4 Ways to Make Your Financial Dreams a Reality.
Live Under Your Wage
This one is easy for me, because I just left college. However, when you get the fancy big kid job, it's easy to go out and get a fancy new car, buy fancy expensive food, or whatever it is that is your vice. However, if you have student loans to pay off, want to buy a new house, or meet some other financial goal, you have to have leftover money to do this. Don't get me wrong, Eric and I combined make about twice the national average income, and that certainly helps us achieve our financial goals consistently, however, we don't buy brand name foods, we don't shop at expensive clothing stores and we don't go out every single weekend. So cut where you can cut, so that you can save for whatever goal you want to achieve.
Make Some Things Yourself
Now this tip can be different for different people. I know some frugalista bloggers out there make all of their food themselves, but buy a lot of household products, and I know some bloggers that do the opposite. The only blanket recommendation is to make your own laundry soap, since it takes about an hour's worth of time and then you have cheap laundry soap that last you at least six months. For other things, think about things that you use a lot but that you don't go through that quickly. I say this, because you want to make this easy on yourself. Eric and I always balance how much we're saving with how difficult it is to make it. Right now we make our own Laundry Soap, Shampoo, Face Scrub, Lip Scrub, and Fabric Softener, because those things are the least cumbersome for us to refill. We also eat in most nights and rarely have frozen or prepped meals.
Go In With A Plan
Budget every month. Otherwise, you will wonder where your money has gone. Anytime you make a plan you prevent yourself from overindulging and from depriving yourself too much. A budget lets you spend that much in each category so you don't over save and sets a limit so you don't overspend. Plan as much as you need for the month, including, but not limited to making a budget, a meal plan, and a schedule for other things like cleaning and date nights, etc. Going in with a plan helps make your financial goals more attainable.
Allow Some Room For Error
In your budget allow some "blow" money. Just to spend on whatever. There will be something that you want that you didn't budget for, so add a smidge of wiggle room. If you meal plan, plan some nights you will go out or use leftovers.
Don't compare your beginning to someone else's end. Start with a budget each month, and then start making some of your own things, etc. Trying to do everything at once will make feel like it's all too much. You may not buy groceries for a month in one go and pay off your student loans tomorrow but you'll get there. One step at a time.