Monday, April 4, 2011

How to Be Poor

Oh, dear.

At the end of this month, I'm leaving the company I've worked for since December of 2003 to go back to school.

I'll be working part-time and focusing on school, which means I am going to be POOR.

Really poor.

Haven't-had-so-little-money-since-I-was-a-freshman kind of poor.

I think I'm going to be bad at it.

Considering the upcoming belt-tightening, I am going to incorporate the following changes starting now:
  1. Way less money for eating out = more cooking at home (maybe a revival of the Thursday Night Supper Club?)
  2. Fewer new clothes... (and more learning how to sew so I can attempt to tailor my own clothes) (oh, scary. I can barely sew a straight line.)
  3. No more buying jewelry (at least not at my current rate...)
  4. Checking books out at the liiiiiibrary, or camping out at Borders and B&N to read new books (raise your hand if you've camped out and read an entire book at the store. No shame.)
  5. Packing lunch every day to eat between work/school.
So, those are the big things that will have to change in my budget.

I would be lying if I said I knew what I was going to do. But I'm happier than I've been in a long time, despite the uncertainty.

Any tips on how to be poor? I know almost everyone has been there at one point or another. What is your biggest money-saving tip?


The Many Colours of Happiness said...

I don't have any tips per se..just that it gets easier as time goes on :) Also cutting back on food out/buying lunches/going for coffee saves so much money!

Denise said...

No eating out.
No clothing or accessory purchases unless necessary (a want is not a need)
Pack a lunch
No sweets
When offered leftovers, accept them with a smile
No movies or other entertainment unless part of FHE - check out movies and books from the library
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"
It may not sound fun, but it is important. You can spend money once you graduate. You will be so accustomed to scrimping that you will feel rich when you get a job.
Have a positive attitude about going without. I think there is a book by a woman who lived as sparingly as possible. I heard it was very interesting to read.
No fair mooching off friends.
Good luck!

Erin said...

Follow a budget religiously.

(And allow yourself to cry a little when you "don't have the money" in your budget to purchase stuff you want. But then feel good because you are actually saving money.)

We have been on a budget since our second year of marriage (been married 13 1/2 years), and I couldn't live without it.

Diane said...

Pay cash for every thing you buy. And start with big bills. It is much harder to break a hundred for a candy bar than to whip out a one.
Pay your tithing and other obligations first.
Don't be afraid to say,"I'm sorry, I can't afford it/to do that."
A want is not a need, even if you can justify it as such.

Jessica said...

When I first moved down to Orem I didn't have a job for a while (I seem to remember it being 2-3 months) and I had to live off my savings. I didn't buy any new clothes, books, or actually anything other than food and necessities (deodorant, etc.) When I did buy food or necessities I would buy what was on sale and only buy what was on my shopping list.
Now that I have a job (and have for a few years) I pay the following in this order:
10-15% to savings
Insurance/car payment
Phone, Rent, Other bills
Groceries, necessities, etc
1-5% to vacation fund

To keep myself from going crazy, I allow myself one fun thing from every paycheck (usually something between $2-10 dollars.) Just like on a diet, you have to have a day you can eat special things or it becomes too depressing.