Since I’ve been living in Maine for 5 months now it’s time to start saving money again. I was spending money like crazy the month before I moved and the few months after I moved to Maine. Between getting my car checked out before I left Chicago to all the expenses that came once I got here like the Airbnb I stayed at for 3 weeks, all the upfront expenses of signing a new lease on an apartment, a new bed, and a myriad of other things I had spent quite a bit of money.
Then of course there were all the things I wanted to do once I settled in like checking out new restaurants, going to concerts, and meeting up with new people at social events—all of which costs money.
Now that the initial thrill has worn off, it’s time to go back to my practical and frugal ways. Part of living in a new city is balancing wanting to do things while still trying to save money which can be difficult.
Here are a few ways that I’m cutting costs so I still go out and do things, but also save money, too:
- Walking as much as possible. Since I work 1.3 miles from where I live it’s very easy for me to walk to work. Also driving to work only saves me about 8-10 minutes and wastes gas money anyway. So whenever possible I save the gas and walk.
- Borrowing books instead of buying them. I love books, and I miss buying books by the bagful, but borrowing books from the library is way more cost-effective. It also saves me from being stuck with a book that is just ‘okay.’
- Not getting my hair done as often. There are some women who get their hair done every 6 weeks like clockwork. Luckily for my wallet I’ve never been like that. Typically I would get my hair cut and colored every 4-5 months! Now though I opt for only doing one of those things every 4-5 months which saves me at least $100 every visit.
- Only buying good quality clothes that I need. This came about with my Minimalism effort earlier this year. My closet is super small and I tend to move a lot so I only invest in a few, quality items that are going to last me a while. Lately most of my things have been coming from L.L. Bean. With their lifetime satisfaction guarantee, and the fact that their headquarters is only 20 minutes away this is a no-brainer for me.
- Limiting my going-out-to-eat money. Portland, ME is very much a foodie town so it’s very easy to get caught up in wanting to try all the delicious restaurants I hear about. However to be wallet-conscious I only allow myself to go out to eat once a week. This also builds up the anticipation. I find that I tend to enjoy the experience more if I’ve been looking forward to it for a week or two.
- Limiting my overall spending money. I have an ever-growing Maine to-do list. Some of these only cost me gas money, but some of them cost much more than that. So I’ve budgeted $100 every month for fun things.
Living on a budget in your new city IS possible. You can still enjoy all the things your city has to offer, AND save money, too. You just have to be practical, set a budget for yourself, and stick to it.
Is it hard for you to stick to a budget when you move to a new city? How do you balance spending and saving money?