Live a Rich Life, the Cheap Way!

by Pauline on September 22nd 2018

I mentioned before that my recent obsession has been everything money related. Since finishing university, I’ve been keen on making sure that I’m more mindful with money that I earn because well, earning it is hard work! I made a promise to make sure that I stop spending every last penny of my paycheck on stuff I don’t need.ย 

Since moving away from home, I found myself being more sensible with my money. After all, I now have rent and other monthly expenses e.g. bills and food to think about – no more mom and dad to help me through it all (even though they still offer, don’t you love family? ๐Ÿ’–) Me being me, I’ve been keen on writing my financial development journey (things I’ve tried, failed and successes)ย and so created a new section of my blog dedicated to posts on this journey! The online world kept me accountable on my fitness and health journey, so keep me accountable with ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Money
Picture of Money from Flickr

Money is the cause of many people’s stresses, an aim of writing so openly about finances on here is to start honest, safe conversations on what we can do to move away from the negative connotations attached to it. We all face it together!


Spending money on items that grant temporary joy or satisfy a โ€˜wantโ€™ is a common trend among young adults in todayโ€™s society. Seeing a celebrity you look up to wearing the most amazing pair of sneakers can make you want them, or you may be tempted to color your hair to coordinate with the upcoming season. But keeping up with trends can take quite the toll on your bank account.ย 

With a proper budget, you will know how to prioritize and calculate your savings so you can have enough money to spend on things that truly matter. Here are some great tips to lead you in the right direction!

โ“Did I really spent that much this week?

Now that you are on your way to becoming a professional budgeter, letโ€™s start off with how to track your spendings!

First, you want to categorize your expenses (an excel spreadsheet is super helpful for this!) into needs and wants. Your wants include clothing, shoes, coffee, extracurriculars, and nail or hair appointments. Your necessities include gas/car repairs, rent, phone costs, and food. If you see that you are spending a lot more than you thought on the โ€˜wantsโ€™, try spending a little less next month to save more for the โ€˜needsโ€™.

For example, instead of shopping or going out to eat, seek more affordable options like eating meals at home and limit your trips to the mall. After taking a dive into your bank statements, differentiating your expenditures will be a breeze!

๐Ÿ’ธ Where is this payment coming from?

As youโ€™re living your day to day life, you may forget about an auto-payment or subscription you signed up for or discover a payment that can be lowered to a more affordable option.

Make sure to check your bank statements and clean up any of your automated payments. Are you paying for a magazine membership you donโ€™t want anymore, or is it an option to decrease your student loan payments? Completing this task will give you the opportunity to perform an in-depth analysis on your budget to eliminate your unwanted costs.

At the end of each week, I’ve been spending some time looking at my finances to give the green light on any upcoming automated payments. If there are any surprises, I deal with them as soon as I spot them rather than putting it off which was one of my bad habits!

๐Ÿ’ก What if I want to make some extra money?

If you are more materialistic than you thought and maybe love investing in your wardrobe or traveling, make some extra cash by looking into different side gig options!

Whether its dog walking, babysitting, mowing lawns, or working a side job at a local restaurant, these will make a significant difference in those deposits. You can even funnel profits from your side gig into an easy investment app and have your money start working for you!

As some of you know, my side-gigs from hobbies have earned me money! This includes a video, a blog, speaking at an event and developing a website – all on the side. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

๐Ÿ’ป Do I need to track everything on my computer?

With technology on the rise, there are definitely other ways to track your budget.

If you are constantly on the go, download a budgeting app to track your spendings! Not only will you see how much you have spent, but you can program any payments you have to pay on a monthly basis into the app and set up a notification system as a reminder to submit the bill.

Photo of my Starling Business Bank and Monzo cards on my Macbook Pro
Photo of my Starling Business Bank and Monzo cards on my Macbook Pro

I personally use my Monzo card to pay for everything, this helps me see where my money goes every money and what I need to have a tighter budget. For my first month away from home, it was eating out – oops! Start cooking instead of heading to the local burrito shop ๐Ÿ˜†(but don’t beat yourself up if you do have occasionalย treats!)


