Living on a budget in NYC can be a challenge, but is possible as long as you set limits to what you spend. I know how hard it can be deciding to give up Starbucks coffee to make my own at home to save money. I am going to list off some tips on how I have saved money and given up things that I love most.
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Write down all expenses.
I find it to be very helpful when I open up an excel sheet and list all of my expenses, along with the total for each month. It's a great tool that will help with allocating money to each expense and to keep track of what you are spending your money on. My main expenses that I list are: Rent, utilities, food, MTA cards, dog expenses, spending money & misc. Before I used this tool, I spent money left and right for products and never saved my money. Now, each month I end up having extra cash in my bank account.
Compare products and their prices.
I always find the product that I would like to purchase and compare the prices from most expensive to least expensive. I do this so I can see what the differences are and to show me that both products are similar, except for their prices. I found that, when I buy a product that is expensive, I always feel regret and sometimes return the product. It's more exciting and relieving to buy the cheaper product.
Buy in bulk!
Instead of purchasing a single sparkling water from the market every day, try purchasing it in bulk from Amazon, Jet, or Costco. For instance, a one liter sparkling water costs about $2.50 from the market, and I recently purchased a pack of 15x one liter bottles of sparkling water from Costco for $8.49. I save $29 for every pack of water that I purchase, and that is money easily saved.
Avoid eating out.
When I first moved to NYC, I was obsessed with all of the great places to eat. I ate out the majority of the week and refused to cook at home. My husband cracked down on and showed me the amount of money I could be saving. Since then, I have decided to eat out as little as possible, and have used YouTube for finding new and exciting recipes to cook.
Rid yourself of Cable!
It must be a millennial/xy gen thing, but who needs cable anymore?!?! There are many other services/products that will give you quality entertainment for zero to one third of the price. YouTube, Netflix, Google Chromecast, & Amazon Fire are my go-to when I want to be lazy and have a good laugh. Don't get stuck in a contract where you are paying for both cable and internet. Go tell the cable guys to suck it and enjoy the extra cash saved per month!
These tips may not be for everyone, but they are very useful for myself. If you do use any of these tips, please let me know what you think of them! Also, if you have any suggestions for other budgeting tips, please send me a message on Instagram. Have a wonderful New Year!
*P.S. Don't forget to follow me on both Instagram & Twitter: @lynseahoss!