Modern Money Tips: 7 Uncommon Ways to Live Bougie on a Budget
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Tired of hearing the same old advice? Give up your morning fancy coffee! Eat alone at home in the dark! Never have any fun as a young person so you can pay for your prescriptions when you’re not! This article isn’t like all the others. It’s OK to enjoy life now and still make good decisions for your future. We promise. Money management is a skill that can set you up for financial success in the long run. While many people focus on traditional methods of saving, there are plenty of modern and uncommon ways to save money every day.
Whether you're a young adult just starting your financial journey or looking to enhance your savings game, these tips will help you make the most of your money.
1. Embrace cash back apps
In today's digital age, there are numerous cashback apps available that offer rewards for your everyday spending. Apps like Rakuten, Ibotta, and Honey can help you earn cashback on purchases you would make anyway. Simply link your debit or credit card, shop through the app, and watch your savings grow. Over time, these small cashback rewards can add up to a substantial amount.
Pro tip: Pair a cash back app with Abound’s Platinum Visa with Cash Back rewards or use Abound’s Prize Out feature in the app to purchase gift cards for places you’re already shopping to get added value and watch those dollar bills multiply!
2. Choose generic brands or look for dupes
When shopping for groceries or household items, consider trying generic or store-brand products. Often, these products are just as good as name brands but come at a lower cost. You can save significantly on your monthly grocery bill by making this simple switch.
Pro tip: Dying to get the new Lululemon line or drooling over Alhambra earrings? Save a screenshot and use the Amazon photo search feature or Google Reverse Image Search to find less pricey alternatives that look just like the real thing. Or, use apps that reduce fashion waste and get those labels on the cheap. One we like, ThreadUp. Shh, we won’t tell if you don’t.
3. Practice the 30-Day Rule
Impulse buying is a common budget killer. To curb this habit, implement the 30-day rule. Let’s face it – who can wait 30 days? When you want to buy something that's not an immediate necessity, wait at least 7 days (if you can’t make it to 30) before making the purchase. This gives you time to evaluate if it's a want or a need. Often, you'll find that your desire for the item diminishes, allowing you to save money.
Pro tip: Can’t bring yourself to make it a full week? Bare minimum, sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning. Many times, we impulse buy to soothe emotions and feelings. Wait until you’ve eaten breakfast and had a cup of coffee before hitting the buy now button.
4. Reduce Energy Consumption
Lowering your utility bills is not only great for the environment but also for your wallet. Consider making energy-efficient upgrades to your home, such as installing LED bulbs, sealing drafts and programming your thermostat. Additionally, unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.
Pro tip: Your Dad was right, turn off lights when leaving a room and don’t leave the fridge door open. Small actions can lead to substantial savings over time.
5. Give up the Starbucks and never go out to eat or for a cocktail with friends (Yeah, right!)
Like that’s ever going to happen. Daily stops at the coffee shop and eating out can be a major drain on your budget. Try planning your meals and cooking at home. Meal prepping can help you save money by reducing food waste and eliminating the temptation to dine out. Make a shopping list, buy groceries in bulk and prepare meals in advance to save both time and money.
But sometimes we’re just too tired to do that, or we need to spill the tea to our best friends. That’s okay. Try creating a fun money budget and stick to it! Go out with friends, get your iced double caramel frap with two pumps of vanilla and oat milk with an extra shot, just don’t lose track and don’t give yourself an excuse to go over your budget.
Pro tip: Put the smallest amount possible in your Coffee app – if your money is sitting in there, it’s not earning money in your bank account. Those pennies add up.
6. Negotiate Your Bills
Don't be afraid to negotiate with service providers like your cable, internet, or mobile phone company. Research competitor offers and call to inquire about better rates or discounts. Loyalty doesn't always pay off, so be prepared to switch providers if you find a better deal.
Pro tip: Did you know you can refinance your car? Don’t live with a too high interest rate, check with Abound to see if you can save money and keep the ride you <3.
7. Embrace the Gig Economy
The gig economy offers various opportunities to earn extra income in your spare time. Consider freelancing, driving for rideshare services, or participating in online surveys and market research. These side gigs can help you boost your income, which you can put toward savings or paying off debt.
To sum it all up, incorporating even one of these modern money-saving tips into your daily life can help you build a strong financial foundation. Whether it's using cashback apps, embracing generic brands, or making your home more energy-efficient, every small change can add up to significant savings over time. By being mindful of your spending and making smart choices, you can secure a brighter financial future for yourself without giving up all the things that make living in the present fun too.
*(Plus you can get those pre-sale concert tickets because you’ve carefully planned your fun money! This is a judgement free zone.)