Do you have any tips for living rich on a cheap budget? Comment below!

Make sure you check out what Earnest has to offer for you on your financial journey!


Posted under: Collaborations, Finance



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24 comments

  1. Eena says:

    GIRL. I feel you – moving out has made me think about where/how/when I spend my money. In the beginning, I was carelessly spending left and right, mostly on take out, but now I actually get my ass up and try to cook! And when I make bigger purchases, I tend to justify it by not getting Starbucks for x amount of time. I just recently upgraded the iPhone XS soooo no Starbucks for a while haha.

    Adulting sucks sometimes. I’ll have to check out that app you mentioned. Loved that you’ll be talking about financial health on your blog, looking forward to it!

  2. Nancy says:

    Look at you, taking a dive at being financially-aware! It’s good because you’re prepared for a lot of emergencies. I always tell people to treat themselves as long as it doesn’t break their banks, haha. Cutting out any unnecessary subscriptions go a long way. I think a big thing is to live within your reasons. It’s not worth living more than you make and be on a constant debt month to month to have some sort of presence on social media. I love using Mint because it gives a bird’s eye view of all of my spending accounts!

  3. Lauren says:

    Really loved this post! I count myself as pretty financially savvy but Iโ€™m definitely stepping things up a gear over the past few months (House saving!) Budgets are definitely the way forward! Ive also been making money on the side on some lucrative survey apps!

  4. Sakura says:

    The first thing I did once I got my first pay check is to pay myself first and budgeting. Sadly, I don’t really follow my budgets that well but it is still a good thing that I am tracking my expenses… because if I don’t, I think I will spend more than what I earn every single month. ๐Ÿ™

    I’m slowly cutting down my expenses, 1 step at a time. Along with cutting down my weight. Hehe.

  5. Hiro says:

    I’m so proud of you for stepping up and taking real hard look at money once you got your job and moved out! It’s so easy to transfer your “quality of life” you enjoyed living at home and being a student to the “real world”! ๐Ÿ™‚

    As you know, I employ the “pay myself first” methodology. So I put 20% of my income in to 401k, max out my health savings account, and save about 60% of my take home income. It seems pretty extreme (I thought so too), but once it’s just… not there for you to use, it’s not that bad! I live on about $12-1400/mo in NYC, and that’s half of my sister’s rent.

    Also means I have money to spend when I want to… Like the $3000 splurge on 2 business class tickets to and from Paris for next month! XD

    I use mint.com to keep track of all my transactions, make budgets, and track my “goals” (like the arbitrary goal of $1 million saved by retirement or something LOL).

    • Pauline says:

      I was definitely inspired by you Hiro, thank you for sharing your journey with me – I’m hoping to be as dedicated as you!!

      Nancy (below) mentioned about living within your means / reasons, it’s SO true. As long as you’re sensible with the money that YOU earned then that’s what matters!! It’s crazy how you live on that much omg, it honestly is incredible. I’ll definitely be hitting you up on some more tips and advice!

  6. Holly says:

    It’s great that you’re focusing on your finances. I remember when I moved out and received my first instalment of my student loan. I’d never had so much money in my bank account before and I kind of freaked out! I was so worries about not being able to pay my rent of afford food (even though my parents would have helped if I really needed it!). But ever since that day I’ve been pretty smart with my money.

    I’m always looking at ways to cut back so I can save my money for the things I really want to invest in, like travel and concerts! For example, we like to meal plan for at least two weeks at a time, and we always do and online shop to stop us from impulse shopping.

    For me, working from home has been a highly effective method of saving money, haha! I was spending ยฃ50 a month just on the tunnel tolls when driving from the Wirral into Liverpool. I also don’t crave new clothes, and I’m spending nowhere near as much money on makeup because I rarely wear it now.

    I keep thinking I should get a Monzo card. Not just because it’s a great way to keep track of my spendings but it would also be so handy for travel.

