Newly Corporate

Work, life and the pursuit of happiness for the young professional.

5 Simple Ways to Save Money as a Young Professional

This post comes to us from Newly Corporate reader Mariana who wanted to share a few money saving tips with new college graduates starting their careers.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve finally obtained your college degree, landed your dream job (or a job), and you’re officially part of the real world. Your high school teachers may have told you college was the real world, but now you’ve realized that is definitely not the case. As a young professional, you have much more to do than you did in high school or college. You have to worry about balancing your budget and creating an ample savings account. After all, your parents won’t always be there to save you on a rainy day. Creating good saving habits now will be immensely beneficial for your future.  Here are some simple ways to save money on a daily basis.

Take Your Lunch to Work
This may seem like a daunting task. However, you will be surprised how much money you save by taking your lunch to work instead of eating out every day. Although it can be fun to go out with your co-workers for lunch, the weekly tab can be stressful on your wallet. For example, let’s say you eat a pretty modest lunch even at a chain like Chili’s. You will probably spend at least $10-$12 per meal. If you work 5 days a week, that adds up to $50-60! Instead, you could probably spend $15-$20 on a week’s supply of groceries. If you make yourself a sandwich every day, you will be saving close to $120 a month! Plus, you’ll be saving your waistline from extraneous calories. That extra $120 could be useful if your car needs repair on a random day!

Investing 101: Diversify your Polio
So, here is a way to increase your available cash flow: Investing a part of your salary. Of course, you need to decide how much you’d like to invest. Also, if you have any of those really successful friends in investment banking, now may be the time to invite them over for dinner or drinks. Here is a link that can help you get started, with basic tips on investing.

Be a Sensible Socialite
It can be really exciting to be a salaried employee. You always have a cash flow. Plus, every time you get a paycheck, you feel like you are being rewarded for your hard work! However, with great power comes great responsibility. It can be easy to spend your money on extravagant nights out on the town. It is important to spend your money wisely, and in moderation. Rather than spending $100 at a bar, invite your friends over to have drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Make it a potluck, where every person brings some sort of alcohol or appetizer. Even if you want to go out afterwards, you probably won’t spend even half the same amount as you would have without the pre-party! Plus, the pre-party will be fun, personal, and cheaper!

Get Rid of Your Credit Cards
Even rappers who make $50 million a year have become destitute after putting too many expenses on their credit cards. There’s no class in overspending. If you think you are likely to spend more than the available supply in your account, leave your credit cards at home! Or better yet, don’t have one. You may need one for emergencies, but if it is not necessary, just stick to using your debit card!

Think Before You Buy
So, practicing restraint may not be one of your strong suits. It is definitely not one of mine. However, exercising your critical thinking skills before making a purchase can help you save a lot of money. Every time you are considering a big purchase, write out a pros and cons list. How badly do you need the item? How often will you use it? Take a look at every store/outlet offering the item to find the best price. The more time you spend thinking about it, the less likely you are to buy unnecessary items!

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to [email protected]

 

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12 Comments

  1. I’m not sure if getting rid of credit cards is really necessary. One just has to be responsible with them and they will be just fine. Some have some decent reward options like cash back bonuses. I personally use one with hotel points so I can pay for my future honeymoon without digging too deeply into my savings.

    Good article and I will be coming to this site more often!

  2. Pretty good, straightforward tips! A lot of people tend to go crazy with spending once they start having a steady income, and it always helps to have tips that can help people save and spend wisely.

  3. I love reading all your articles, keep up the good work….well done.
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  4. The most common mistake that any salaried person makes is to map out a plan on how they are going to spend their salary even before receiving it. This is why I agree with you when you say that it would be safer to stick to using your debit cards. This way, you can have more control over your spending. Every shopping trip for me is still a constant battle of not exceeding my budget. This way, I´d have more savings.

  5. These are really helpful tips for your professionals who are starting out with their careers. In the case of credit cards, it is somehow practical to have them handy especially in case of emergency but using credit cards must be done with care and discipline.

  6. A good character can gives our lives a lasting satisfaction then contentment can save us a lot of money and can bring us to a healthy life style of living. Know God, He knows what we need in this life.

  7. I think the only recommendation I would amend here would be the one to toss one’s credit cards. As a young professional, you should also be building your credit profile because in the future, you will be looking to buy a home, a car, start a business, etc. This is the time to practice responsibility, as opposed to going cold turkey.

    Keep the credit cards, but keep the balance at 30% or below. A good friend of mine who is in the mortgage banking business gave me this tip. He says that 30% is the optimal balance percentage and that a balance over that lowers one’s credit score. Another tip he gave me is that when lenders look at one’s creditworthiness for a home loan, they want a track record of three trades to include in the decision matrix. So three credit cards with balances lower than 30% is far better than no credit at all.

  8. Great list! In particular I like the “take your lunch to work”. When I first started my new career I spent a lot of money going out for lunch. I have learned to bring my lunch to work and it has saved me a lot of money!

  9. Great post, very useful for young professionals! (although getting rid of credit cards sounds kinda scary)
    Thanks for this great article! :)

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