The Ultimate Savings Guide for Beginners (and I truly mean BEGINNER)
I'm 29, and I have no savings to my name.
I'm not being cute or funny- I genuinely have nothing to show for my wages. What have I been doing with all my money, you ask?
Which is what makes me qualified to tell you what NOT to do, in order to save a pretty penny or two. I should know- I've done them all.
1) DO NOT eat out every day, sometimes twice a day. Morning coffee included. Pack your lunch instead. Make yourself dinner. Spinach and chicken, pasta and sauce, whatever. It really hurts to spend $12 a day in NYC to eat a crappy sandwich. It hurts even more when you realize how OFTEN you are doing it without realizing it.
2) DO NOT indulge on every single indulgence. You work hard, you deserve the mani and pedi. You don't also deserve the handbag, even if it is from Forever 21 and on sale. You don't need the $18 conditioner. God damn it hurts just to write that. SUAVE works great. So does Shea Moisture, a step up at $8 a bottle and lasting for over a month.
3) DO NOT buy a bottle of water each and every time. If you're like me, it will sit on your desk, in your purse, heavy as fuck, then end up on your desk at home, still not even half way empty. Then in your trash and off to a landfill where it will sit for another 2000 years like a baby dinosaur. I bet there's a small pool's worth of water in a nearby NJ landfill I've solely contributed to. Buy a one time refillable container. Refill with filtered, cold FREE water. Repeat as necessary. The less I do it, the less times I have to visit filthy public bathrooms.
4) DO NOT go to the movies, and bowling, AND brunch, every weekend. Every. weekend. Is it even necessary? How many times can one really go bowling without getting bored? Am I getting any better? Am I training for an upcoming bowling tournament with Ginger, a 67 year old chain smoker and Bertha, her 72 year old neighbor she's been feuding with about the overgrown weeds in her lawn?
5) DO NOT buy silly groupons for things you will never do. I don't need Tango lessons. I'm probably never getting my conch pierced. What the hell is wrong with me.
6) DO NOT save up for big purchases I don't need. Like a boob job I halfheartedly want. Or lash extensions I won't be able to take care of (those things are like pets). Or invisalign. Wait...maybe yes to Invisalign. Cute teeth are cute.
7) DO NOT charge my credit card for every purchase I can't afford. Including Starbucks, or a book from B&N. I poop coffee out immediately and I have, no joke, at least 50 books at home I haven't read.
8) DO NOT buy flights on a whim because they're cheap and....actually, no fuck that. DO buy flights when there's a good deal. The richest thing you can do is to TRAVEL, it's the only thing I have to show for my frivolous twenties. Just, follow these rules once you get there.
That's all I got for now. Tune in next time when I tell you how to save for retirement, starting at age 37!