This is a sponsored post on behalf of Mint SIM®. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any parties.
When moving out on your own for the first time, you may experience sticker shock. Not only do you need to pay for an apartment, but also insurance, food, and utilities. If you are like many young adults, these payments may match up with their paycheck. That means you need to be as thrifty as possible.
Adulthood is exciting. You get to transition from being under the thumb of Mom and Dad but are now 100% in control of your own life. However, with the excitement can also come fear and anxiety.
Suddenly, you are thrust into a grown-up world with grown-up responsibilities. That means a job, paying rent, buying food and still having money left over to enjoy life. Living frugally is often more important to this age group than any other. You are forced to find ways to save as much money as possible and to take care of yourself.
The thing is that this is all new to you. You are moving away from home for the first time and don’t yet know the secrets to living alone, let alone living frugally.
Being a master of living frugally can be an art form. There are tricks you can try to save where you can. I call these “Adulting Frugal Living Hacks.”
ADULTING FRUGAL LIVING HACKS
Make a budget
When you bring home your paycheck, it may be tempting to first go out with friends. But, that is the last thing you should do. First, check your written budget to find out if you can 1) afford to go out and 2) how much you can spend.
Your budget is your roadmap to living frugally. Without it, you will fail.
Save on wireless
Most young adults believe they have to use the same service provider their parents are using. That’s no longer the case. There are options out there so you can get the wireless service you need, without spending too much, as Mint SIM® does.
Mint SIM® is wireless done differently. Rather than lock you into a contract that lasts 2 years or more, and paying for more data than you really need, you can opt to buy what you need. You can purchase a three, six or twelve-month plan with Mint SIM for much less than you would pay traditional providers.
Right now, you can sign up with Mint SIM and pay just $15 per month when you sign up for 3 months of service. And, use the code LIFEHACK to score free shipping too!!!
No need to buy a new phone, you can use your own. It is simple to set up and within a couple of minutes, you are online, with the same number, texting and using social media just like always. But, rather than pay $100 or more, you are getting that service at an amazingly low price.
Learn how to sew
What happens when a button falls off your shirt or you get a small rip in your pants? You can’t afford to run out and buy a new article of clothing. These items can, and should, be repaired.
Ask a parent or friend to teach you how to thread a needle, sew a seam and attach a button. This is a simple life skill everyone should know.
Save on food
No one wants to live on Ramen noodles. Sure, it’s fine for a little while, you probably would like to eat “real food.” That means you need to save on your food.
Do some searches online for frugal meals. If you have not used Pinterest before, give it a quick search to get some affordable recipes you can make for yourself.
Before you shop, make a meal plan and a shopping list so you know what you need to buy before you get to the store. The bonus of meal planning is that you won’t be tempted to rush out to dinner because there is nothing in the fridge at home.
Get an emergency fund set up
Saving money is something everyone needs to do, no matter their age. Everyone needs an emergency fund to use when the unexpected happens. You should have at least three to six months of your income saved.
A simple way to do this is to automate your savings. Whether you can afford to save just $10 a month or $200, automate your savings system. The money can move from your checking account into your savings account, without a second thought. When you don’t see the money in your account, you are less likely to want to spend it.
We live in a digital age. Everything we do is done electronically, including how we pay for things. But, it is important to know how to use cash. When you use cash, you pay with emotion.
I challenge you to try this yourself. Buy your next pair of jeans with plastic. Then, go get the cash and pay for another pair using paper money. Handing cash over is often a bit more difficult because you see the money leave your hand.
Know how to pay your bills on time
When you lived with your parents, they may have reminded you to pay your cell phone bill or insurance when it was due. But, no one is here to do that now. You are responsible for paying them on time.
When you miss a payment, it may not only result in only a late charge but also a negative mark on your credit report. If you want to buy a car, rent an apartment or become a homeowner one day, you will need a good credit score.
Watch your accounts
If you have never been the victim of credit card theft, count yourself lucky. These days, there are online thieves who will find your card information and sell it. Make sure you carefully monitor your credit card and bank accounts continually. Watch for small charges as those are often the way that these accounts are tested to ensure they work.
Small charges like $1 or $2 are often overlooked because you don’t notice that drop in your balance. But, those are the test runs before the big charges hit. Check your account activity regularly to be on the lookout for possible theft.
Before you get out on your own, make sure you know how to cook basic meals. You need to know how to boil water, cook eggs, toast, noodles, and other foods. You won’t be able to afford to run out and grab fast food several times a week, so you either know how to cook – or starve.
Being frugal is important for everyone. But, it is even more important when you are adulting for the first time in your life.