Advice Monkey Advice for Young Professionals

How to be Penny-Wise and Keep Your Social Life

If you’re not paying attention, money has a sneaky way of disappearing faster than you can say “skinny latte, please”. Before you know it, you’re wondering where it all went and thinking you couldn’t possibly have spent that much. Well, my friend, you did; and it’s not hard to do!

Fortunately, there are ways to keep track of your spending so you’re not left with an empty bank account. Simple, yet effective ways – all it takes is a little consciousness.

Smart Shopping

Buying clothes is something that can easily be done on a whim because you simply have to have that dress, or it’s such a bargain. Sure, you need clothes – it’d be a bit weird if you walked around in your birthday suit – but do you need that many clothes? And shoes? And handbags? Didn’t think so.

When you do need to re-stock your wardrobe, suss out the end of season or end of financial year sales. There are plenty of bargains to be found so you’ll get a whole lot more bang for your buck.

Another fun idea is to get a bunch of friends together and have a clothing swap. It’s a win, win. You don’t have to bother figuring out what to do with your old clothes, and you’re gaining new glad rags for free!

Save Some

If you want to save money, the first step is putting some aside so you don’t spend it. You might think you have enough will-power to leave a few dollars sitting there, but trust me, if it’s in your spending account, it will be spent.

Create another account that you can put some funds across to as soon as you get paid. Even if it’s just $20 per week, it all adds up, and that old saying “out of sight, out of mind” rings all too true in this situation. Put it aside, forget about it, and soon enough you’ll have a nice little cash-pool brewing.

Dump Gym

Gym membership can cost an arm and a leg, which, if you’re not attending as much as you should, can be a huge waste of money. An idea to correct this wasteful spending blunder is to ditch the membership altogether and either pay-as-you-go for the every-so-often you make the effort, or go for the DIY approach.

Stock up on exercise videos so you can work out in your own home, go for a walk or run, take your bike for a ride, and use that skipping rope that’s been sitting in the back of your cupboard since you bought it.

Spending Cap

Saving money doesn’t mean you have to say no to going out with your friends. Sit down, work out what you can afford to spend, and you’re set. Sticking to it is the hard part, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be the thriftiest party-animal out.

Review Your Bills

Do you really need to be spending that much on your gas, electricity and phone bills? If you do a bit of research, chances are you could come out the other side with more cash in your pocket. Little things you tend to just accept, such as paying bills without question, can often be changed for the better if you’re willing to spend the time to source the best deal possible.

Apps, Apps, Apps

Technology is getting so advanced these days, there are even apps on your phone that can help you save your pennies. From tips and tricks on how to be frugal, to saving calculators that help you achieve a particular goal – it’s all there. Have a squiz and you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

As you can see, you don’t have to be an accountant to make your money grow. Be smart, don’t buy things you don’t need, and always keep an eye out for ways to live more economically.

If you feel you may need professional help dealing with debt, seek legal advice to consider your options.

02.09.2014
sirdion