Thursday, November 6, 2014

Saving Money as a 30 Year Old

You're now 30 and understand that your fleeting time on this planet needs to be spent making money.

You're not a dollar-obsessed sugar baby, you're not a welfare-hating, closed-minded conservative, you just want to do things that cost money. Well year after year (as we now surely realize add up quite quickly), the money you save here and there can end up in investments that earn you wealth without you doing anything. Save $2 here, find 25 cents there, avoid spending $12 somewhere're on the right path!

Here is my easy list: (Organized by subjects)

A) Cars: 

1) Avoid parking tickets! That's $40 that can buy your next dinner out. Take a few minutes extra and find a real parking space. Or pay the extra 2 quarters at the meter in case your appointment runs over. It's worth it. 

2) Use them less. Anywhere you can comfortably bike or walk, or even carpool, do it. Every time you are behind the wheel you risk having an accident. You also burn ga$. You also wear out tires, use windshield fluid, dirty your oil, and have those things replaced all the sooner. You'll get more exercise by doing all those things too!

3) Don't put off getting your maintenance. The longer you wait, the more likely a bare tire tread or low air pressure will get you a blowout or cause an accident. You'll end up paying additionally for the damage done, then still have to get maintenance (probably more now) anyway. 

B) Pick Up Change:

Picking it up adds up, slowly but surely. Not your key to getting rich, nor something to be done 100% of the time (try to refrain from doing this at a fancy dinner party or during a job interview), but if you do a bit of walking every day (which you should definitely be doing) you could stumble upon that extra cost to "Super Size" your next meal!

C) Don't Super Size Your Meal! Don't Get ANY Fast Food:

This is a fitness tip that doubles as a fiscal tip. Plan your meals for the week on your day off. We all like thinking about food, so while you do that, make your shopping list. Shop at any grocery store that's cheaper than Whole Foods to stock up on what you need then prep your meals. What is meal prep? Cooking your foods in bulk (the big money saver) then portioning them off into containers that you can take to work or school so you won't have to go the fast food route. 

This is meal prep. Check out the Vegan Options she lists!

D) Drugs:

Don't do them. They are expensive. They will kill you one way or another. Trying to escape reality is something that people like to do, and you see this everyday. Taking the huge risk of buying drugs from a sketchy dope dealer and not knowing what you're going to get is bad enough. Try and foot the medical bill for bleach ingestion or inhalation. Peer influence is still a very real phenomenon at 30, so your friends might get into drugs too. If you're the resilient one, just don't forget to think about how easily others become addicted. Addicts will lie to you, steal from you, and end up costing you so much money (especially if the addict is you). This is not only a money saver, but also a life saver. 

E) Clothes:

1) Wear and Care versus Wear and Tear. Nice clothes are a burden on your wallet. Buying them once every couple years is bad enough. Buying new ones to place worn out ones every year is way worse. Dude, you've been alive for 30 years now. That really nice blue woven you paid $70 for in 2007 looked great on you. You don't want to have to replace it every 12 months because you've wrecked it. That pace will cost you $490 dollars by 2014 for that one shirt! And we all know you want more than just one shirt. Hang your shirts. If your closet is moist or your shirts are hung while moist, metal hangers will rust-stain your stuff. Get plastic hangers if this is a likelihood. Or even better yet, save the padded hangers that your dry cleaner always gives you! 

2) Dry cleaning and washing. Read the tags on your stuff. Ruining them in the wash sucks, so don't wash reds with your whites, don't use bleach on darks, don't spin wash things that need dry cleaning, and don't be lazy with weekly laundry. Saving your stinky stuff for weeks will cost you the same amount at the laundromat, probably cause mildew growth, cause you to lose socks and panties while carrying five massive laundry bags around, and will make you more likely to buy more new, expensive clothes. You see such a bland of "leftovers" in your dresser and closet because your nice stuff has been in your laundry basket for 3 weeks. Avoid going out and spending $100+ on a new outfit and just do your damn laundry. If you can consolidate and do it with somebody else, that can save money too (but you should really like that person!). 

PS- Without getting too much into religious dogmas, I grew up going to church on every Sunday and every holy day of obligation until I was 20 years old. It was always interesting to see how much my parents put into the collection basket (Catholic Churches ask for money from their church attendees once or twice per mass). It seemed like a good chunk of change, multiplying $20 (I think that was their standard donation) by 52 Sundays and at least 10 additional holy days. Was that 10% of their income? I don't know; I didn't keep track of my parents' yearly incomes. They say the recommended donation to your church is 10% of one's income.

...While searching for the above meme, this one also showed up and fit quite perfectly into the theme of Saving Money. So I'll leave you with this.

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