It's not easy to make money and keep it, and in your early twenties, when you're working for lower salaries and paying off college debts...net worth can be non-existent. Have no fear, because there are a few ways you can survive being broke, and even have a little fun too.
1. Get a mobile banking app
Okay, this may seem like a nightmare, but always knowing how much money you have will come in handy It'll save you those inevitable, embarrassing "I'm sorry your card was declined" conversations, and it'll make you more aware of your current money situation.
2. Calculate how much you can spend per/day to stay above water.
If I have 400 dollars in my bank account (after transportation, utilities, rent etc...) for living expenses to last three weeks, divide 400 by 14 to get 19.4, which means, by averaging things out you have around 20 dollars/day to spend before you run out of money.
It's bringing consciousness to your spending, and can help when things get really tight.
3. When at the grocery store, never buy name brand anything.
This is an extreme tactic, but it will cut your grocery bill by at least 20 dollars, just because you're going generic. Things like peanut butter, bread and juice can be spared. If you can't tell the difference, why not save the money?
You can splurge for things you really love, but if you can ditch the name brand stuff, your wallet will thank you.
4. Challenge yourself to not to spend money at all.
I did this for a while in college and it ended up saving me a lot! When things got tight, I'd give myself a little tally mark in my agenda for every day I didn't spend any money. It helps with progress and gives you a physical track to follow your habits.
If you haven't guessed, lots of these tips are just based on consciousness of how much money you actually have.
5. Know when things are priced at their lowest, and NEVER pay full price for anything.
You can google what stores put what things on sale, and when. So when you plan a big shopping trip where you have to buy an entire wardrobe for like...200 dollars, check out where you are going, and when the big sales are.
If you get suckered into paying full price for something while you're feeling a little more wealthy, you'll pay for it later if you're broke, so always be conscious of if a purchase is realistically in your budget.
6. Avoid credit cards like the plague.
If you're broke, applying for a credit card will be tempting, I'm sure you're like "Oh! They gave me a 500 dollar limit? I'll just make my purchases with that, and worry about it later."
You'll end up paying 3 times as much because you'll run them up and never pay them. If you're broke, you don't have enough money to deal with fees and hassles, so just save yoruself the trouble and tough it out.
7. Evaluate what you really need, and what you can live without.
Do you really need Starbucks today? Do you really need that candy bar?
We make innocuous purchases that end up seeming pretty useless after we're left without enough money to live off of. If we calculate one 5 dollar cup of coffee per every work day (or god for bid two), we end up spending 25 dollars / week ON COFFEE ALONE.
That's a lot!
So just by putting things into perspective, you can really start to save yourself money, and also survive!
8. Happy Hour Only
Buying drinks adds up. You can spend 50 or more in one sitting without realizing it. In order to avoid this, hit up a happy hour, where things are half priced. If that's not in the works, then you definitely need to buy your own alcohol, and drink at home before going out. Or...stop drinking and just save the money.
It's not as fun, but being broke never is!
9. Long term: figure out what your money habits are, where you fail at saving, and put better choices in motion to conserve for the future!
We don't always keep track of our money, spend it wisely or have the jobs to support the lifestyles we want, but with a little consciousness, some faith and some discipline we can put the steps into place to get better at the money thing!
Also, remember, money isn't everything. You can have fun for free doing lots of things, so look up free events in your city and have a ball. Keeping it together is all about perspective.