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How I Saved for My First House

In my early 20’s, I made a bucket list, and one of my goals was to own a home by my 25th birthday. Never mind that I had no savings, earned a meager salary after college, and no one else was going to help me accumulate that money (i.e. no husband on the horizon)!

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much leeway in ye olde budget. I really didn’t have a budget at all! Most of what came in flowed right back out on all of the typical trappings for a young single woman with a busy life… going out with friends, hair appointments, lunches out, the occasional mani/pedi, road trips, etc. Obviously, I had to adjust my spending to reach my goal.

This is how I did it:

  • I dyed my hair back to my original color and stopped coloring it altogether. I simply couldn’t justify pricey salon visits since I wanted a house more than highlights. Every time I looked in the mirror, I was reminded that I was working toward a dream! Savings: an average of $75/month
  • Rather than pay a professional, I splurged and purchased all of the quality tools and polishes to do my nails at home. For the price of a mani/pedi, I could now do the job myself, and my nails looked as good and lasted as long as if I’d paid someone. Lesson: sometimes it pays off to spend more money upfront on quality items when it saves in the long run. Savings: $40/month
  • My social life was the toughest area to cut back on since my friends constantly dined out, and I didn’t want to miss the fun! Here is where I got sneaky. If I knew I was meeting someone after work, I’d pack a pre-dinner, and I’d keep tons of snacks in my car. I’d eat before I went into the restaurant, but I wouldn’t tell anyone. Then, I’d order an inexpensive appetizer or dessert and a glass of water. No one noticed, but I’d spend $5 or $10 when everyone else paid at least twice that. Most of the time, what I really wanted was the company anyway, and by doing this I saved an average of $100+ a month.
  • I still took road trips, but I camped instead of staying in hotels. Savings: hundreds!!

These few steps made all the difference in my bank accounts, and I moved into my lovely little cottage one week after my 25th birthday. My plan worked!

Think about ways to continue doing the things you want, but with a frugal twist!


Amber C. Says: 100 Calorie Snacks by Sally Sampson
Amazon Says: "HAROLD IMPORT" 100 - CALORIE SNACK COOKBOOK Here are more than 200 satisfying and wholesome alternatives to those overpriced 100-calorie packages of cookies or chips. For e more...
Amazon Says: "HAROLD IMPORT" 100 - CALORIE SNACK COOKBOOK Here are more than 200 satisfying and wholesome alternatives to those overpriced 100-calorie packages of cookies or chips. For example, did you know that for 100 calories, you could have your choice of three plums, five apricots, twelve spicy almonds, three graham crackers, or two cups of arugula? You can satisfy your craving for salty, creamy, cheesy, or crunchy with quick and easy recipes including: Turkey Sliders Pasta Chips Chocolate Matchsticks Salted Caramels Cappuccino Granita Pineapple Fro-Yo. * More than 200 recipes for snacks that are nutritious, delicious, and guilt-free!No matter what the diet plan. * Consuming fewer calories is the key to losing weightndash;which is why prepackaged 100-calorie snack foods are proliferating in stores. * This unique cookbook offers dieters hundreds of homemade 100-calorie snacks that are tastier, healthier, and more satisfying than store-bought. * PB, 256 pages, by sally Sampson. * Illustrated with color photographs throughout, the book presents options for every craving and every diet. * Including lots of choices that require only minimal prep time. * These snacks are the perfect between-meal treatsndash; and can even be combined to make a complete meal. * She was a senior writer for Cook??s Illustrated and has contributed to such publications as Bon Appeacute;tit, Food & Wine, Self, the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, and Fine Cooking. * Slay the snack monster with the 100-Calorie snack cookbook. less...
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Amber C. Says: The New Frugality by Chris FarrellAmazon
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