I was chatting with someone the other day about furniture shopping and home design. We both have expensive taste and certainly enjoy the finer things in life. She was about my age and income level so I figured we both got our inspiration at Restoration Hardware but shopped at Target for home decor. She pulled up this gorgeous set of nightstands she wanted to buy for her bedroom – the price tag was around $500 for each. I assumed she was just doing a little dreaming, but she had plans to purchase soon. This got me thinking, am I the odd one out when it comes to how I spend my money?
Talking About Spending Habits
Everyone is entitled to spend their money how they see fit. And admittedly, sometimes I wish I could just drop some cash and buy the things I really want! But I just can’t, my common sense won’t let me. I think our spending habits and financial management comes from our life lessons and what our parents taught us. My parents hate credit cards and try to pay them off as soon as they can. I have an equal aversion to them. So let’s approach financial responsibility from a fresh perspective!
Don’t Buy a New Car
It always makes me scratch my head when people by brand new cars. While some cars retain their value fairly well, most do not. If you can afford to make it rain money, then enjoy! However, when you’re saddled with student loan debt and other expenses, it just makes more sense to find a used car in good condition that’s affordable. I for one, do not like having a car payment!
My future sister-in-law was getting rid of her old SUV and she sold it to me for $500. Why was it so cheap? It needed a new engine. So all in, I paid a little over $4000 with repairs and engine work. Is it my dream car? NO. But, I’m saving for that!
Live on 2/3
Many people live paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes this is unpreventable. However, for many people including myself, living paycheck to paycheck is by poor money management. When we’re spending every dollar that comes in, of course our paychecks are going to seem small and money will seem tight! Many financial experts advise that we should live on 2/3 of our income and save the rest. Which brings me to my next point.
Pad Your Savings Account
When our paychecks drop, 1/3 of that money automatically goes into our savings account. We don’t even miss it because it wasn’t in our checkings to begin with. Whether its $100 or $1000 that goes into your savings account every month, it all adds up! Having a healthy savings account has been important to David and I for awhile. We both grew up in homes where it would be hard to pay for an emergency car repair. We are bound and determined not to have that problem!
If you go out everyday to grab lunch, then you’re doing it wrong! I love a yummy lunch out to break up the monotony of my work day, however the cost and calories keep me from doing so. Instead, I use my trusted Crockpot to meal prep for the entire week! This saves me at least $50 every week, so roughly $200 a month.
My favorite thing to throw in the Crockpot is a mix of corn, black beans, rice, lentils, chicken broth, a few spices, and chicken. You can make a ton of it and then freeze for later!
If this was helpful for you, please share with friends! If you have additional advice, I’d love to hear it!