Want to live the high life but you can't quite afford it? No problem! Use these 10 tips and you'll be stacking cash in no time.
1. Set a Budget
I’ll start with two main savings tips. After all, how can you ball on a budget if you don't know what your budget is? First and foremost, write out your income and expenses. Then determine how much you should be saving, and finally, how much is left for ballin’.
We all understand the importance of saving so I’ll spare you the lecture. Just remember that saving today means you’ll have more fun and more security in the future.
There are several ways to get started. Programs like Mint and YNAB can help you out. Check out this review of apps for personal finance management.
2. Sell Your Car
In some cases, this is obviously not possible. If you commute an hour to work every day, your car is pretty crucial to keeping a job. But those living on campus or in the city, consider selling your car. Let's face it, cars are expensive. There's a reason so many Millennials are foregoing them altogether.
There is no “going cheap.” You have a large initial purchase price, plus insurance, maintenance, gas, and if you drive like me, tickets. Say you spring for a pricier car, you get all of the above plus payments (and interest fees). Stop pouring money into a car you hardly use, especially if you’re paying for parking.
While it's not possible in all locations, selling your car and opting for public transit, walking, biking, ride-sharing, and the occasional ride service can save you bundles for your new ballin' lifestyle. Be cautious not to become dependent on Uber or Lyft. At an average of $12 to $15 per ride, they add up!
3. Online Couponing
Now's the fun part! The rest of these tips are for saving while you spend.
If you haven't heard of Honey, this will be your new favorite Chrome extension. If you're a promo code hound, this is the end of your Googling for discounts. you're a promo code hound, you'll appreciate this browser plug-in. When you enter a check-out screen for any online retailer, Honey automatically scours the web for coupons then tries them all for you. You just sit back and watch as it reports back if any, and which, codes worked.
I really love Honey because it works on websites you might not expect it to. Aside from big names, like Macy's, GAP, Best Buy and Target (which are covered with Retail Me Not), Honey will work for many more obscure websites. I recently shopped at a small online bead store, and Honey worked its magic to save me $10 — which I will, of course, promptly use this Friday night. Honey only works for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera (sorry Internet Explorer users).
If you shop online, you'll want to keep a tab open on Retail Me Not. This site allows users to post coupon codes for thousands of online retailers. The best part is Retail Me Not now has an app for both Android and iOS devices that allows you to pull up coupons to use at stores and restaurants. 20% off my Spicy Italian Pizza from Papa John's? Don't mind if I do! Aside from promo codes and coupons, Retail Me Not alerts you to limited time sales, like Starbucks' 3-5 p.m. Happy Hour on Macchiatos.
Coupons for online shopping are lifesavers, but learn to use websites with city-specific coupon pages too. Groupon is a great example with all of the "Things To Do" pages, but there are dozens of other sites too. Ballin' is about experiences as much as it is material items. In fact, reports like this one from CNBC suggest that Millennials are far more likely to spend on events, trips and other memory-makers than objects.
4. Thrift Store Shopping
Macklemore may have made “poppin' tags” at thrift stores popular, but I've been shopping these deals for years. Luckily for you, these second-hand stores are no longer looked down upon. They are now rightfully appreciated for the sanity and savings they provide to those trying to ball on a budget. Why pay full price for trendy clothes and accessories when you can buy something that was only worn a handful of times? We all know the big boys like Goodwill and Salvation Army, but there are up-and-coming second-hand stores in almost ever town. Some catering to upscale brands and fashions like Uptown Cheapskate, Plato's Closet. There's even online thrifting these days.
Learn to use the PoshMark app. A lot of second-hand stores take donations or offer a pittance for clothes you try to sell. With PoshMark, you're likely to get a better deal when selling your own name brand items. Use it to shop too. You'll save up to 70 percent on Nike, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Coach and other popular brands.
You have to buy groceries, right? If you visit Wal-Mart or Target regularly, the Ibotta app will refund you with cash or gift card rebates. You can trade the cost of your paper towels and spicy Cheetos for a night on the town. Just scan your receipt and start earning rewards.
6. Student Discounts
Never be shy to ask about available student discounts. You would be surprised where they apply. Restaurants, movie theaters, amusement parks, clothing stores and other retailers want to help youngins like yourself out. Here you can check out up to 100 national-chain stores that provide student discounts.
7. Side Hussle
Our last tip for prospective ballers is to engage in a side hustle. Whether you complete online surveys for extra cash or freelance your photography skills, there are several ways you can earn cash on the side. These side hustles can grow naturally out of hobbies and can take as little as five to ten hours a week. You will appreciate the extra effort when you're livin' it up every Saturday night.