Getting accepted for your first job is one of the first achievements you will attain right after you graduated from college. This will get you excited and eager to work harder each day especially when you first hear that you’ll be getting your first pay check!
They say, earning money is a lot harder than spending it. We spend days and even a month to save up for a certain stuff but only managed to hold onto that big amount for a short time until we bid goodbye to our hard-earned money.
Together, let us learn some simple ways to take advantage of our wages to reach our financial goals. The following listed are ones I found useful that could be used as a reference for writing my own living stingy financial goal list for young adults.
Eating at Home
When I first got my pay check, what I did is spend it with good food for my family and spent more of my succeeding pay checks for my wants. I ate at expensive restaurants, wherein I couldn’t afford yet when I was still in college. Tried a number of food varieties for my own pleasure. For starters, this I found this already rewarding since I got to eat something better than anything I ate when I was still in student budget. I didn’t mind spending over the top just for the quality of food, which I chose to reward myself after a month’s worth of heavy labor.
Now that I’ve thought of it, everything that I’ve spent for the last few years only went into nowhere. It seems silly to think of saving up by eating at home, right? However, when I came to think about it seriously, I realized that it’s actually true! Though it could be a little tempting when I discover new restaurants and eat out for a while, I actually saved more than a half of my usual eating expenditures for quite some time by living stingy. I learned to cook the simpler version of the restaurant recipes at home while sharing it with the entire family for a way lesser amount than at the diners.
Travel While Living Stingy
Apart from that eating out a lot, I also travelled much and went to interesting new places, the opposite of being locked up at home when I was in university to study for my exams. Since I do not have enough allowance for travel during my stay at the university, my travel ideals were only limited to closer places and for budget friendly outings. That’s what made me interested in travelling to the places I could finally afford when I got a paying job. It made me happy to reach places that are new and fascinating to my eyes. Again, I didn’t mind if I expend way too much of what I should only spend for vacation expenses.
One day, a friend of mine suggested travelling in backpack, literally. Is it really possible to travel and enjoy a tourist spot or a popular city in just one full day? He told me that this would make our travel exciting and different from others even being living stingy. Since we don’t need to check-in to expensive hotel and we only need to continue hopping into public transportation every time we need to go to one place to another while enjoying the tour in the most affordable way, he also mentioned websites that offer the cheapest hotels in any town so we managed to save up to half of my expected budget for the entire trip. Take note, we chose the cheapest way possible in everything we did during the travel.
Leaving Debit Cards or ATM Cards at Home
When I’ve started to earn money on my own, I decided to get a debit and an ATM card at the local bank. I usually deposit my so-called savings from my salary to this bank and also use the cards for spending at the mall. I found this habit very convenient for me since I got to buy without carrying cash from my wallet. All I need is a card.
Through observation for a while, I noticed that my savings were starting to decline drastically for a few weeks. I recalled my overspending habits using the debit cards or ATM cards, and I felt my spirits dropped. This is when I started to leave them at home for the fear of using them again impulsively. I began to achieve the things written in my financial goal list little by little through this simple act of living stingy, and it made me feel motivated again to keep saving. For quite some time, I only bring enough cash when going to the mall to avoid buying unnecessary stuffs.
Keep a Short List to Buy
I never listened to my family whenever they tell me to list down what I need to buy when going to the mall or even the grocery. I mean, I’m not old enough to forget what I needed to be done by the end of the day. Turns out, I get to buy things way out of my budget during grocery shopping since I tend pick up everything useful for our household.
The next week, I went to the grocery again with my short living stingy goal list on my hand. Before I know it, I managed to get everything listed there for a short span of time. Also, I noticed that I’ve bought only the necessary stuffs and not the not-so-important stuffs from the grocery.
Shop at the Right Time
Regular priced items are always the new arrivals from a boutique shop at the mall. That’s what I always keep in mind when shopping for clothes, shoes and bags. I always want to wear the trendy hot tops from the mannequin when I see something I like at a boutique. Since I don’t have any extra cash to do the purchase during the time I saw the latest trends, I simply went home and dismissed the idea.
Two months later, the mall went into their quarterly sale. To my surprise, the shirts I saw from the mannequins before went into a 20% discounted price. I hurriedly bought one and saved big from the purchase instantly. Waiting is really a game.
So, you can say living stingy isn’t bad at all and you can have all what you want while saving some money. My simple financial goal list effectively helped me a lot as a young adult. I learned to take control of my money for a long time now and I plan to continue doing it until saving up big for a bigger future investment.