We all go through this phase at least once in our lives, when we move to another unknown, unexplored city and have been nervous about how to deal with the sudden financial independence. The first month is important because you don’t get paid until you complete those 30 days.
Sometimes investing on unnecessary necessities puts heavy pressure on our pockets at the end of that first month. You don’t have to be a finance expert to know how to handle the first month’s expenses. We all know our needs don’t really have an end and we want all that pleases our eyes. There is no harm in enjoying the diversity the city has to offer you, but do it prudently.
Among all the things you prioritize in your life, money should be the first on your list of priorities. Fish out your smart phone from your bag and make a list of things that need your monetary attention first. Put those that are least important in the bottom of the list or scratch it off if you can. It pays to be careful with money during the first month; when you find out that you have a sizeable bank balance in the last week of the month, you will give yourself a pat on the back!
SHARE YOUR FLAT
If you have rented an apartment alone, then of course you might have to dig in to your savings a little bit. But if you are looking at keeping the savings for a rainy day, share your flat with a roommate. It always helps to have someone you know a little to share your flat with. If not, meet up, try getting to know each other and settle in. Make a list of stuff that’s common, like groceries, shared furniture and anything else that will be used by both of you. Don’t go overboard with your love for wood. Get the basics — your cot, mattress, side tables and wardrobe are of course necessary. If your parents or anyone in the family have extra furniture to spar, nothing like it! You only have to bear the transportation cost. Do not invest in that comfy couch or big screen LCD as yet. Give it a couple of months to dress up your living room. Your designer lamps and expensive paintings can wait. Your kitchen definitely needs a refrigerator to stock up supplies and leftovers, so invest in a good refrigerator, or if you know someone who rents them out, sit down and do the math; see which is gentler on your wallet, buying or renting.
All those experimentation you did in your mama’s kitchen will come in handy now. Not much of a cook? Then learn to make the basics at least. The natural instinct when you are single and new to the city is to order in or go out and eat. Eating out every day is not an option if you are looking to save money and the homemade food is better for your waistline as well. If you are the kind who doesn’t know how to ignite a stove, then hire a cook, it will still work out cheaper than all your eating out put together.
Right from the beginning, decide that you are only going to go out partying once a week. Peer pressure weighing you down? This is where some sense of self control will help. If you allow yourself to explore all the watering holes in town in the first few weeks, you will end up penny pinching towards the end of the month. Also, there is so much joy in taking the first sip of your drink on a Friday night after a hard week’s work.
There are some areas where you can cut corners when it comes to money. After settling in your home, take a walk around your locality and see what it has to offer –good parlors that doesn’t charge you a bomb for your hair removal retreats, grocery shops that might definitely workout cheaper than your gourmet stores, laundry guys who might deliver freshly pressed clothes to your door step – you never know what you can find during a simple stroll.
FLUSH THE CREDIT CARDS
Remember not to invest in a credit card which your bank lures you with. We are ok to wait for 3 weeks to make a trip to our favorite fashion outlet. Remember Confessions of a Shopaholic? We don’t want debt collectors stalking us all around the new city. If you know you can handle you expenses and control your retail therapy temptations, get that card and lock it up. Use it when absolutely necessary.
SAVE TO EXPLORE
Relax girls! You could still go out and have fun. Also, we have ladies nights exclusively for us. Plan well, work hard and party harder.