Summer is here and it’s the season for ice cream, the beach, music fests and lots and lots of SHOPPING. And that’s when it gets out of hand.
Honestly, I think I should be the last person to give advice on saving money since I really suck at it. But if you look at it in a different angle, you can learn exactly what NOT to do. So, in a way, my advice can be quite beneficial? (Cry)
Here are my 10 DON’Ts. Learn how to slowly save your fortune! Or at least be less broke..
1.DON’T buy another unnecessary skirt.
In this world of constant temptation, it is just too easy to spend your hard earn money on unnecessary things. When I go shopping, I may see a skirt I really like and it is within my price range. It may even be on sale. But do I really need it? I already have hundreds of skirts at home, denim, chiffon, checked, pleated you name it. Do I really need another skirt? Even when you negotiate with yourself that you may really really need it to match with that new blouse you just bought last week, think again. Go around other stores and come back later. Give it 3 days to sink in and rethink if you really really need it. If the answer is yes after 3 days and it is within your price range, THEN go for it!
2. DON’T buy it now: Delay of Gratification
In psychology, we learn that if you endure a struggle and reward yourself later, there’s a greater sense of satisfaction and achievement than getting the reward right away. This is called delay of gratification. Watch the famous marshmallow experiment here. So why not reward yourself after a great challenge. For me, I really wanted to get the Rouge Volupte Sine YSL lipstick for Christmas but I was a little broke. (when am I not broke?) So I promised myself if I aced 2 of my classes this quarter, I will buy the lipstick then. And that’s exactly what I did.
3. DON’T buy so much ice cream
I am a shameless ice cream fanatic. All my friends know that. I can finish a bucket of Dreyers in 3 days, it is insane. Needless to say, ice cream is full of sugar and trans fat that would absolutely revolt your summer dieting plans. So even though double scoops of Molly Moons sound so good on a hot sunny day, don’t get it everytime you go out. A scoop of Molly Moons cost about $4.20 and they definitely add up. This is the same for all icy drinks like Starbucks Frappucinos and Bubble teas. If you can resist buying sweet drinks and desserts, you can save quite a bit of money!
4. DON’T forget money you borrowed or lended
We all do this. When hanging out with friends, one may offer to pay the meal and everyone else may venmo her back. But sometimes, we forget and things get awkward. Whether you are the lender or the borrower, it is good practice to quickly memo the amount and the person’s name if you can’t access venmo immediately. That way, you can save a lot of the awkwardness when you try to ask your money back next month…
5. DON’T forget online subscriptions
With so many free monthly trials online, it is very easy to sign up for something and forget about it completely, only have it charge you at the start of next month. So before subscribing to the trial, be sure to schedule it on your calendar the date that the trial expires to avoid unnecessary charges. Also, if you are going on holidays, be sure to cancel any unnecessary apps.
6. DON’T eat out all the time
This is probably the hardest one to avoid. Being a busy college student/intern or whatever, it is increasingly hard to cook meals at home. Also, with the million choices of food just right out the door, who wants to cook? But eating out all the time certainly has a toll. A typical dish in Seattle is around $7-9 and with tips ranging about $11-12. Eating out everyday (2 meals a day) would cost more than $150 a week! And that is without drinks or desserts. Limit yourself to eat out 1-2 meals per week and try to cook at home! The results can be quite drastic.
7. DON’T follow your friends’ shopping habits
Your friends are your friends, but they are not you. Just because they can afford to spend money on the latest Chanel bag doesn’t mean you can too (DUH). Just because they can afford to eat out everyday doesn’t mean you have to follow suit either. Try to suggest activities you can do together without spending so much money like going to the park, to the beach or hosting a cooking party at home! Fun doesn’t always mean spending money.
8. DON’T fall into the sale trap
Sale does not equal free. It still costs cash (DUH). So before every purchase, think through the need vs. want question. If you don’t find anything you absolutely love, don’t buy it. That easy.
9. DON’T forget to transfer from checking to savings account, NOT the other way around!
Set up an easy monthly transfer from checking to savings, a small bit of $25 will do. And whatever you do, refrain from touching the savings money. I admit I have so much trouble with this one. I will often transfer savings to checking when I am running out, ruining the sole purpose of saving. Check on the savings account once in a while and watch it grow!
10. DON’T forget $1 is still money
Every dollar and every cent is still money. So every time you think, it’s only $4 dollars for a drink, I can totally afford that, THINK AGAIN. Same for savings, every cent and every dollar you save will add up! So, don’t give up!
I hope you enjoyed reading my DON’Ts and please tell me if you have any other good ideas to save up! Broke girls (like me) definitely need it.