The cost of living always seems to be rising. I just returned from a three month internship in Washington D.C. and realized while living there that I wasn’t properly prepared to be living in such an expensive city. I’m hoping to return there upon graduation and decided to try to decrease my cost of living to save up by making a budget.
How To Build A Budget:
1. Online Websites
There are multiple free websites that help you build a budget and watch your expenses. You can usually input credit cards, bills, and investments so that you have a complete view. I made an account at mint.com and have decreased my spending on groceries on budgeted clothes and restaurant expenses as well. Analyzing my expenses this way was an enlightening experience.
2. Stay In
It’s easy to overspend on entertainment, especially with how expensive going out to a movie or getting drinks can be. Instead of going out, a stay-in night with friends can be just as fun. Movies are cheaper to rent, board games are always fun, or bottle of wine on sale and some invigorating conversation can keep a budget in check. If you do need/want to go out, than look for happy hours with seriously cheap drinks and maybe even some food options as well. Big cities may have a website listing all the happy hours in the area.
Coupons and deal websites are helpful in saving some additional costs. Livingsocial and Groupon saved me a lot of money when I wanted to go to sports events or themed parties for holidays. I was even able to save on cooking classes and haircuts.
Any little savings will go far in the long run. Saving only $50 a month on groceries will equal $1,200 in 2 years! The budgeting has even helped me when I returned to my last month in college. Hopefully these tips can help with living costs in any city.
What do you do to save money? Leave a comment below!