Once you’ve landed your first “real” job, it’s naturally tempting to spend your hard earned money. Maybe you have your eye on that pair of Brunello Cucinelli leather sneakers or want to upgrade your liquor cabinet with some high-end scotch and bourbon. While a few “luxury” purchases never hurt any guy with a good paying job, it’s really easy to get out of hand and adopt some bad spending habits.
Are You a Bad Spender?
Just because you have a weakness for a pair of finely crafted footwear, doesn’t automatically make you a “bad spender”. There are men who are good with money and those who aren’t. Here are some signs that you may be less-than-responsible with your money:
- You Always Pick Up the Tab
If you always pick up the tab, you’re either a really nice guy or you’re trying to be noticed or impress others.
- You Love a Good Bargain
Maybe you base your spending on a good bargain (and really, who doesn’t love a good deal?), but if you’re filling your apartment with a bunch of stuff you don’t really need, simply because it was a “good deal”, you’re probably not being good with your money.
- You Spend All Your Money (Quickly)
It’s Friday, your paycheck is in the bank. Maybe you go out for sushi and drinks with friends, head to a Saturday game, grab some groceries at Whole Foods, and buy yourself some new threads. After paying rent and some other bills, you’re back to using your credit card until the next check comes rolling in.
If any of these spending habits describe you and your relationship with money, it may be a good time to re-evaluate, think about your financial future, and give your wallet a break.
Figure Out a Monthly Budget
If you are in the dark about your monthly expenses, it’s time to sit down and figure it out. Take a night off, pour yourself a drink, and write down all of your expenses, such as student loans, rent, car payments, clothing, food, and all the “extras”. Once you get the grand total, it’s time to start making cuts and see what you can ditch (at least temporarily) until you get your finances in order and even stash some away in savings.
When you’ve got a good thing going, it’s hard to make some major changes. While cutting back on some of your favorite things may feel like a punch to you-know-where, you’ll be on the road to becoming more financially responsible. You know what’s great about being good with your money? Many women think it’s hot. Research suggests that 3 in 4 women rate being good with money is more attractive than appearance, education, or background. So throw away everything you thought was true about being a “Big Spender” and start making cuts.
Don’t know where to start making cuts? Here are some ideas:
- Stop Dining Out
Grabbing a burger with the guys every now and then is fine, but if your fridge and cupboards are bare, it means you dine out or do take out way too often. If you don’t know how to cook or don’t like to, learn how (and learn to like it). Bonus: Knowing your way around the kitchen can make you quite the “catch”.
- Give Your Credit Card a Break
Credit cards come in handy and are more convenient than cash, but using a credit card too often is also a quick way to build up your debt. Use your card for emergencies and try to pay it off before you use it again. If you’re in a relationship and are thinking about making it serious, get rid of your credit card debt.
Credit card debt is more prevalent than other types (such as medical or loans) brought into a relationship. When it comes to credit card debt, 42% of adult men bring said debt into a relationship compared with 29% of women.
- Cancel the Unnecessary Expenses
Do you still have cable tv or pay for numerous streaming or gaming subscriptions? It’s time to take a hard look at these unnecessary expenses and see what you can part with. For example, let’s say you have Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Sirius XM, EA Now, or Playstation Plus.
You’ve got a lot of entertainment options, but you’re spending way more than you need to. If you’re into gaming with friends maybe you can keep one service and your other friends can keep some others (kind of like service sharing). Decide which other streaming services you use more and ditch the rest. You can always get together with friends and watch the game or the latest series online.
- Rethink the Gym & Car
If you have a gym membership, how often do you use it? If you’re not using it, lose it. Get back to running at the park or finding creative ways to get fit. Same goes for your car. If you rarely drive it because public transportation is more convenient, you’re probably throwing hundreds of dollars away on parking.
- Stick to the Wardrobe Basics
Your workplace may or may not have a dress code. Even if they expect you to dress professionally, you can cut back on your clothing spending without sacrificing your style. Invest in some wardrobe pieces that are sure to be “timeless” and can be worn in the office and on the weekends.
What To Do When You Can’t Spend
If you feel like spending money passes the time or “defines you”, it’s a good thing you made some budget cuts before your spending gets too out of control. So, what do you do, now that you’ve put restrictions on your spending?
- Host a Party
Heading to the bars every weekend can be expensive, but if you host a party every now and then, you can still have a good time without dropping a ton of cash. Better yet? Make it a BYOB party and you can share a little bit of everything.
