Since one of my New Years resolutions was to save money, I thought I’d address this a little bit more. I think I need all the help I can get on this one.
Being unemployed really sucks. I mean, I have a “part-time” job, but I really don’t make anything off of it. I’m paid by the hour and there are not many of those in a week where money is being made here. So I really have to be aware of how I’m spending my money day by day. Being a kid, I never had to think about how much money I had…if I had as many dollars as something cost at the store, I bought it. If that much wasn’t in my purse, I didn’t buy it. But the magic of plastic as an adult really threw me for a loop, especially when I had to factor in other things I need to pay for. I am constantly worrying that I have enough to pay for my credit card bill, plus my school loans, plus still put a little bit to the side for long term saving.
When I was younger, I was really organized with my money. If my allowance was $10 a week (so many chores), I would have certain envelopes in my drawers for things I was saving for. Shopping, my own horse, a new CD…each thing had its own labeled envelope. Once I received money, I would divide it up and never transfer it from envelope to envelope. I’ve tried to carry the same method over to adulthood, except online in my bank account. So whenever my measly paycheck comes in, I try to separate some of it into what I need to pay for and what I want to pay for.
I’m trying to not spend so much on unnecessary things because I’m thinking short-term and long-term. Short-term would be this year…I also said I wanted to have fun this year, and I know that there are concerts I want to go to and vacations and travel I’d like to do. I know I need to prepare myself financially for those so I don’t have to miss out on those opportunities. But long-term is the forever future. A place of my own (soon please?), a family (waaaaay long-term), retirement (well I suppose employment precedes retirement huh), finally paying off my college loans (will be paying those for all eternity)…all things I should save for.
Spending money is a part of life, but dammit why does everything have to be so expensive? It makes things difficult for people like me. Now, I know I’m lucky enough (and so so so so so grateful!) to not have to buy my own groceries and pay for medical procedures (side note: your parents’ health insurance doesn’t cover you once you turn 26…HELP SOMEONE EMPLOY ME QUICK). But I figure I need to learn now better ways to save when I am paying for life. I know coupons, my mother raised me on coupons. Okay, we’re not TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” people, but we know how to coupon. I don’t use Groupon, although that’s something I may have to look into. I know it doesn’t do much, but I still have a little piggy bank that I’ll throw spare change in every now and then. It doesn’t add up to much but a few bucks is a few bucks. I guess what I’m putting out there and asking is: what do you do or use to save money? I mean the little things, the big things, the short-term, the long-term…all of it!