This is part two of our special guest blogger’s post on how millennials can live on their own for less. Way to go, Bethany Kay!
Busting Out Without Busting the Bank; Part 2
Last time we talked about the different things to save money when busting out of the house or college for the first time. One of the things I found most helpful was technology. There are so many things out there that save us money! Here are just a few:
- Sacrifice the Gym Membership: My summer in Chicago, I lived in a great location to run outside. I invested in a yoga mat and did stretches and body workouts in my apartment. Pinterest.com is an excellent source for workouts sans weights and gym equipment, as well as the free workout videos on http://YouTube.com, http://Netflix.com and http://Hulu.com. http://MapMyRun.com is also an excellent source to map your neighborhood to see how far you walked or tell you where to go to go the desired distance. They also have an app that tracks your fitness along the way!
- Get Rewarded: There are apps out there that utilize rewards systems. The two I have seen the most are Belly and SpotOn, and some places give free stuff to their most valued, frequent customers. Get coffee daily? Almost every coffee shop/chain has a reward system. Make sure you have your rewards card or app so you can get your free drinks. Many companies also offer rewards through popular Foursquare app when you frequently check in to your favorite places.
- Ditch the Dish: Instead of Cable or Satillite TV, opt for Netflix or Hulu Plus. Amazon Prime also has instant viewing of the latest movies and TV shows for a cheap price (not to mention free shipping when you I was able to keep up with all my favorite TV shows plus learn about new ones. Instead of going to the movies, grab a Redbox and stay in. Save on popcorn by buying it in kernel form and popping it on the stove with olive oil. It tastes better and is better for you!
- Shop Smart: When shopping for food, shop along the edges for the fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of your favorite food chains have an app or website (http://www.jewelosco.com, http://shop.safeway.com, http://www.albertsons.com to name a few) you can compare prices or view their specials for the week. Do your research ahead of time, and know exactly what you are going to get and which store has the cheapest prices. Buy in bulk when you can (like oatmeal or almonds), and keep a lookout for local Farmers Markets. But be careful, the prices are not always cheaper, but they can be of better quality.
- Food or Clothes?: I often found that luxuries were a trade off. When you want little things that add up, like mani/pedis, the latest smart phone or gadget, or take out, you will often have to give up necessities, like real food, rent, or utilities. My mom always reminded me to set aside a monthly budget for “fun money” for a monthly splurge to keep things fun. Use sites like http://www.groupon.com, https://livingsocial.com, or even http://google.com/offers to find fun things at a great price.
What are your tips to live well on less?