    • Pauline says:

      I can’t recommend a Monzo card enough Holly! If you are looking to get one, I can sign you up with a golden ticket – let me know ๐Ÿค— It is fantastic for travelling, I didn’t have much cash on me when I went to New York – it was all on Monzo!

      Haha, all the benefits of working from home ๐Ÿ˜‰ One day!!

  7. This is such an interesting post, because I’ve just recently starting working full time and am really interested in managing my money as well! I’m currently looking for ways to make some extra cash, but it’s really hard because I have so much in my hands at the moment that I’m not sure I could find the time. Thank you so much for this post! ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://www.lambassadrice.com/

  8. Ahhhhh it’s SO GOOD that you’re so money conscious now! I WISH this is something I’d given more thought to when I was younger but it’s seriously a priority for me now. My biggest vice is eating out on the weekends and that’s only once during the weekend but it still saves SO much money when we cut that out. I’ve really just trained myself to realize I don’t need STUFF and I want experiences so much more. I almost never buy new clothes anymore and I NEVER get coffee (that used to be a huge habit for me). The little things add up quick!
    Ben and I have gotten really good at replicating our favorite ‘go out’ meals at home, which is fun because we can do it together.
    You’ll be so glad you did this in the future when you can buy awesome things like a house!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    • Pauline says:

      I’m exactly the same with things > experience now too! Shifting my mindset to this has CHANGED everything, it’s really helped me save much more money . It’s shocking how small mindset shifts can change everything!

  9. It’s always great to be mindful of our expenses and to not spend all our money on stupid things! We found ourselves much more controlled by setting a daily budget, specially while traveling full-time ๐Ÿ˜€

    With love and sunshine,
    Patricia & Miguel

    http://www.freeoversea.com

  10. mercy says:

    You’re clever beyond your years. It’s actually good to be financially savvy while young. I’d like to be on top of my finance again ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes I get carried away following the latest fashion trends though it’s only recently that I’m into designer bags. But having said that, I’d only go for classic brands that has staying power and I can resell for a good money should I decide to let go of it. Thanks for the tips babe, I like the budgeting app idea.

    http://www.busyandfab.com

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks so much for this comment Mercy, I really appreciate it! ๐Ÿ’– I used to be like that but have been implementing minimalistic principles to my life when I can, I find it works with my life a lot more. ๐Ÿค—

  11. Joy says:

    There are loads of lovely people giving you amazing financial advice that I could echo to you but they have done an awesome job. I’ll offer you something else.

    Within all of this, remember that money is not everything. Saving is both beneficial and necessary but also learn how to keep your life flexible outside of it. You’re going to grow and life will change but money is unpredictable. Make sure that mentally your heart is full enough to smile if , for any reason, the money disappears. Find a strong form of happiness and reliance outside of financial stablility so that you can appreciate it while you have it AND when it might be gone.

  12. Ashley says:

    All this is great advice. I was struggling with money with all my bills and health bills. So I downloaded an APP on my phone to put down everything I spend to know just how much money I have until the next paycheck after I have paid bills.
    I had one mistake of going over my account when my father took out 50 at the wrong time so now I watch out for that or subtract the money even if they have yet to take it out so I know that the money is just gone.

    I also took out some PTO at work for cash and put that money in ‘savings’ pocket for any kind of cushion for when things go bad such as car troubles or just not having enough for gas or food. It is hard but it keeps me from freaking out on money.

    I’m hoping to find a cheaper place to live soon but once I have that huge bill for my health care taken care of I will be doing much better money wise. Unfortunately that is not until 2021 orz

    FYI if you end up with high health bills do not worry about it going to a ‘creditor’ (it is not a real creditor and it can’t hurt your credit) and never pay it off with a loan. Just pay them a minimum amount and give them the middle finger haha

    • Pauline says:

      I’m glad that this was useful to you Ashley!

      I’m so lucky to be living in the UK where healthcare for the most part is free! I can’t imagine paying for high medical bills. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