It’s understandable if you want to look at brand new condos for sale for your first home. They’re usually a lot more affordable than detached family homes. In addition, they can be conveniently located near workplaces and entertainment centers, so that you won’t need a car to get to work, school or a supermarket.
On the other hand, you still have to pay monthly duties for amenities and condo services. Also, often you still have to watch your budget. Your finances can get a bit tricky, especially if you don’t learn to spend your money wisely.
To help you with your finances, here are some important money-saving tips to help you out.
Plan Your Budget—and Stick To It
If you’re trying to live within your means, then you need to plan your budget very carefully. You need to have a very accurate idea of what your monthly expenses are, especially for crucial stuff such as food, groceries, monthly dues, insurance, and utilities. You should set aside 10% of your income for your savings, and leave only 5% of your income for some free-spending purchases.
You have to stick with this schedule. This means you need to develop the necessary discipline so that you can use your credit cards wisely. In fact, try to not get too deeply in debt at all if you can help it. The first rule of sensible finance is that whatever money you have, spend less.
Only Spend on Necessary Appliances
Quite a few folks are very quick to buy the latest gadgetry, even if they don’t really need it. So that’s one standard you should probably use for whatever appliance you may buy: do you really need the darn thing?
Yes, you may need lights and table lamps? But does it have to be a collectible? Do you really need the latest smartphone, when your current one is doing just fine by you? Are you sure you have to get the most advanced French press when a regular coffee machine can do just fine?
Use Mirrors to Decorate Your Home
This is perhaps the most frequently quoted rule for small apartments and condos because it’s amazingly effective. Mirrors are cheap, even when you get them in heights that reach three-quarters up to your ceiling. They give an illusion of space, plus they reflect light so you do can brighten up your unit during the day. Also, you can use them to check on your appearance before you go out!
Learn to Cook
Cooking your food is a much more economical than dining out. Just because your unit is close to several cool delis and restaurants doesn’t mean you need to buy your dinner every night. Seriously, you need to learn to make full use of your kitchen.
Also, you may want to think about making your coffee too. Starbucks coffee can be very expensive especially when you total your purchases over a month. Instead, you can buy your coffee beans and a cheap yet dependable coffee maker, and you spend cents instead of dollars per cup of coffee.
Use Old Furniture
Check in with friends and family about furniture pieces that they’re not using anymore. Perhaps you can make use of them. Furniture can be frighteningly expensive, but hand-me-downs can work just fine. You can also repurpose furniture, so a broken chair can work as a nice side table for your bed.
If you’re trying to live frugally, you need a major paradigm shift in how you spend your money. You have 5% of your income for non-essentials. Stick to that, and you’re all set!