Ways To Budget in a Big City

Top Zara ||Citizens of Humanity Rocket Crop (similar style)|| Le Specs x Adem Selman Sunglasses|| Camelia Roma Leather Bucket Bag|| Aldo Fabrizzia 

Photos by Karya Schanilec. Check out her Instagram and website.

Hello everyone and welcome back to StyLin!

As you all know, I recently graduated from college so I’m focusing a lot more on saving money and knowing how to spend it wisely. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment but I’m working hard on changing stubborn habits and moving forward. I’m trying to focus on being more conscious of things I chose to spend on and invest in. I think this is especially important since moving to a big city, where things are super expensive and easily add up. Here are a few tips I’ve been using myself during this process.

  1. Cook for yourself- I am completely guilty of eating out WAY more than I should. I’m not the best cook and I don’t have a lot of time to set aside for cooking, so sometimes it feels like the easier option is to just order take-out or treat myself to a nice dinner. While there’s no harm in treating yourself here and there, I’m focusing on cooking at home a lot more. Like I said, I’m no master chef but there are TON of resources to find easy and healthy meals you can make at home. Seriously, pick up a cookbook, download an app, or search the web. My personal favorites are recipes from the Lifesum app or from Jess Duke’s website. Not only will this save you money, but it’s also a lot healthier and you can control what goes into your body!
  2. Make coffee at home- I LOVE STARBUCKS (or any cute cup of coffee for that matter). #noshame. I swear I live for coffee shop aesthetics, BUT I’ve realized that those $4 cups of coffee add up. I don’t think I can ever fully give up indulging and exploring cute new coffee shops (especially in Seattle), but for those mornings I need fuel for work, I’ve been skipping the Starbuck’s drive-thru and making my own cup of joe at home. I recently purchased my very own French Press. It’s so simple to use and perfect for days when I want a steaming hot cup of coffee. On hotter days I like to drink Califa Almond Milk Cold Brew.
  3. Leave your credit/debit card at home- If you’re planning on going on a shopping day with friends, or just walking around a market leave your card at home. Having a card makes it TOO easy to swipe and not even think about what you just purchased. If your card is at home, you literally won’t even have the option to buy it. Instead, you can think about the purchase for a longer period and later make a more informed decision about whether or not you actually want that item. I promise, it’ll still be there when you come back, and if you went back it’s probably worth it.
  4. Use cash- This tip is something that I’ve personally struggled with the most BUT it’s super helpful. At the beginning of the week, pull out a sum of cash that makes you feel comfortable and is within your budget. Try to make it last throughout the entire week. Having cash will make you a lot more conscious of what you chose to spend on, and you won’t want to run out before the end of the week.
  5. Rely on happy hour (#HH)– Now forget that I just told you to eat at home, sometimes you still need to go out, be social, and treat yourself to a drink because you are a human with needs! SO instead of going for a full blown sit-down dinner, head to happy hour with whomever you desire and indulge. As I’m sure  you all know the beauty of a happy hour menu is the cheaper prices. Now you can feel like you’re spending the big bucks when you’re really not.
  6. Invest in key pieces for your wardrobe- Fashion-wise, saving money is HARD! Let’s be real. I love clothes. I love shoes. I love bags. I love makeup. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve just been learning to spend on those things with a little more care and thought. When you’re shopping think about all of the different ways an item can be styled with pieces you already have. Think about whether or not they will translate throughout different seasons, if they will last, and if the price makes sense with your realistic budget. One thing I am super guilty of is buying a bunch of cheaper items, just to buy more rather than focusing on quality. It’s easy to get carried away and excited by cheap items. But if you actually think about it, it makes way more sense to splurge once on an item you may very well have for the next 5, 10, 15 years, etc., instead of buying a bunch of fast fashion pieces that won’t last. It might seem counterintuitive, but spending more now might actually save you money in the long run.
  7. Look for free events- One of the perks of being in the big city is that there’s ALWAYS something going on. It can be fun to seek out unique (and free events). Plus, it’ll get you out of the house and give you and your boo (or girlfriends) something to do! I typically end up finding out about events through the Facebook event section. There’s always so many cool things going on. These events can also be great networking opportunities and just great places to meet new faces.

That’s all for today everyone! Enjoy their weekend and let me know if you have any go to tips for budgeting in a big city.

xo. L!

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