I don’t know about you, but when I was still in college I made so little money that I thought: “what does it matter? I’m just going to spend what I’ve got and worry later.” And, for the most part, it turned out fine (thanks to a couple of key bailouts from Mom & Dad…u da bomb). But once I graduated and started making like, actual money and paying like, actual bills, I realized that I needed to start socking some of it away for, you know, life or else I would just be “adulting” wrong.
Unfortunately for me and my English-major brain, actually doing the math of how much I make, how much all my monthly bills are, how much should be put away into savings, and how much I can afford to spend at Target and Chipotle isn’t always simple. So…drum roll, please…to help me and my fellow budgeters figure out our shit, I present you with: Budget Sheets: Rosie & Bean Style. (*Disclaimer: Neither Rosie or Bean actually made these sheets, but instead my genius friend Rachael crafted them up. Thanks Rach!)
Not so much into budgeting just yet? No worries! Here are 5 simple tips that will help you keep some cash in that wallet regardless if you’re spread-sheeting it up or not:
- Take advantage of rewards cards. You know how Subway, CVS, Stop & Shop, and a million other places offer you those free cards for your key chains? GET ONE! Use them! They can get you coupons and discounts and if you’re going to shop there anyway you might as well take advantage of some deals.
- Become a AAA member. Ok, you have to spend money to make money right? Well the same is true for AAA. Yes, it’s like $19 a year or something but it’s $19 well spent; not only can you get roadside assistance if ever your car breaks down, but you can get discounts on big things like vacations to Disney World. I highly recommend it!
- Make your coffee at home. You know that medium iced caramel swirl with one cream and two sugars from Dunkin’ that you just can’t. live. without? Live without it. Making your coffee at home can save you two dollars a day at least, times five days a week, times four weeks a month…? You’re talking an extra $40 in your pocket.
- Shop for classics, not for trends. Remember, trends usually last only one season (though crop tops are clearly an exception…) so don’t spend a day’s paycheck on a pair of glitter platforms. Instead, save the splurges for classic items you’ll wear again.
- Stop and think. Before you make a BIG purchase, like a new flat screen for your bedroom or a puppy, take a step back and think about it for 48 hours or, even better, a full week. In that time you might realize that you don’t really need that big ticket item and in fact your money is better spent elsewhere.
So feel free to use the budget sheet as it, tweak it, or intend to use it and then ignore it altogether (but with good intentions…that counts for something!). Happy savings!