How to Become a Thousandaire
Posted On Jun 15, 2016
When you find yourself senselessly hitting a concrete pole in your parking garage – wrecking your car- you might be looking for ways to cut back on spending, like I am. Even if you aren’t in my situation exactly, we could all afford to save our Benjamins. Do you think Jay-Z became a millionaire by buying Starbucks everyday? I’ll let you answer that one on your own. Now, we all can’t become the next rap superstar, but we can get our funds up in a superstar fashion and become resident thousandaires. Here’s how!
Meal Plan & Prep
This one is a given, eating home cooked food rather than spending money on eating out can save you SO much money! Now if you take that one step further, you have meal planning and prepping. Plan your meals for the week and write a list of everything you need so that when you go to the grocery store you buy only what is on that list. I like to buy things that are central to many recipes so that nothing goes to waste. Then, you get home, meal prep for the week, and you have a week’s supply of lunches and dinners.
Save Your Receipts/ Sign Up for Reward Programs
Most of us throw away our receipts without a second glance. Little did we know (because we never took the time to look) that most receipts have coupons attached or ways to save money on your next purchase listed. CVS is a big one for this. I saved $10 the other day by keeping my receipts. If you have a CVS card, every time you use it, it tracks your purchases – so every time you get a receipt printed, it gives you coupons for products that you have purchased in the past assuming you will purchase them again. They also give you bucks back – which is how I got $10 off (it’s basically free money). Many brand’s rewards clubs do this, so if it is free, you should always sign up. For the places that don’t offer reward clubs, they usually refer you to a survey to rate your experience (on the bottom of the receipt) which then rewards you with a coupon for your completion – 20% off is better than full price.
Netflix Over Cable
If you are still paying for cable I have one question for you… why? Cable is basically dead, Netflix and online streaming services are the future of television. An average cable bill is around $80 and an Internet bill about $60, costing you about $140. You can cut that significantly by dropping the cable bill and only paying for Internet and an online streaming service. Netflix is $8.99 a month and Hulu is $7.99 a month. So you went from $140 to $68 a month.
Change an Unhealthy Habit
This one is a hard one, but not only will it help your wallet but also your health. Are you a smoker? A pack of cigarettes can run you anywhere from $5-$14 depending on what state you live in. Either way, that is a lot of money to be spending on deteriorating your health. Another bad habit is drinking. If you are going out drinking more than 3 nights a week, you are most definitely running up your bank statement. The same goes for Starbucks – at one point I was buying Starbucks every single day – that’s at least $5 a day x 7 days a week x 4 weeks a month, which brings us to a grand total of about $140 a month on coffee that takes you 20 minutes max to drink. You don’t have to completely quit (we get it, you’re young, wild, and free), but cutting back a bit has exponentially better results for your long term savings account and your long term health.
Take Advantage of the Local Library
This is something most of us completely overlook. Did you know a library card that gives you access to tons of amazing things is free?! Not only do you have access to books and magazines but you can also rent DVDs, CDs, use the Internet, and have access to workshops and hobby classes. Also, most libraries partner with local attractions, like museums and the theater, allowing you discounted admission rates. Go to your local library and find out all the magic you can have access to!
Start a Budget and Stick to It
Starting a budget is the key to your savings journey. Start by printing out your monthly bank statement. Calculate the money you make each month and the money you spend on your bills (rent, car, insurance, phone, internet, etc.). Everything you have left over is what you would normally spend on your leisure. But now that you are on the road to becoming an expert saver you are going to determine how much you have to save per month to hit your savings goal. You can then divide that down per week or even per day if you so desire. Make your savings a priority just as you would your living expenses. Cut the weekend getaways and the Friday ritual girls night dinners for a while. Of course you can treat yourself every once in a while – but try to do so only after you have set aside your savings money.
Before you know it you will be on your way to financial freedom! You will be able to move to the city of your dreams, go on the European vacation you have been wanderlusting over, or even invest in stocks and bonds, to make your money grow even more. The possibilities are truly endless. All it takes is a plan, a little sacrifice, and a spoonful of motivation!