- Stay Home More
Since you’re already paying rent on a place to live, you may as well enjoy it. Invite the new girl from down the hall over for dinner and a movie or spend an evening cleaning or working on a work project. Not only is financial responsibility attractive, but a man who reads is likely to catch the eye of a smart woman. Get reading.
Volunteering is a perfect way to meet people and do “good” without spending money. Consider volunteering as a dog walker at the local pet shelter or help cook meals at the food center (remember, you’ve got those new culinary skills to use). While volunteerism is impressive, don’t volunteer to merely impress the girl of your dreams; do it because you care about others (not just yourself). You never know, the girl might be won over by your unselfish heart anyway.
How to Save Money Fast: Tips That Will Help You Cut Corners and Add to Your Savings!
Life can be tough when you’re living on a budget and you barely have money to spend on things you really want or love. That is, if you’re not borrowing money all the time to splurge! If you borrow money from loved ones, take bank loans, or max out your credit card a lot, chances are that you’ll be shocked to learn how much you collectively owe- just like this couple that started living frugally when they realized they owed a lot of money.
Since you have no savings to fall back on, getting by can pose new problems when random expenses hit you out of the blue. Sure, saving money may seem impossible given your current financial condition, but putting aside as little as you can daily, weekly, or monthly will mean you’ll have extra cash to spend as need be.
If you’re willing to start saving but don’t know where to scrimp on, here are some amazing saving money tips you could use.
Consider Moving Your Bank Account
If you pay a monthly or yearly fee on your checking or savings account or on your credit card, research offers by other banks- you could get the same benefits for a lesser fee or for free! Moreover, a lot of banks offer sign-up bonuses for opening an account in addition to attractive interest rates.
And Changing Your Utility Provider
In a regulated state, there are at most a couple of energy providers. Since energy costs will likely be the same, you might not see a difference in your gas and electricity bills on changing your utility provider.
On the other hand, if your state has been restructured to replace a monopoly of electric utilities with quite a few competing sellers, you should certainly call other energy providers and find out their rates. If you find a better provider, switch right away or negotiate new rates with your existing provider.
Extend this rule to your cell phone contract and internet provider too. Wait until it’s time to renew services to ensure you snag a good deal!
Save on Food and Drinks
Avoiding eating out completely is not possible, but you can try to reduce the number of times you eat out each month. Furthermore, save on restaurant bills by eating a healthy snack before you head out. Also avoid ordering dessert at a restaurant- instead, locate ice-cream parlors or bakeries that accept food coupons or offer freebies.
Most importantly, eating and living healthy can help you save, like this blogger whose weight loss helped cut costs on insurance, medical bills, and more. So consider making meals at home to stretch dollars. Note that shopping for groceries can prove to be costly if you don’t do it the right way. Here’s some help on the same:
Plan meals in advance so you don’t have to make numerous trips to the store to get a meal ready. Planning meals also helps you work with items you already have in the kitchen and pantry, thus preventing them from reaching their use-by date.
Shop around for the best prices when buying groceries. Do check out prices of items online too! Note down the places that sell items you need at the lowest price and don’t bother purchasing everything from the same place.
Buy groceries in bulk from bulk stores and websites. Refrain from buying perishable items in bulk.
Limit eating meat to a couple of times a week and make the most of filling foods like pastas, beans, rice, and vegetables. If you must eat more meat, buy cheaper cuts and make stews, soups, or any slow-cooker meal.
Cut down Entertainment Costs
Living on a budget doesn’t mean you cut down on your entertainment quotient; it simply means having fun without spending a fortune! Here’s how you can have your share of fun without the worries.
Limit watching movies at the theater to once or twice a month. Make a list of movies you want to watch and select the ones worth spending on. Wait for the rest and stream them online or rent DVDs.
Internet-based movie services can also be costly when you’re on a budget. Consider if you really need to pay the subscription fee or if you can do just by renting movies when you want to. Again, look for the best rates and choose your service provider wisely.
Keep a tab on low-cost or free events taking place in and around your city. If you have kids, visiting museums, zoos, theme parks, etc. that have low or no entry fees will definitely delight them.
When you’re already living on a budget, it may seem tough to go the extra mile and cut corners to add to your savings. With the tips given here, you now know some amazing tips that are sure to help you save in a lot of ways. So get started on using these tips right away!