Being cool is quite a bit about having gorgeous pictures on Instagram, and checking in on all the cool places on Facebook! But that comes with a price. Having to go to the hottest eatery in town, or showing off that designer handbag or watch, comes at a great price, a hole in the wallet.
Is it even possible to live within a budget and still be cool? Here, we show you some tips on how to still be a cool millennial but live on a budget:
Brown Bag Your Lunches
Are you one of those who orders in food every day or every other day at work? You’re not the only one. Friday lunches at fancy places, and ordering in every other day, is quite common at the workplace nowadays. There is no harm or loss however, if you bring your lunch from home. It is not only healthy, it is pretty money minded too. Let’s have a little snapshot of how much you would save by bringing your lunch from home:
Working with average costs, check the savings:
If you order in twice a week: PKR 250 per day
If you go for a fancy Friday lunch with friends and/or colleagues: PKR 1,200 per day
Savings during a week: PKR 1,700/-
Savings during a month: PKR 6,800/-
Savings during a year: PKR 81,600/-
Drop Those Random Habits
We all have a few random habits. Chewing gum, smoking, munching on chips while working, buying a water bottle from the shop when you’re out, stopping for drinks or chai with a bunch of friends, or munching on sweets and other stuff. All of them cost money. Impulsive shopping, spending money on junk food while out, all of it costs money, even inane habits like using an off-the-network ATM. Some of these habits are unhealthy, while costing little in terms of money, and others are unhealthy for your pocket! Let’s do a little cost analysis here too and see if we tried to avoid them, how much we would save on monthly basis on an average:
Smoking a Pack of Cigarettes a Day: PKR 100 a day, PKR 3,000 a month
Monthly Impulse Shopping (Buying clothes, cosmetics, etc. that are unneeded): PKR 10,000/-
Using an Off-The-Network ATM twice a week: PKR 120/-
Savings during a month: PKR 13,120/-
Savings during a year: PKR 157,440/-
That’s not too bad either. Let’s continue to add more to these savings.
Fancy Dinners Do Cost
Fancy dinners and check-ins on social media are a strong boost to the popularity index. We all check-in at a fancy restaurant or café. To maintain this coolness, of course, one needs to visit the hottest eateries on a regular basis. As a lifestyle choice, is it worth it to continue to go to these places? Let’s see in terms of savings, if you skipped the fancy dinners:
Fancy Dinner at a Swanky Place Once: PKR 2,000/- per dinner
Savings during a year: PKR 24,000/-
If you treat or pay for someone other than you as well, then multiply the number of people with this yearly cost!
Let’s sum this up and see how much you would earn on this sum, had you invested it somewhere:
Year’s savings: PKR 263,040/-
If invested monthly on 10%, for 10 years:
A whopping sum of PKR 4,527,620/- collected in 10 years. Imagine if you were to save this for your retirement, so in the next 40 years, the sum saved would be:
Even if you do cut your expenses by half, instead of completely cutting out these expenses, you would still have a decent sum by the end of your career, to keep aside and live from during your retirement years!
Stop Instagramming Everything
Social media has become increasingly popular and with it, has brought about a constant sense of underachievement. With each picture, status update, and post, it feels like we are not doing enough, or have not achieved enough, or have not gained enough, to be popular or known. And all this while, our peers have moved far ahead in terms of material gains and popularity. Avoid benchmarking yourself against your peers by going through their social media updates. It puts pressure to conform, by doing more outrageous activities and spending more, when it can be unnecessary.
Figure Out Your Debt and Budget
While we did see the amount of savings we can gather if we cut down on little costs, the real deal is budgeting and staying out of debt. Credit Cards and Loans can eat away at your salary quicker than you can say the word, budget. It is key to build a budget and decide early on, on where you would spend your money and on which expenses. If you have debt, you may want to plan on paying that loan quickly to reduce the overhead burden on you. Remember, the more you delay debt payments, the worse it gets, your credit history is marred, interest rate charges and late surcharges are levied, and you continue to get bogged down by these payments.
Being cool of course comes with a price. But making lifestyle choices that help you survive are obviously more important than keeping up with friends who make you spend like there’s no tomorrow! This doesn’t mean you turn into scrooge but keeping a little tab on these costs can help in making money-minded choices.