Moving to a new city can be daunting, especially when the city has a high cost of living and you need to live on a budget. For students and new working professionals, expenses in a city can be a big cause of worry. There are a few ways that can help you stay within your budget even in an expensive city, without having to compromise much. You can adopt a few practices that will have a great impact on your spending habits. These will cut out unnecessary expenditure and will help you save while still having a good time. Here’s a list of things you should take into consideration if you want to stay within a limited budget.
1. Make a Budget
The most important and the first step should always be coming up with a budget. Keep into consideration your monthly income, and that not all of it has to be spent. First set apart an amount for any urgent need. Make a detailed budget with the rest of the money. Next, budget in order of necessity, rent, food and travel. Once you’ve done this, you can then set a budget for leisure activities like shopping and going out.
Making the budget is only the beginning. You have to try your best to stick to this budget, and track your spending. Check in which areas you have gone over budget, where the expenditure is lesser than expected, and adjust your budget. Make revisions till you come up with an ideal budget for yourself.
2. Shared accommodation
One of the reasons staying in budget is so difficult in an expensive city, is due to the skyrocketing prices of housing. If you want to cut down on price, but not the comfort, shared accommodations are the best way to do so. Splitting the cost between people puts a lesser burden on an individual. You can pick a place close to your workplace or college, without having to worry about cost. What’s even better is co-living. Here apart from the cost cutting benefits of sharing an accommodation, you get all facilities and a fully furnished space at a low price. So you save money on rent, furniture, housekeeping, etc, while enjoying the amenities they provide like WiFi, TV, Washing Machine, RO Purifiers and much more.
3. Cook at home
So often for the sake of convenience we decide to order in or dine out. This is one of the major reasons your personal costs of living in a city goes up. Cooking at home can significantly reduce cost and help you stick to a budget. Learn a few simple recipes by watching YouTube or reading food blogs. Pick fresh groceries that you will need for your meal and prep in advance. This will ensure you have all the required ingredients before you start cooking. If you have roommates, allocate different meals for each one, so that you do not have to cook every meal.
4. Public Transport
Travelling by an Uber can turn out to be expensive on a daily basis. Even investing in a private vehicle can be expensive and nor is it good for the environment. Use public transport to get to most places. If the place is walk-able, avoid using any transportation. Try carpooling or other methods, where you do not have to travel alone. This will play a major role in helping you cut down on cost in an expensive city. Also, choose an accommodation in the vicinity of where you work or study. This way travelling everyday will not be a hassle and you will also save money.
With DIY- Do It Yourself videos trending, take the opportunity to learn and make the most of it. Be it decor, storage units, gadget accessories try to Do it yourself. This not only saves a lot of money, but is customized to your liking. It is unique because you made it and you didn’t have to break the bank. Watch simple YouTube tutorials and try to make stuff before you go out to buy them. Only if what you’re looking for ‘needs’ to be purchased, then do so. Always first try to get creative and make things yourself.
6. Limit your Outings
Another place where too much money is spent is when we go out to pubs, theaters, and other places. While you do not need to completely abandon them, limit the number of monthly visits as per your budget. Find places that you can visit free of cost or that have a minimal cost. Discover places on your own. Learn to say no to plans, you do not always have to agree. If you know you’ll have to go for a friend’s birthday and need to buy a gift, avoid other trips and purchases, so you can accommodate the event within your budget.
7. Offers and Discounts
Keep your eyes and ears always open to discounts and offers. Avoid buying things at full price. Always look for sales and shop at discounted clearance sales. Embrace the idea of street shopping. Look out for dining vouchers and coupons. Online shopping is usually cheaper and keep an eye out for promo codes to get an additional discount. Fill in surveys to get free samples of products. Compare prices and so you can get the best deal. Using discount vouchers and sales are a great way to purchase things without spending too much.
8. Timeless Clothing
While working or studying, clothing can create a great impression. That may lead people to buying clothes that are trending, but trends fade away. Invest in timeless clothing that do not go out of style. Avoid buying clothes that you know you’ll wear only once or that will soon not be in style. Purchase basics and neutral clothes that can be mixed and matched with each other. Buy affordable accessories that you can use to add a different look to the clothes. Always be sure about buying a piece of clothing, so that it doesn’t just lie on your shelf. Purchasing the right clothing can be a great way to live within a budget.
These were a few practices that will definitely help you cut on cost and live on a budget. Make sure that you resist temptation and that you always have money set aside in case of any emergency. Understanding and avoiding unnecessary purchases will definitely help perfect your budget and cut costs. These tips are a great way to save money, but also live a comfortable life.
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