Living above your means
“After college, I got a job as an editorial assistant at a magazine in New York, making $11,500 a year. My rent in Brooklyn was $400, subway tokens were $1, and my parents helped me out with a few hundred extra each month,” shares Jean Chatzky, financial editor of NBC’s Today and host of the HerMoney podcast. “I should’ve been able to make it work—especially with the extra income I earned from teaching SAT prep. Instead, I bought clothes I didn’t need, ate out too often and exercised at the trendy workout studios. Years later (and with a higher salary), I now shop the sales, cook in more than I dine out, and run outside for free.” Here are 11 ways to save money while eating out, according to restaurant workers.
Spending too much on vacation
“The summer after I bought my first home, a studio apartment in New York City that was a great investment, I decided to do a summer share with my friends,” says Bobbi Rebell, financial journalist and author of How to Be a Financial Grownup. “It was $3,000 each and I didn’t have the cash. But I did now have equity in that apartment. So I took out a home equity loan to pay for the summer share that I could not afford. That said, I did pay off the loan—which I still remember was at 8 percent—and I did save up the cash for that next summer’s share! Now if I don’t have the cash for a vacation, I downsize, often by going for a shorter time to fit my budget, or delay until the time is right.” Learn 26 secrets rich people won’t tell you about their habits and lives.
Not following a budget
“One mistake I made was not using a personal budget,” says David Bakke, financial expert for Money Crashers. “I had no idea where my money was going on a monthly basis. Once I started using one, I looked for ways to reduce monthly expenses and then used my surplus for things like retirement investing and establishing an emergency fund.” If worse comes to worst, know what happens when you file for bankruptcy. Find out 17 habits of people who are great at saving money.