- Know how to tip. If you are going to go out and treat yourself to a manicure or a night out, it’s important you know proper tipping etiquette. When you are on a budget, over-tipping can be the bane of your existence. OK, a bit of an exaggeration, but don’t pay more than you have to.
Here’s a quick list of tipping recommendations:
–Haircut – 15-20% for the hair cutter
–Shampooers, blow dryers, etc.. – $3
–Restaurant – 15-20%, Buffet – 10%
–Taxi – 15%
–Manicurist/Pedicurist – 15-20%
–Pizza Delivery – $2 a pizza (but do give more if it is a longer distance or bad weather)
–Valet – $1-3 when you pick up the car
If you want more tipping info, go to www.tipguide.org for a pretty all-inclusive list.
- Grow your hair out. It may seem drastic to change your hairstyle to save money, but longer hair is easier to manage. It’s less trips to the hair salon. Try getting a cut that won’t look odd if it’s grown out for a couple of months.
- Don’t’ use you credit card. Actually, you can use your credit card as much as you like in order to help your credit score. This is if you are responsible enough to pay the balance in full every month — not just the minimum. Otherwise, as a rule, don’t spend money you don’t have.
- Shop for clothes cheaply. Try going to thrift stores. The real kind, not the cute downtown vintage shops, and you can find a few cute and interesting pieces. There’s also second hand clothing exchange places like Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet. You can turn in your old clothes and trade it in for someone else’s threads. If used isn’t your thing, stick to places like Forever 21 and H&M. Just don’t expect the clothes to last forever. I do suggest, however, shelling out bucks for items that will last many seasons. For example, a nice pair of boots, a pea coat, or a bag that will match many outfits. When you shop, it really helps to think of your wardrobe as a whole.
Kick Some Bad Habits
These are pretty self-explanatory in how they will save you money.
- Stop drinking soda.
- Stop smoking.
- Stop your addiction to Starbuck’s. Invest in a coffee machine. It is NOT normal to pay $5 for a coffee. Do that even just 3 times a week, and that’s $60 a month!
- Driving everywhere. You don’t have to drive every time you leave the house. You can walk, and you can even get a bicycle. If you live in a city that is bicycle friendly, I recommend riding your bike around. It’s enjoyable, counts as exercise, and free.
Save, Save, and Save.
- Join a credit union. Credit unions have higher interest rates on savings, more free services, lower interest rates on loans, and are not for profit. They are better than banks when it comes to saving.