It is now 6 months after you’ve graduated and your student loan payments are about to kick in. You’ve been dreading it for months and the repayments loom in your future. You know that you have to cut expenses but aren’t sure how to finesse it so that you’re not forever apologizing to your friends for not having enough money as you try to: pay off your loans, save money, or just stay afloat financially.
Here are a few suggestions on how to live frugally without it being a pain to you and everyone else.
- Free is your friend! Take the time to scout out awesome free events that occur in your city. Check out publications such as: Westword, your city’s library website, and the local newspaper. Examples of these events in my hometown of Denver include: Cruiser Ride every Wednesday, 1st Friday Art Walk, and Free Days at the Museum.
- Pre-Game at Home-If you plan on drinking (obviously use public transportation/cab/Uber/or Lyft don’t be an idiot) make drinks at home. This will cut down on your costs once you arrive at your destination. Drinks have gotten expensive!
- Happy Hour-I love happy hour. There is nothing like having delicious plates of food and drinks for ½ the price. Most people really enjoy going to happy hour so you won’t get many complaints when you suggest going to one.
- Don’t be a whiner-People paying off debt ROCK. If you whine about how much debt you have to be honest it won’t endear you to others. We’re in the adult world now. Be proud of what you’re doing and get it done.
- Be In Charge-Try to be in charge of the outings that you go on. Your friends will make suggestions on outings that they would like to go on. If you’re financially unable to swing it make sure you have fun things to suggest that don’t hurt your wallet.
- Dump-Any friends who road block your progress or just shift them to acquaintance level. Anyone who throws shade on you for doing what is right for you is a problem.
Being frugal in a world that encourages constant mindless consumption is challenging. No one wants to be the odd man out and as you embark on living frugally, repaying debt, or just focusing on savings and investing keep your eye on the prize and be true to yourself. Embrace it not as a time in your life that you have to suffer through, but a moment in time to meet a challenge that you’ve set for yourself. Imagine how it will feel to: have a fully funded emergency fund, to pay off your student loans, to save enough money to travel around the world for a year. Wouldn’t the sacrifice be worth it? If you live to be 87 and for 2 or 3 years of that lifetime you did all you could so that you could live a dream, create financial stability, or stabilize your finances wouldn’t it be worth? Frugal living isn’t that big a deal as long as you approach it with the right frame of mind.