Hasta Barista

So while looking for money saving tips, I got sick of reading article after article that told me not to spend money on my daily coffee.
This frustrated me a bit because, I can get coffee, from my work, for free.
I haven't purchased a frothy, foamy cafe whatever in ages.

I have a love affair with mason jars

Why? Because I am freaking poor!
I have too much to save for & pay for that I can't afford to use anything but el cheapo coffee.
In fact I am sipping on it right now.

anyway you can find some close to Starbucks recipes here

So for the lack of better budgeting, saving, & other important tips, here are mine:
If you have graduated or will graduate soon (or even next year) start out by saving your money.
open a savings account & try not to use it.

-save your graduation money.
thats all I asked for & I've put it away to help pay the expenses of starting off on my own.

-write out all your expenses & compare them towards your monthly income
Make a list and make sure you are bringing in enough during the month to cover your basic needs.
rent, utilities, phone, gas, food, internet, cable, car payments, credit card, student loan repayment

-there are things you can get by with out
you don't need the latest phone, you don't need cable, you don't need a new car.
The money you are spending towards these things you can put into savings
just in case your car breaks down, or there is another emergency.

-spend as little as you can on groceries but still eat well
I love the new my plate recommendations from the USDA.
this is a great guideline for eating well. It is easy & works great on a budget.
While you may need to sacrifice your gourmet habits (if you're like me you have none)
to satisfy your hunger but you can totally eat healthy for cheap.
The goal is to stay healthy & not eat those cheapo things with sodium 
like ramen, oodles of noodles, & soups 
I try to spend $100 a month on food - about $50 every two weeks.
However, I try to get away with $40 & put that other $10 away.
Anyway, you can use the my plate guide to organize meals.
one - buy generic
two - shop the sales, use coupons, make sure the deal is right
three - shop discount stores
four - buy canned veggies & fruit instead of fresh (they still count)
Once you get on your feet you can afford those fresh things again.

-apply for food stamps
if you qualify, there is no reason not to use them to get on your feet after graduation.
If you are like me & pride yourself in paying your own way,
you can still do so because these programs are here for those who need it!

- stay on your parents phone bill
If they don't mind that is.  Pay them what they pay for your added line.
If they say 'nope, get your own bill!' get a track phone.
From what I understand they have cool ones & if they don't
you're trying to pay bills, not look cool anyway. 

-write down when you will pay each bill
In my planner, I have written down when I will fill up with gas,
when I will buy food, when my rent money is due, when to get my oil changed, 
when my car insurance is due.

-get away from a 'stuff' mentality
You don't really need those shoes, that shirt, etc.
if you do...go to the thrift store.  Become a thrifter -- its a fun hobby!

-finally, take out a little for you each month
If you can afford it, take out a little bit of money from your paycheck each month
$20, $30, $40 or so to put away for yourself later.
put it in an envelope with your bills, on your desk, etc.
--its like saving up for a rainy day--
Use it to treat yourself, but try to stretch it out.
compile a little spending money over the month, combine it with next month, etc.

What do you do to save each month?  How do you afford what you want to do?

ps.  You can also find some great post grad inspiration from Megan over at Freckled Italian, Victoria from Be One of a Kind, & Hayley from The Weekend File.
Megan has load of spoil yourself recipes, Victoria has a bunch of DIY inspiration, & grab some outfit inspiration from Hayley 
PS. Don't forget to check out the link parties in the Side Bar or click here!

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