I’ve always gauged life through money tinted glasses. As a thirty-something hmmthing, I can safely say it was my twenties that taught me how to claw through the thorny bushes of my financial forest (metaphorically).
Your twenties are not for the faint hearted.
It’s where you go to mess up, so that your thirties are smooth sailing ⛴ 🌊
With a double espresso in one hand and resume in the other, I came prepared to fail and that I did. But now, I want to bring to you what I know today.
So here’s my quick-fire round of my top money tips 🙃👇
Yes I packed, shifted and thrifted my way to the top… am I ashamed? Little bit yeh, BUT look at me now world (a borderline hoarder) 🌎
It helped a lot because I used to live in something known as a Guardian property. These were commercial properties that are rented out to those desperate to live in expensive cities cough London second cough at a more affordable price. Although you may not see them in the US much, a great alternative to this is Trusted House Sitters, where not only can you pet sit in people’s houses for (virtually) free, but you also get the luxury to travel wherever in the world.
Back to being thrifty, having this rough ChAoTiC lifestyle helped me to save on what did matter. Often, everything is unfurnished in guardian properties, which meant I had to get creative and rid the shame of saying ‘yes’ to people offering me free shizzle.
So what sort of things did I get?
Off the street (for absolutely nothing):
👏 A vintage hotel writing desk
👏 Vintage chest of drawers
👏 2 clothes racks
👏 2 bed side tables (which I sold for $30 on Facebook marketplace)
Off a friend or stranger (same thing no?):
👭 Free Two two-seater sofas (from a brain injury clinic they used to live in)
👭 Free SAD lamp
👭 Free Thai bed
👭 Free electric guitar (which I sold for $30)
👭 $5 desk chair I am sitting on to this day
At an auction house:
🏬 $5 fridge freezer
🏬 $5 1950’s table
🏬 $5 Wicker chair
🏬 $3 wicker basket
🏬 $60 room divider (I found it being sold for $300 elsewhere)
My go-to I use now for finding bargains in my local area is Facebook Marketplace. You can set up alerts for anything (weirdly I haven’t removed the one I made for ‘rug’, I don’t even need a rug, but now I see whose selling their rugs and it just makes my day having local rug-updates).
Stash your cash at every opportunity 🛌
Back in my day, you would have something known as quarters and dollar bills you’d use to exchange for things. Now it’s all pretty much on plastic 💳
While that may help the weight of your wallet, it can be easy to loose track of how much you’re spending.
Little tip I use: As soon as payday hits, put it away. Have a separate pot (and label it for a visual goal) or another bank account you use to hide your money in before you’re tempted to spend it. If you decide to put it into another bank account, leave that card behind so you’re not tempted to use it.
Speaking of, have you tried out this app called Cleo that can do this very thing for you? 👀
Which reminds me…
Never borrow what you can’t pay back
A simple but important tip. Again, not to blow the Cleo trumpet here 🎺 but having insight into what you’re spending, what you can afford and what you need to pay back really can help you learn to be money smart.
Cleo has a budget, a cash advance and is an overall bestie there to support you (and I’m not just saying that because I work for her 💅)
If you can, avoid going in the red, but if you’re in it, then there are ways to swim back out.
See what to do when in your overdraft for help.
And by all means, if you have to borrow then look at the options where interest isn’t through the roof and don’t ever rely on an overdraft with fees that can literally cost more money then what you’re actually using it for 💀
Price check EVERYTHING
Everyday’s a sales day. I never buy anything at full price anymore. That’s because I used to work in the shopping world writing promotions for merchant’s sales. We’d always see the prices shoot up right before a sale and even dip up to 4 times throughout the year. Sometimes, Black Friday would have worse deals on than it did weeks before it was even in a sale.
Good chance is if there’s something you like, at some point, it’ll be on sale.
You can monitor the price of an Amazon product with this online price tracker Camelcamelcamel which can send you alerts when the price drops. I use it all the time 🙌
You deserve to splurge (just not everyday)
Sometimes those ‘Fuck it’ moments are what life is about. I write this as I stare at my ZZ plant I didn’t need, while sipping on a coffee I could’ve made at home, but you deserve to reward the you that doesn’t always get to see kindness, especially in this difficult world we live in.
Just because money’s tight doesn’t mean you can’t have that small gesture to keep you going. Be kind to yourself and you’ll be in a better place to look after your funds.
One last thing? Being in your thirties is great. If she’s round the corner, tell her I say hi 🥂