How my Husband and I saved $20,000 in our first 3 months of Marriage! (and how you can too)
HOW MY HUSBAND AND I SAVED $20,000 IN OUR FIRST 3 MONTHS OF MARRIAGE (AND HOW YOU CAN, TOO)
As both a newlywed and full-time college student I’ve definitely taken my turn of eating ramen for dinner, rolling to a stop cause I’m out of gas, and sitting through focus groups to make a few bucks. Living life is not easy, especially at the beginning when the whole #adulting thing is kinda new. My husband and I just got married in May, and we were broke. Its now three months later and I decided to write this article because I just opened up my bank account to a glorious $20,000 in our savings.
I’m not one of those #blessed people who has a side gig that brings in tons of dough. My husband and I both work, but just at your typical hourly-pay college type job. That’s our only income. We manage bills for rent, car payments, insurance, tuition, groceries, gas, utilities, medical, and all that jazz just like your other average joe. But we also figured out some pretty great ways to make and save money that I want to share with you!
I preface with all of this because I really want you to know that it’s possible for all of you. It will take dedication and planning but its very very possible. Ok let’s get into it!
BUYING AND SELLING
I’m telling ya’ll, this is a golden way to make extra cash. It’s a bit time consuming but once you get the hang of it, this makes for such an easy side hustle that will actually bring in a lot of money. It’s as simple as finding a good deal, purchasing it, and then selling it for more than you bought it for. In May, my husband and I found a great deal on a couch and loveseat for just $75 in perfect condition. A couple of weeks ago, we sold this couch for $400! With that one item, we made $325! We also recently made $125 on a mattress, $1800 on a school bus, $30 on a desk, and countless other deals.
I would recommend larger purchases, because generally the profit margin is higher. Maybe even try choosing one specific product to focus on. Take Chacos for example, which are are usually sold for around $75 used. Look around for people selling them for $20-30, which surprisingly isn’t too difficult- there’s always gonna be that one guy that doesn’t know how much they’re worth, is moving the next week and needs to get rid of everything quick, or is just filthy rich and doesn’t care how much they’re sold for. Bottom line, get them for cheap, and then resell them all for $75. If you do this a few times a week and make $40-50 profit, you could bring in an extra $500 a month! Seriously, give this a try!
Here are some places to look for both buying and selling:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Local Facebook “Buy and Sell” Groups
- Offer Up
- KSL Classified
While you’re at it, go through all the junk you already have and sell what you don’t need. This includes that Hydroflask you bought cause everyone else had it, the bright pink pumps you were sure you’d find an excuse to wear, and even that twelfth eyeshadow palette that had that one color you couldn’t live without. Sell it all!
Track income and expenses
This habit has been a game changer for me. I read everywhere about creating a budget, which is great, but this is something a little different. I am not looking at your bank account so in reality, I can’t tell you where you are spending too much and how to cut back… but doing this exercise will.
Open up excel and create a new sheet from the template “My College Budget.” This template will help you track all of your income and all of your expenses for a month! There is a page that allows you to make an entry every time you make or spend money. Then there is page that tracks the grand total of those spendings & earnings and shows you a live graph that will go up and down when you spend and earn. It will also give you the percentage that you have spent from your earnings.
Start right now and use this for a month! What this will do is make you more aware of what you spend. Knowing that you have to write down every expense, will help you to be more cautious about grabbing that late-night McFlurry or that new pairs of shoes.
This exercise will give you more money-consciousness and you’ll naturally find yourself spending less.
Check your subscriptions
Unless you are like the money & budgeting queen, I promise you are paying for things unknowingly or unnecessarily. I mean, I write a money savings blog, and still found places I could save money with subscriptions.
Now I want to clarify, you don’t actually have to cancel all of your subscriptions. Maybe there are some you don’t need at all, but maybe you’re just overpaying.
When we moved into our new apartment in May, our old tenants asked if we wanted to stick with their same wi-fi provider, they paid $60 a month. We figured we could find a better deal so we started calling around. After a few phone calls we got the best bid- $40. Yeah, that was good, but I still thought we could do better. We asked if there was any way they could make it even cheaper. After about 10 minutes of “talking to his supervisor” he came back at $30. Heck yeah!
I was also able to switch my gym membership from $20 a month to $25 over the whole summer. Call around and look for deals!
pop some tags
I absolutely love shopping. I mean, seriously, I am the kind of person that needs new clothes all of the time. If white vans are in, I want white vans. If scrunchies are in, I want scrunchies. But here’s the secret: I didn’t buy a single new piece of clothing all summer.
THRIFT SHOPS, MY FRIENDS.
I hit up the thrift shop like twice a week, and spend my lunch breaks on Facebook Marketplace and Poshmark. I’m always getting new things, for like $3. So even if I get a few new things a week, it comes out to a grand total of like $10. Not too bad, eh?
Use this same system for decorations, kitchen supplies, books, and anything else you might need (or want)! DI and Goodwill have plate sets that look brand spankin new for $1. It’s not worth it to go buy those things new. Did your straightener break? Dont just hop on Amazon and get a new one- hop on Facebook Marketplace. I guarantee you can find one for less than $5 that will do the trick.
meal planning and strategic grocery shopping
Hloom surveyed 2,000 Americans about how they spend (and waste) their money, and they found that in every generation one of the top money wasters is uneaten or expired food.
Meal planning will not only help you avoid fast food, but will also fill your fridge with food you’re actually gonna eat. When meal planning, consider focusing your meals on more inexpensive ingredients. If your a big fan of steak, maybe try switching to chicken. Heres are some of the most inexpensive foods:
- In-season fruits & veggies
- Frozen veggies
- Rice and beans
You could plan meals such as omelets, fried rice, breakfast burritos, spaghetti and roasted veggies, and more!
look for side gigs
Some of my go-tos are focus groups and babysitting. If you know that you are going to be free one night next week, do a quick search for side-gigs to make some extra cash. We use KSL and Craigslist to find focus groups, event gigs, and other one-time jobs. Just put “Job Type: Temporary” in the search field.
I just did a quick KSL search and found someone looking for a remote virtual assistant for 5 hours a week paid $15/hour. If you have 5 hours free a week, that could put an extra $300 in your bank each month.
If your more of the babysitting type, try finding opportunities for one-time jobs on care.com. Most cities also have local Facebook groups where moms will post opportunities for jobs!
stop buying crap
Trust me, I know this one is hard. We all have our culprits that suck all of our money but we feel like we “just can’t live without.”
Here’s a list I made of tons of random crap people drop all their money on. Maybe yours is on the list, maybe it’s not. Either way, figure it out & cut it out.
- Food Delivery Services
- Movie Theatre Tickets
- Coffee/ Soda
- Fast Food
- Highend Makeup
- Full-Priced Clothing
- Fun Subscriptions- FabFitFun, Ipsy, etc
- Nails, lashes, etc.