Okay, so if you actually buy avocado toast, that means for some reason you love avocado toast. Who are we to shut that down just because you NEED TO SAVE MONEY? Lucky for you, a Gallop study argues that Americans would have to give up a whole lot more than toast to have more bread anyway because truly transformative budget cuts wouldn’t come from discretionary spending (shopping, brunches, etc.). To really spend less, slashes have to hit closer to home, literally. Research shows that people are dropping more dollars, particularly in the summer, on “necessities,” namely groceries, gasoline, rent and utilities. Shit you need.
You will not be able to sufficiently save for an emergency fund, retirement or a down payment on a home unless you lose your bougie card and start hustling on some level.
While cutting back on pricey brunches and popping bottles takes discipline, positioning yourself for true savings will require an even more radical approach. But if you are drowning in student loans or credit card debt (drowning = your payment is more than you’re saving monthly), or have essential living expenses that suck up more than 50 percent of your income, it’s time to take your head out of the sneaker store and face truth: You will not be able to sufficiently save for an emergency fund, retirement or a down payment on a home unless you lose your bougie card and start hustling on some level.
What do I mean by hustle?
1. Re-evaluate your roommate situation. Is it time to make your parents, grandparents, or even your godparents… your new roomies? Moving home is ideal if you have a very specific and timed goal, such as saving $20k for a downpayment on a condo or house, or paying off your student loans. Important note: Don’t kicked out for balling while they feed you. Respect their space, money and time by hustling to get your cash right.
2. Add more people to your lease. If you’re flying solo or can’t bear to relinquish your head-of-household status you have to get more bodies into your space to help split the bills. Consider giving up the big bedroom, swapping in two beds and a divider, and putting an ad out for more roomies. Another option is converting the living room space to an extra bedroom. Half the rent, double the paper.
3. Upgrade your side hustle. Think beyond bartending—which can be a real money maker—and market all the skills you can offer. Are you exceptional at organizing or superb at grant writing? Apps such as TaskRabbit let you monetize very specific talents. Sell everything you’ve got to offer. Well…
4. Walk more. If you live in a big city you’re likely hailing cabs, a lot. Suburban folks are infamous for hopping in cars to drive short distances. Walk when you can or take public transpo—there is this wild rumor that exercise is good for you—but you can also save major dollars in fares and gas.
5. Lights out. Try turning off the lights when you’re not in a room—old schoolers nagged you about it for a reason. Unplug smaller electric items (like blender) when you aren’t using them. Don’t leave the air conditioner on when you’re not home. Think of all the minute ways you’re wasting energy and remember you’re paying for your laziness. Be a grown-up and get a little anal—this is your money, act like it.
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