While I am not personally participating in this recession, this savvy soulcialite is totally into finding ways to make this whole smart spending thing work out. So, one of my Twitterfriends, @sirhova decided to share his secrets of saving my social lifestyle. And while he lives in NYC, these are certainly applicable to any metropolitan area (that has a subway at least).
Chuck offers some great common sense advice that 20somethings have yet to sink their teeth into. But his experience in the professional realm also adds gems for the more seasoned.
Let’s review the highlights of Chuck’s list. It’s fleshed out a tad bit more at his blog, ChuckCity
Here are 10 ways for you to save money without giving up your social lifestyle.
1. Pay yourself first.
2. Slash the incidentals.
3. One less drink.
4. Get to the lounge/club semi-early.
5. Start buying groceries.
6. Taking the subway.
7. Bringing lunch to work.
8. Shed credit-card debt.
9. Max out your retirement savings.
It’s never to early to take this good advice. For example, paying yourself first goes without saying. Who’s here to take care of you except you? Mom’s not with you in Harlem to cook your food, so be sure to get to the grocery store and cook up those healthy and nutritious meals. And don’t be afraid to clip those coupons. I know I do. I love to see savings on my grocery bill. Put that extra money away. Likewise, I’ve learned the hard way about bringing my own lunch; $12 cosi salads add up. Also, cut back on the Starbucks. Make your own coffee, bring your own tea. I just purchased a hot pot for heating at my desk and boiling water for tea.
Suggestions 8,9,10 are great for everyone. We all heard it from our parents “stay away from credit cards” and what did I do? Nearly max out, get way too many. So, now it’s time to get bailed out. President Obama, can I get a check? No, really, make an effort to get out of credit card debt. It means so much more for your wallet and your peace of mind. You are aware that your credit rating not only impacts your purchasing power, but now also your ability to get a JOB! Put that extra money in your retirment account. You’ll thank yourself when your on the on the beach with your sweetie 35 years from now.
I recently took Chuck’s advice at the club on Wednesday. I didn’t get to the lounge early and that was my bad, because the jazz atmosphere was much more amenable than the Little Weezy that played around 11:30. Shaking my head. I would have also have loved to take the subway, but I live in the suburbs! So, not my favorite thing. The subway, however, is better than a $50 ticket for parking in the wrong place. I didn’t suffer from one, but the ladies that parked in front of me did. Luckily I stuck around to figure out that the spot was a no parking zone until 5am the next morning. The parking Gods were with me and I found a safe, ticket free zone up the street. Close enough to walk to and trouble free.
Whew! Anyway, I stuck to my guns and didn’t lay my debit card on the bar for the bartender. I had the cash, so I paid it! Forcing yourself to use cash is really smart. You can get over your head with buying at the bar and God forbid they make a mistake of some sort. Such a headache.
So, with a final word, take Chuck’s advice. It’s better coming from a friend right. And you don’t have Dad saying “I told you so!”