One of the biggest challenges of living on your own is budgeting your expenses. If you previously lived with your parents, roommates, or other family members, there’s a chance you were splitting the bills, so you didn’t have to worry so much if your salary could cover everything you needed to pay every month.
As early as now, you want to adopt the best practices when it comes to your financial habits so that you do not end up living paycheck to paycheck—or worse, incur debt. Allow this personal finance guide to serve as your budget bible and keep referring to it if you must.
Tip: Start small, and once you have successfully incorporated one practice into your lifestyle, the rest will follow. Read on below to find out some brilliant money-saving hacks for solo living.
6 Brilliant Ways To Save Money While Living Independently
1. Survey all your household expenses
Before anything else, you should have an overview of how much money you earn versus how much you spend on bills, utilities, emergencies, and wants.
List down every key budget area and assign an estimated amount for each. Check if it balances out with how much you are currently earning.
If it does, then great—but chances are, you need extra for your savings and emergency fund. If the figure is far from what you are currently making, then it is either time to make some lifestyle changes and adjustments or rack up some extra income.
If you live in Texas, it’s easy to start saving on your electricity bills. Since Texas deregulated its electricity market in 2002, Texans have the power to choose their electricity provider by comparing the best rates and plans and selecting the best one for their home. More on how to generate more savings in the following points below!
2. Get a second job
Depending on what industry you are currently working in, it may not be possible to get another full-time job.
Be more strategic and make extra cash through freelancing or project-based work instead. There are plenty of websites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr that can help you grow your earnings.
The best part is since it is a freelance gig, you have control of your time and how many projects you can take on at any given time.
But, if you do have the luxury and time to get a second or part-time work, don’t let the opportunity fly by. Just make sure you can balance your responsibilities and still catch a breather in between tasks.
3. Consider a pre-paid card instead of the real thing
You have probably heard or read several reminders to be a responsible credit card owner in your adult life. This is 100% true, and it is worth adding that you do not have to pressure yourself into getting one if you are not financially ready.
Credit cards sometimes give a false sense of extra funds when there really isn’t any, and it can quickly grow into debt if you are not disciplined in handling your finances.
So instead of getting the real thing, you can practice with a pre-paid card instead. This way, you can experience the benefit of having a digital wallet or card, but you can only load it with enough money that you can spend.
It helps set a “credit card budget” every month, so you don’t exceed what you’ve previously set in your budget.
4. Explore the stock market
If market prices and trends are your cups of tea or you’re interested to learn how it all works, you can also venture into profitable stock trading.
You do not have to be an expert in economics to give it a try, as there are many free resources that you can tap so you can get the hang of your first few moves in the trading space. Don’t be afraid to try something new!
5. Take advantage of newsletters
It is a straightforward way to find out if your favorite brands or the grocery store down the street are holding sales or giving discount vouchers. Sign up for relevant newsletters that can give you access to coupons and cashback so that you can lessen your spending.
If it’s more convenient for you to shop online, do so in bulk to offset delivery fees. It is also more common to apply vouchers on your online purchases, too!
6. Buy from thrift stores
There are tons of secondhand items for sale in the market that has been well taken care of. You can get pretty good steals from thrift stores, most notably for clothes.
A brand-new outfit can offset you by a lot—and you don’t need to put this financial strain on you if you can get pieces or something more up your alley in goodwill stores. Don’t knock it before you try it.
Summing it up
Living alone certainly presents its challenges, especially if it’s your first time taking control of your expenses. But, with certain lifestyle adjustments, you can make it work.
A lot of your budgeting will rely on your mindset, so it’s essential to create a realistic plan for how much you want to earn, spend, and save more money. Good luck on this adventure!
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Author: AJ Balois