One thing no one tells you about “following your dreams,” is that you’re going to be broke while doing it.
Carli and I graduated from Cal State Long Beach this past May, and decided to move to LA and pursue our dream of becoming TV show hosts (together of course). So we quit our (steady, great) job at Jet Source and moved to LaLa Land. We were lucky enough to land part-time jobs as production assistants at Clevver TV. It’s been a GREAT experience thus far, that will definitely help us in our career endeavors, but part-time work doesn’t really pay the bills. So we have had to come up with ways to save money in our post grad lives. Here are some of the EASY ways to save money, and they allow you to still enjoy your life.
1) NO CABLE, JUST INTERNET
This may seem like a huge adjustment, but trust me, it’s not. Carli and I watch an unhealthy amount of TV, and we can still watch our favorite shows, just a day later. We subscribe to Netflix & Hulu Plus (both $7.99/month), and have Google Chromecast to stream our shows right to our TV. It costs only $35 from Best Buy, and it’s just a one-time fee. All of our favorite shows are posted to Hulu the day after they air on TV. We’ll gladly wait a day to watch something, if it means saving a substantial amount of money. We were paying about $160/month for cable and internet. Now, we pay about $50 (plus $16 for Netflix & Hulu) a month. That’s almost $100 savings!
2) HAPPY HOUR IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
We, like most 20-something’s, love to go out for food and drinks. Well, with our income we can afford to do that, like, maybe once a month. After only a week of living in LA we have come to realize that they have some amazing happy hour deals! Our current favorite is Mexicali in Studio City. They have AMAZING nachos and queso dip, for only $4.95 each. A
I recently downloaded the Happy Hours App, and oh was it one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s so great you guys! It finds your current locations and lists all the happy hours around you, that are currently going on! You don’t even have to click on anything. You just open the app and the magical list of deals appears. Download it NOW.
3) REWARDS CARDS
I know it’s annoying, and sometimes a hassle, to sign up for “rewards” at different stores. But most of the time it’s so worth it! Especially at the grocery store. Sometimes the “regular” price of an item is almost double what it would be if you used your rewards card. Some of the rewards cards I have are: American Eagle, Albertsons, Vons, Ralphs, Best Buy, BevMo, Big Lots, Delta SkyMiles, Panera Bread, Rite-Aid, Ulta Beauty, United Milage Plus, Walgreens Balance Rewards, and so much more! I promise that you will save a good amount of money if you use your rewards/club card at the grocery store or drugstore. A lot of times stores will have special deals or sales JUST for members. And you wouldn’t want to miss out on a good sale, would you?! I use my Ulta Beauty card often, and I always rack up coupon’s for $3.00 off my next purchase (which is great when you buy nice makeup). Just the other day I used a reward I had at Panera for $1.00 off a sandwich. These little savings here and there really add up! & ALL of these programs are FREE to sign up for, so why not!
I recently discovered the Key Ring App, and it’s a wallet lifesaver! I hate having a wallet bulging with cards that I don’t use on a daily basis. This app stores all of your rewards card numbers in one place! The cashier just scans the barcode on your phone. How easy is that?! The app also shows you current flyers and deals in your area.
Groupon is always offering deals on activities (and for restaurants). Most of their prices are 50% off (or more) of the retail value, which saves you a lot of money in the long run! We just moved to LA, so it’s been a great tool for us to try new things, without spending an arm and a leg. Also, with every friend you refer (that signs up), you get $10 towards your next Groupon purchase. So it’s a win, win for everyone!
So if you NEED coffee in your life (like us), listen up. A BIG way to save money when you just have to have Starbucks, is ordering an ICED COFFEE instead of a Latte/Frappuccino/Mocha. A Grande Iced Coffee will run you $2.45, which is HALF of what most Grande Latte drinks cost. Also, probably half of the calories as well. You can order your iced coffee with sugar-free syrup, or Splenda to cut down your sugar intake for the day. You can also order it unsweetened and add your own sweetener, cream, milk, spices, etc.
Also, I would recommend downloading the Starbucks App. For years I was drinking Lattes twice a week at school, without reaping any benefits. This past year I downloaded the app it’s been a lifesaver. You only need to buy 30 Starbucks drinks a year to be on the Gold Level. With this comes exclusive offers and coupons. For every 12 purchases, you get one free, and on your birthday you get a drink/pastry of your choice on the house.
SIDE NOTE: drinking coffee at home is the BEST way to save money. Carli and I use our Keurig every weekday morning, and treat ourselves to some Sbux on the weekends (or special occasions of course).
Upon moving to LA we’ve found that the best way to get around is Uber-ing (is that a word?). You can choose the type of vehicle you want (starting at UberX, and going up to an SUV), and you can even get a price quote before you decide. The payment is all done through the app (you set it up when you create your account). Here are the steps: 1) Request the Uber 2) Wait for your ride (usually less than 5 minutes) 3) Ride safely to your destination & 4) Oh yeah, that’s it! You don’t have to pay the driver, because the app does it for you! You’ll get an email stating the amount your card has been charged for your ride. We have found that Uber is insanely cheaper than a taxi, and much more comfortable!
Featured image via Instagram