apartment before you head out for the night.
Have wine at home with friends THEN go out to a hot bar and order just one drink there. You’ll soak up the ambiance without spending a ton of money on bottle service and overpriced cocktails.
9. Be thrifty every dayso you can really ball out on big occasions.
Here’s the main takeaway from thisarticle:If you make an effort to save money every ordinary day of your life, you can really go big on the special days of your life.
By cutting back here and there and being smart about how you make your purchases, you can really be a baller when you go on vacation or splurge on a night out.All the scrimping and saving will be totally worth it when you see the comments on your social media photos.