“Being an adult with a blossoming social life and dreams is expensive.”
Don’t let the shitty weather fool you, summer is coming. And with it comes the bills and student loans. But just because you spent the last of your money an unexpected bill, doesn’t mean you have to look like it. Here are some ways to keep some money in your pocket and even earn a little more!
1. Clean out your closet!
Do you have some shorts that are too short? What about the dress that’s sitting in your closet that you bought because it would look good for an event/party that you never went to? Sell them! Stores like Buffalo Exchange and Beacon’s Closet will take your gently used clothes and give you cash for them. Keep in mind, you won’t get exactly what you paid for them back and both stores are picky with what they buy from you. If you have high end designer clothes, try selling at a consignment shop where you might get more money. If all else fails, a stoop sale is an easy and fun way to get rid of your clothes.
2. Get a protective style.
With Summer comes its sidepiece, Humidity. If you’re natural, there is literally no point in even straightening your hair most days. Protective styles are an easy way to protect your hair and your pockets! I know what you’re thinking “How will I save money by getting my hair done?”
Think of it like this: If I get a wash and set every two weeks, I’m spending between $80 to $100 a month. (Including a random trim or treatment.) But by getting a protective style, not only are you saving your hair from heat damage/sweating it out/etc., you’re keeping money in your pocket because you aren’t getting it done as often. Most braids or twists last between 5 to 8 weeks and cost $80 to $150 ( depending on length and size). Some people are able to keep their style in longer depending on how they take care of their hair.
If you’re really creative or have a lot of time on your hands, you can do your own protective style. I did my own box braids a couple of months ago and it only cost me $30! If you’re not into that, hit up your local braiding salon. Here’s my favorite braider in the NY area!
3. Make Your Own Damn Lunch!
I work in midtown and it sucks. Not because of the amount of tourists but because of the price of food! If I forget my breakfast, a smoothie from Jamba Juice will cost me $10. God forbid, I forget my lunch! A mediocre sandwich (not including a drink or some damn chips) will cost me $10 to $13. I’m not even going to get into how much ONE slice of plain pizza costs on 42nd street! So lately, I’ve been checking out food bloggers, such as Cooking With Kader, and using my Grandma’s cookbooks for some easy smoothie and lunch recipes that’ll last me my entire work week! Not only will you save money, you’ll getting cooking skills up!
4. Sign Up For Emails!
There are so many free events that take place in NY, going right underneath our noses! By signing up for emails from sites like My Free Concerts, Flavorpill, Timeout NY, and more, you’ll have access to all of the free events, concerts, food festivals, and open bars at the palm of your hands!
5. “Can I Get a Sample?”
Samples, samples, and more samples! I am not above asking for a sample and neither should you. If you’ve ran out of makeup, Sephora allows you to get samples of the majority of their products. I’ve sampled everything from eye shadows and illuminators to hair masks and perfumes. ( Don’t judge me!) Even Lush and most beauty supply stores offers samples of their products!
6. Learn How to Budget
Budget is a curse word in my book. I hate telling myself no and my wardrobe is not up to par so I try to not miss a sale! But I’m grown now, and with being grown comes responsibilities. In order to learn how to budget, the first thing I did was get a calendar. By placing all my bill due dates on the calendar, I was able to actually see how much money I needed to save monthly. Talking to your local accountant at the bank can also help you save money. By going through my bank statements, I was able to see the things I was paying for that I didn’t use. ( Tidal had to go #sorrynotsorry). My banker also gave me tips to save money which I found extremely helpful. I’ve recently started leaving my debit card at home. As scary as that sounds, it’s not that bad. I take out about $60 in cash from my weekly check and leave my card home. If I spend past my “allowance”, then that’s it.
I’ve come to realize budgeting is all about mind control. Saving money now will help me to be prepared for the big purchases coming ahead. Like the perfect one bedroom apartment with a walk in closet and view right across the street from a Trader Joe’s. *Sigh*, a girl can dream right?!
What are some of your favorite ways to save money in the summer? Let me know in the comment section!