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5 Tips to Living Within Your Means and Still Having Fun When You're Young

Posted July 9, 2012 by Jennifer Patterson to Financial Advice 0 0
This post was written by a EasyFinance.com Community member. The views expressed below may not reflect the views of EasyFinance.com.

MoneyWhen you're young, you want to live like the rich and famous. You want the bright flashing lights in yoru face, you want people asking you who you're wearing as you glide down the red carpet, you want lavish dinners out on the town, you want the shopping sprees at designer stores...

Is that really what you want, or is that what Hollywood has told you that you want? And what about what you actually need? When you're fresh out of college and trying to make your way in the world, and even as you move on into your late 20's and potentially early 30's, money matters can make life a little bit more real than you would have liked.

Money is tight for everyone these days, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on a lifestyle that you want. After all, money doesn't buy you happiness, right? Right! With these easy tips, you can live within your means and still have fun and live a glamorous life while you're young!

Set A Strict Budget

Setting a budget for yourself might be the most important thing you can do when you're young. If you can't afford something, you can't buy it, obviously, but how are you supposed to know what you can and can't afford?

Take some time to sit down and really dig deep into your finances - map out your necessity costs (rent, bills, school loans, etc.) and your "want" costs (spending money). Compare it to how much you make and how much you want to save, and set a budget for yourself that way.

Then take that amount of money out of your bank account in cash. It's much harder to watch your cash leave your hands than it is to swipe a piece of plastic. Watch as you spend your money away, and you'll be far more likely to stay within your budget.

Grocery Shop in Bulk

If you want to be able to have money to go out to enjoy nice dinners once in a while, try to make a point of keeping your grocery budget low and actually eating all of the food that you buy. That means make a lunch to bring to work instead of going out (even if only for fast food) or hitting up the vending machines. It'll be healthier and it'll save you money.

While you're grocery shopping, try to buy in bulk. You can always buy more than you'll eat in a week and freeze what you don't use for a later date. Purchasing food in bulk will save you a ton of money - and that's money that you can turn around and use on fun and fancy dinners out!

Sell What You Don't Use

If you have any furniture or old clothing, shoes or accessories laying around in your house or apartment that you don't use, you might as well put them to use now and just sell them! Take them to a local consignment shop or put them out at a garage sale.

The money that you'll make from your sales should be considered "additional income" - or money that you didn't originally budget for from your normal income. Therefore, it is yours to spend as you please!

Shop at Outlet Stores

If you insist on designer shopping sprees, at least opt for the less expensive designer outlet stores. Most outlet stores offer huge savings on a daily basis - plus they run better overall sales than their regular retail siblings.

If you don't have an outlet mall near you, just shop at discount designer department stores like TJ Max or Marshall's. Their clothes really are designer clothes, they're just slightly "out of date." That doesn't mean old - it just means they aren't fresh off the runways this season. They're still totally hip, though!

Walk Everywhere You Can

With gas money seemingly always on the rise, it's a good idea to get rid of your call altogether. But OK, that isn't exactly realistic, so instead of getting rid of the car, why don't you just try walking or riding a bike to places that are close enough by?

You'll get good exercise out of it and you'll save on gas. It's sheer brilliance!


About Jennifer Patterson: Jennifer Patterson is a freelance writer who is always looking for ways to save money. One of her big switches recently was purchasing cheaper auto insurance from buyautoinsurance.com. Any way to put more money in her pocket is a way to let her have more fun in her life!

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