I'm about to come out of university in a couple of weeks, and I really only have two things on my mind: freedom and money.
Typically, these two things go hand-in-hand. If you have a lot of money, you either have lots of free time or none at all. If you have little to no money, same deal. Fresh young college graduates are usually somewhere in the middle. We have some money, likely from a part-time job paying minimum wage, which we're foreseeing will be gone soon when student loans and other horrifying debts kick in.
Personally, I don't want to limit the number of iced coffees I buy per month or buy drugstore skincare products to save $30 here and there. Yes, everything in moderation, but I want to be able to take care of myself and enjoy the small things that make me sane. It feels like, as a twenty-something, there's so much pressure to stop paying for "trivial" things, instead of pointing the finger at the real culprit (can we please just cancel all student loans and raise the national minimum wage already?).
I've come to the conclusion that, along with general money-saving tips that are always advertised, I can also simply be more mindful in my daily life. For me, this has been fixing clothes I already own instead of buying new ones.
Something I've been doing to not only save myself money, but to reduce my waste, is darning my jeans that have holes in them. Darning is a process usually referenced in tandem with knitting, which basically is just repairing holes or weak spots in fabrics, typically with yarn. But this can be done with thread and denim as well.
If you've ever bought a pair of jeans that eventually develop uncomfortable pilling and holes where your thighs touch - listen up.
I have several pairs of jeans in my dresser that I've had hardly a year or two, and they're in nearly perfect condition besides those annoying thigh holes, and I've been saving them and refraining from buying new ones because I was frustrated about spending more money, just to likely experience the exact same problem in another year. So I took to Google - as you do - and found several videos on darning jeans. It can be done by hand, or with a sewing machine, and all you need is some thread, proper needles, and a cheap denim patch.
Another thing I've taken to doing is incorporating money saving apps, specifically the app Digit. I was unsure at first, but it's completely free and secure, and it doesn't hold onto your money as digital currency, it's able to be withdrawn as real cash. You link your bank account and then make goals for savings. You can categorize them and give them personalized names, like Disneyland Vacation or New Car. For each of these, you'll set a limit for how much money per day (can even be cents) Digit is allowed to withdraw from your bank account to go into these goal funds.
Yes, that's right - Digit actually removes money from your bank accounts and puts it away for you. Your money is 100% accessible all of the time no matter what. But the great thing is that you hardly notice it going anywhere. If you're like me, and simply transferring money into my savings every paycheck does not guarantee I will have self-control to not withdraw it back into my checking when I want to buy something - then Digit might be for you. It's seriously just cents a day.
There are a ton of other money-saving apps out there, and it can be confusing, but often they are doing silent saving for you, you just have to do your research.
One of the best financial tips I ever received? Have multiple sources of income. A ton of people are doing this nowadays, but profit off what you already own by selling things! Or make a profit from a talent or interest you have, like art or niche candle making or pins! Babysit or walk dogs or deliver groceries. It all adds up. Make capitalism work for you.
These are just a few things that have been on my mind lately as I've been thinking about increasing what funds I have, even though I'm already at my limit with working at a normal job. Bottom line: Have fun with it! It doesn't have to be stressful. And don't let anyone tell you how much iced coffee is too much - you measure that with your heart.