The City Girl’s Guide to Saving Money

Photo Credit:  DesignFindStudio

Photo Credit: DesignFindStudio

By: Zoey Woldman

Saving money is hard, especially when it means saying no to that metallic Prada bag you’ve been eyeing. I’ve pretty much mastered the art of making money stretch all from creating a new spending plan (that’s sure to suit even the most addicted shopaholic). With a few easy tricks, saving money in the city is suddenly not so difficult. You may even save enough for that bag...

Walk to Work

Raise your hand if you remember the good ol’ days, when a subway ride cost less than $2! Well those days are long gone, my friends. If you’re taking the train to and from work everyday, you are spending at least $5 a day on transportation. Even though that doesn’t sound like a lot, it really adds up. In fact, if you buy a 30-day unlimited pass every month, you will spend $1,440 on transportation in just one year! Imagine all the clothing you could buy with that money..... If you live close enough to your office, walk! Not only does this save money, keeping it out of the pesky hands of MTA, but it’s also great exercise. I walk to and from work everyday, and I like to use the time to catch up with my parents, grandma, or old friends. With just one simple tweak, I’m saving money, getting in an easy workout, and avoiding complaints that I don’t call home enough.

Pack Your Lunch

Buying lunch every day adds up soooo quickly, especially if you work in a pricey area (ahem, Soho) like me, where a crumb costs $20. Try packing your lunch everyday. Very often, unless I’m feeling like Martha Stewart, I just make a simple sandwich or pack my dinner leftovers from the night before. If the reason you’re leaving the office is because you just need to get out, take your lunch with you. I like to find a park or bench nearby to sit and eat. The (semi) fresh air wakes me up, and I am given the perfect opportunity to people watch. And honestly, who doesn’t love people watching?

Do Your Own Laundry

I’m sure we can all agree that after going to the dentist, doing laundry is pretty much the least fun thing to do. Throw in the fact that your building doesn’t have a laundry room, and you have to schlep across town to your nearest laundromat. Yeah, forget about it! So many laundry services in the city have made doing laundry super convenient. Some even pick up your laundry in the morning, and drop it right back off at your doorstep the SAME evening. And while that basically sounds like your greatest fantasy ever, it gets pretty expensive. Those kind of laundry services charge by the pound, and if you’re anything like me, you always have an insanely large amount of laundry to do. If I had to pay based on weight, i’d be living in a shoebox. Oh wait...I basically already do. Welcome to New York? Anyway, my suggestion is dealing with the six blocks of schlepping because honestly you can shove way more into one of those machines than what the companies would charge you for one pound of clothing. Plus, all that time waiting around is the perfect opportunity to catch up on some reading, and if you’re not the reading type, to catch up on Game of Thrones.

Thrift Shop

If you’re worried about spending, chances are you’re probably shopping too much (guilty as charged). Initiating a savings plan doesn’t mean you have to cut out all of your shopping, but it does mean being more price conscious. Try shopping at thrift stores. Aside from having amazing prices, thrifting can be so rewarding when you find a spectacular piece!

Swap Out Drinks for Coffee or Tea

Pretty much any time I meet someone or form some kind of connection, plans to get drinks are proposed, and while I love a good marg just like the next gal, I don’t love their price tags. Drinks in the Big Apple are seriously expensive. I’m still trying to understand how so many young professionals manage to afford multiple Happy Hours in a week. If anyone has the answer, let your girl know! Also, this weird thing has been happening to me lately where anytime I have even the slightest sip of alcohol, I’m immediately hungover. Gone are the crazy college days and armor bowels. If you’re tired of drink dates too, or just reserving your alcohol consumption for club nights, try switching to coffee or tea dates. Instead of wasting $17 on a sugary concoction, you can fuel your mind and body while only spending $3-$5. Also, it’s pretty hard to network while slurring. Just saying…

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If you can compromise on all of these things - or even just a few - you’re sure to save some extra mullah. It might be hard at the beginning, but once it becomes a habit, it will definitely stick. I believe in you, and so does Ryan Gosling.

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