As you may know or may not, I have started a new job and I love it. I am on the other side of the country and it’s pretty cool. Anyhow, now that I am done with school I really need to be thinking about saving!! Now I should’ve been doing this while in college, but sometimes we need to figure out the hard way. I can say that I am in a very good place to save money and pay off those dreadful loans.
One thing I have learned that may of you should try is buying groceries weekly. I have tried budgeting about $75 toward groceries. This is a good buffer for me to budget monthly. $75 will take care of all my meals, hopefully. I recently looked at my transactions and most of my money goes to savings, bills, and clothes (Oops). When I calculated the amount of money toward food and restaurants I actually was doing well. I still think I need to cut out the amount of times I eat out, but I definitely surprised myself.
Now back to the weekly grocery shopping. Ok, so this only goes toward produce and perishable items like milk, cheese, salad, etc. I think the bulky items such as cereal, canned goods can be purchased monthly and will last you a while. Here’s why I suggest this: on Sunday I went to go make potatoes. I opened the bag of potatoes I had purchased earlier in the month and they were rotten! I was soo upset. It was about 10 potatoes now the drain. So I went to the discount grocery store and picked a couple of potatoes (enough for 2 meals) and paid .42 for it. I believe the deal was 3 lbs for 99ct. Amazing huh? I make these awesome potatoes (recipe below) and it cost approximately $3 and it lasted me 2 meals. So its about roughly $3 a day for food.. Not bad huh? I think weekly grocery shopping is also a good way to plan your meals ahead of time. You’re not just using food that may have gone bad. Another suggestion is if you like salad, buy your ingredients separate. The packaged salad tends to spoil very quickly and is pretty expensive for 2 servings.
There was one post about finances that I kind of want to revisit. I mentioned getting my savings together, but I forgot all about my loans.. This is one of my goals to focus on in the next couple of years is paying off these debts. I am sooooo terrified of my private loan, but I know it must be done. I think if I attack little by little, I will be ok. I do plan on maintaining my savings, but I need to tackle these loans before my deferment period ends.
BTW: Military Service Members: Please look into applying for the Service member Civil Relief Act. This act applies to most private loans and credit cards. With this act, it is the law to reduce your interest to 6% or less on these different loans and cards. While active duty, you can defer your loans up until you get off active duty. Isn’t that amazing? Yes! All I did was call the various banks and sent in my orders to the appropriate agencies. It took about a week to process all of them, but my interest rates are now lower than ever. I even have one loan that has NO interest rate.
Please check out this link for more info: http://www.military.com/benefits/military-legal-matters/scra/servicemembers-civil-relief-act-overview.html Please share with your fellow comrades.
TIPS for SENIORS and Recent Graduates! SAVE your money! Even if you are getting a job right after school, you will need to pay your rent (upfront), any utility expenses, vehicle maintenance and any basic living costs (toilet paper, food, water). I would suggest throwing some sort of graduate party and inviting EVERYONE! One reason because it is always best to celebrate your successes with people who love you, but also to hopefully get some card aka money. Lol. I know I was super thankful to those who helped me out! I still am receiving some funds and it’s helping in every way possible.
Off Topic: Potatoes Recipe
- Small lightly peeked potatoes
- Olive oil
- Fresh sage
- Fresh rosemary
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut the potatoes into small squares
- Spread rosemary throughout glass pan
- Sprinkle black pepper throughout the pan (not too much)
- Spread sage throughout pan
- Drizzle olive oil on top of potatoes
- Take potatoes out when they are soft
- Enjoy! Sorry I have no measurements. I keep practicing till I get it right!
A good motto to follow: How do you miss something you never had? Just because you’re out of college, doesn’t mean it’s time to keep up with the Joneses. Do your own thing for a few years then be freed from debt and live life financially smarter.
Have any tips for practicing good financial habits? Any food recipes?