Hey yo! Today I am honored to have my friend Kayla write the very first guest post on this blog. Kayla is a young professional new to the ways of the working world. I am proud to say that I helped turn her into a fellow Ynabber. She wanted to share her story about how she keeps up financially with her friends. As a new father I don’t really have this problem as I don’t have many friends to speak of. I kid.
Take it away Kayla!
I am 24 and finally making enough money to enjoy my life!
I can go out to bars, go on vacation, spend my money on random excursions like kayaking, weekend trips, brewery tours, and indoor trampoline parks. However, I try to be mindful of what I’m spending, what I’m saving long term, and what I’m going to need to save up for in the short term such as tires, vacations, and doctor’s visits.
As I grew up and learned about how to be smart with my money from my parents, Vic, and his wife Glady, I’ve set goals and expectations for myself so that I won’t ever have to worry about money in the future. #YNAB
Saving money is tough because finally having extra income is exciting and there are so many fun things to do. It is also hard when all of my friends are going out and spending tons of money on the reg and I know that I can’t keep up.
My boyfriend and his friends all make at least double what I do. I mean, it makes sense, they are engineers, while I’m a lowly marketing assistant. Yes, mom, now I understand why you were not over the moon when I chose to study art and media studies instead of math.
Thank you for supporting me even though you knew I could make WAY more money studying something else.
I don’t know about all engineers, but aerospace engineers work a crap ton of hours and they are rarely at home except for the weekends. It doesn’t help that they have an incredible cafeteria at work that feeds them delicious meals for less than $4 a meal and probably the best snickerdoodle I have ever had.
What I’m trying to get at is they don’t have any food in their house (unless you consider beer, which I have been known to have for dinner on occasion), they eat out for every meal on the weekends, and when I stay over there (which can happen at least 3 nights a week) I feel obligated to go out to eat, order in, or starve.
The Struggle is Real
This gets very expensive especially because my boyfriend likes fancy brunches. Generally we switch off who pays for the meal, but even so, sometimes I end up spending $100 per week on 6 meals out and that is on the lower end. It’s a good thing I’m a good cook.
When we first started dating I was so nervous that if he found out that I didn’t have enough money to keep up with his lavish lifestyle he would dump me. Now I know that is ridiculous, but I still find myself spending way more money than I want to due to the fact that all his friends go out a lot and I want to be part of the group.
It’s a double edged sword. It sucks to feel left out when all of my friends go out and I can’t afford to join them, but it also sucks when I give in to going out with them and have a mini panic attack about money when my portion for brunch turns out to be $60 (three hours of my working life before taxes).
I am still searching for ways to do it all, while also saving for my future.
How I “Keep Up”
1. I Offer to Cook Regularly
Cooking in is not always less expensive depending on what you make, but you can also get more bang for your buck and better quality since you don’t have to tip yourself. If I only want to spend $15 on dinner for the two of us I will skip the fresh caught salmon and go with chicken instead. Tofu also makes an excellent cheap protein substitute and can easily be added to any meal. Trader Joes wine is also a life saver. I love their Red Diamond cab.
(Vic – I love me some Two Buck Chucks! My palate is not refined enough to notice the difference between that and an $80 bottle. I also love grilled cheese and hotdogs 🙂 )
2. Invite His Friends Over to Eat
If I am worried that I will miss out on something (#FOMO) I invite his friends to breakfast/dinner. Pancakes are an easy and super cheap meal for a group of people. Chances are, even if they have no food in their fridge, they have some flour, pancake syrup, sugar, vegetable oil and butter. Then all I need to pick up at the store is eggs and milk. Bam! easy breakfast for 10 all for under $5. Add in some bacon for an additional $6 making your breakfast twice as good for only $11 bucks total.
This is also a great way to earn the “Best Girlfriend Ever Award” and get all of his friends on my team. (Vic – I have yet to win such a prestigious award)
(Vic approves of this gif. Or anything Anna Kendrick.)
3. Stay at My Place.
I have tons of food in my house because I love cooking and prefer to eat healthy instead of eating at a restaurant anyway. I’d much rather spend my hard earned money on organic produce and avocado oil mayonnaise than eating average food at a restaurant (note – Dad is too cheap for mayonaise that includes avocado). Also, eating out all the time gets boring so when you cut back and only go out a few times a month it becomes exciting and more like date night!
If you have any ideas or suggestions on – 1) Cheap dinner recipes 2) How to take my spending down a notch 3)How I can “keep up” please comment below!
Kayla Nada is an L.A. native, Fulbright Scholar, and experimental video artist determined to take her life back from her 9-5. A total foodie and doughnut connoisseur, you can usually find her dropping her chopsticks in a southeast Asian restaurant, spending $$$ in a trendy doughnut shop, or cooking up a storm in her own kitchen. She speaks seven languages and is always looking to learn something new.
You can also check out her Etsy shop here. Vic has one of her Doctor Who mugs and it is FANTASTIC.