Living in Washington, DC may be a lot of fun, but it’s also really expensive. I’m grateful to have a fantastic full time job, but unfortunately I don’t make the big bucks like those working for the federal government. With the cost of living being as high as it is here, I far too often live month to month…. so what’s a single gal to do?
While living month to month is never comfortable, the reality is, I do have expendable income and just need to do a better job of saving. So here are some of my ideas…
Idea #1- Create a Budget
Though this may seem like an obvious step, creating a budget should always be step 1. You first need to have an understanding of the money you have coming in, where it has been going, and where you want it to go. Websites like MINT can help you by analyzing your account and by providing tools to make budgeting easier.
Here are a few of my weaknesses:
- Target– This month I have spent $105 but spent $183 in May.
- Groceries– This month I have spent $241 (including Costco).
- Groupon/Living Social– This month I have spent $110
Idea #2 – Part Time Job
- Work at my gym: The benefits of working at a gym include the long business hours, as I’d be able to go into work early or work late at night. I would also be able to workout before or after my shift .
- Work at Starbucks: Again, long business hours and HELLO… Coffee!
- Favorite retail stores: Now although I’d LOVE a job in retail, it’s probably a really bad idea. I’d end up spending too much on clothes.
As graduate student and full time employee, getting a part time job at this point in my life is almost not an option. Though I’d love to make a little extra money each month to add to my savings, I feel that my free time is more valuable than the extra cash a part time job would bring in.
Idea #3 – Babysitting
I am grateful to be able to babysit for some amazing families here in DC. The downside is that I never know when they will need me. Babysitting is a great way to make a little extra money and to help families with little children. Married couples need date nights too, so I feel like I’m helping a great cause!
Idea # 4- Sell Things Online
- Half.com: Great place to sell new/used books, vhs tapes, dvds, and games.
- ebay.com: I find it a bit more challenging as you may have to ship larger items, but it’s still a great site.
- craigslist.com: Awesome site, just make sure you have a friend with you if you meet up to sell an item.
Though this doesn’t bring in a constant flow of money, it is a great way to make $10-$100 depending on the month and what you’re willing to part with.
Do you have any tips for saving money? Do you have any spending weaknesses?