How to Save Money While Paying Your Rent and Bills

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There’s no question that having a decent savings is a big part of living in the real world. After all, you never know when life will throw you a curve-ball or you’ll want to put money away for retirement or some future goal. But realistically, it can be hard for entry-level earners to build a nest egg of any real size when there’s still so much to pay the bills.

When the budget is tighter than your Hollister jeans from high school, it might seem impossible to find any spare quarters to direct at your savings account. But fear not: There are ways to contribute to your 401k without having to resort to donating plasma.

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Focus on the things that matter

The first thing you need to do when you’re trying to save money? Take a good, hard look at your current spending. And remember that the goal isn’t to eliminate everything – that’s impossible. Instead, it’s about prioritizing what you spend on.

While most consumers are well aware of the benefits of cancelling their subscriptions to magazines and other products, not everyone is as savvy when it comes to their digital subscriptions. This can be a costly mistake, especially for those who rely on a lot of free services.

You might not need that, either. If you’re using a product that you don’t use very frequently, you can safely cut the cord. You can also take the time to figure out whether you’ll actually use the new service to save yourself the cost.

Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t a big deal in terms of money or time. You buy their iced coffee and head out the door. That’s all. But you know you’re spending $1.50 on gas just for the trip there, and you probably aren’t going to buy any donuts at all.

We can easily make our own cold brew at home, take it to work in a tumbler and save close to $50 a month. That’s a gym membership!

Re-think the way you shop!

Shopping can be stressful. That’s because sometimes, it feels like shopping is just a form of entertainment. You have to take into account the costs, too. But that doesn’t mean that shopping is the only way to get new outfits. It takes some time, but there are more ways than you realize. One of the best? Start a subscription service!

Capsule wardrobes are basically smart shopping lists that help you figure out what to buy based on what you already have, so there’s no need to go to the store again. The beauty of the system is that it can save you a ton of money in the long term, and it can even help you create some good new outfits for upcoming seasons!

The premise is simple. Get rid of everything in your closet that you don’t love, and create a three-month wardrobe consisting of 37 pieces. When those three months are up, rotate seasonally inappropriate clothing out and few new items in.

Not only will this cut down on how frequently you buy clothing (you can’t shop during those three months), it limits how much you buy when you do and it makes sure every purchase is something you absolutely love and will wear frequently.

This is a sure sign that it’s time to pay closer attention to the data. After one season of data, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve been saving.

Get a Debt Consolidation

If you are having trouble keeping track of your debts, you might want to consolidate them instead of trying to pay them off individually. Consolidation can be as simple as using a consolidation loan. But it can also be more complicated than that. There are many different ways to get a lower interest rate.

Being in debt is an unpleasant situation for many people. If you are carrying a large amount of debt, then you are going to need to look for ways to lower your payments and get rid of the total. Having to take out a loan is never a fun thing to do, but if it’s something you must do to pay off your debt, then try to avoid taking out a high interest loan. Make an appointment with your bank and see if they can help you.

Get more side jobs

Having no money to save is tough, but not having enough money to even cover your bills is tougher. Way more people find themselves in this predicament than you might think – it’s practically the hallmark of being young. Fortunately, there’s one great solution for this problem: a second job.

For those who need extra income and want it fast, there are a number of freelancing options available. Whether you’re willing to freelance full time or only occasionally to earn extra money, it can be a great way to generate extra cash and experience the world.

Homemade Food

There are a variety of breakfast options, but not all of them are as nutritious or cost-effective as others. One of the main ingredients that goes into a doughnut is butter. But what about the other toppings, such as cream cheese? And what about the coffee? It turns out that if you start looking around for cheaper breakfast sandwiches, you’ll find some that are surprisingly more affordable than the DD’s.

Making your own meals at home is a huge money saver. Not only are you saving on the cost of meals, you’re also saving time and energy. By cooking your own meals, you’re avoiding the drive-thru window and the crowded eateries, and instead, can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re eating healthily and ethically.

Rule 50/30/20

The rule of thumb for rental income is to allocate 50% for your rental payments, 30% for fun money, and 20% for savings. It’s a good idea to have some money set aside for unexpected costs.

The above does not mean that you have to spend all of your money on housing. You can always use the funds saved to add to your emergency fund or start another bill like phone, utilities or a home improvement project.

If you can, move into a safe area next year where you can get a rent reduction. This is a good idea if you’re paying more than 30% of your total monthly income on rent. If that isn’t the case, you should look for other locations in the area.

Don’t copy someone else

The last thing most people do is keep track of how much money they spend. If you’re going to try to live within your means, why not start by setting up a budget? You might be shocked at how much money you’ve been spending on things you never thought you needed!

 

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