You know that feeling when you’re out with your friends, enjoying a bevy or two, and you look down at your wallet and see the sad (lack of) cash sitting in that woeful little pocket? And you just think to yourself: why do I never have any money? Why am I reaching for bills that aren’t there? Holding my breath nervously when my card is tapped, hoping there’s enough in my account for Paywave to do its thing?
Being alive is more expensive than any episode of Friends ever prepared us for, and when you’re trying to juggle a part-time job, full-time study, a semblance of a social life and time alone for general mental stability, a little financial planning goes a long way. There are a lot of little changes you can make to help stretch that paycheck during the week, so we’ve put together a sneaky guide of thrifty weekday hacks to help you make the most of your weekend.
Everyone knows that eating and drinking are the cornerstones of any meeting between friends or loved ones. Restaurants, bars, coffees… the bills add up, especially if you’re having several outings a week. Switch the table at a café for a meetup at home. Hosting is a great, cheap way of getting several friends together. It’s more about the company than it is about the venue, right?
Drink More Water
Perhaps the most simple solution, and yet one we all seem to gloss over. Drinking more water is beneficial for a myriad reasons and water is FREE. Obviously it’ll keep you hydrated, yes, but at the same time, it’ll ensure you’re not reaching for cans of energy drink or Coke that you don’t need. Switch out your morning coffee for a refillable bottle: your wallet will thank you. Drinking before meals also helps you stay fuller longer, and ultimately eat less.
Sell Your Old Items
We’re all guilty of having a closetful of knick-knacks that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Clean out your room, make a pile of everything pre-loved but that you’re ready to part with, and sell them. Marketplace is a great way of finding people through Facebook, or, if you want to go old fashioned, have a garage sale. You could even make a day of it and rent out a stall at a market with your friends to sell off old clothes. Make more storage space in your room, and get paid for it, too.
Stop ‘Fast’ Spending
There are times when spending money is absolutely unavoidable. There are also times when it is, but you’ll make every excuse to try. Do you need to buy that muffin, when you’re already on your way home anyway? Is it completely necessary to take that Uber, when you know it’s only an extra ten minutes by the bus? Try and be conscious of your spending, and become more conscious of when you’re simply doing it because it is ‘fast’ and ‘convenient’. There are almost always cheaper alternatives.
Hunt Down Those Specials and Happy Hours
Luck favours the prepared, right? In order to really make that hard-earned money stretch as far as it can, a little research can save you heaps. There are always deals and happy hours in every corner of the city every weekend, so pick where you’re going early. Planning ahead will save you from the last minute ‘oh, I don’t know, let’s just go to the closest bar’ shuffle, and will save you more than a few bucks in the process.
At the end of the day, budgeting and being money-conscious is a skill we’ll all have to adopt sooner or later. Try and adopt some good habits now, and switch out small luxuries when you can. Good luck, and see y’all at Friday happy hour.
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