Must Have Budgeting Tips for the Almost Thirty-Something

Must Have Budgeting Tips for the Almost Thirty-Something
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Question for you. Does anyone else have an intense desire to travel, go out to eat with family and friends, or even buy a new wardrobe when all this quarantine business is not our new normal anymore? *Raises my own hand*

Must Have Budgeting Tips for the Almost Thirty-Something
Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

I cannot tell you how many times when mindlessly scrolling Instagram I am influenced into spending my precious dollars on buying new summer dresses or the next vacay and immediately feeling a sense of excitement or relief when I am about to hit the “buy” button.

I think many of you can relate to this kind of emotional spending and how to budget your finances. Should I be saving instead of spending? Do I know that my salary will stay the same in a few months? What extra funds can I use for self care?

Let’s be honest here, budgeting tips are relevant for anyone at any age. I didn’t understand budgeting or even practice it for many years in my early 20s and let my emotional spending get the best of me.

Read along for my best and used budgeting tips and best practices I learned in my twenties, that will carry you into your thirties, and how to you can implement them right now.

The one thing I do daily that breaks the impulse buy is taking a screenshot of the thing and saving it on my camera roll.

10 budgeting tips you can start right now:

  1. Don’t beat yourself up
  2. It’s okay to fall of the wagon
  3. Take a picture instead
  4. Play the waiting game
  5. Plan your grocery list
  6. Generic is your best friend
  7. 1 piece of clothing in, 1 piece of clothing out
  8. Fast fashion isn’t always the way forward
  9. Put it on paper
  10. Student loans
Must Have Budgeting Tips for the Almost Thirty-Something
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

10 money saving tips I learned in my 20s…that will carry you into your 30s

#1 Don’t beat yourself up if you do not follow a budget yet!

You are entitled to make mistakes in life. Do not beat yourself up when reading these tips and feel like you are behind the start line. You can start to budget any time and be successful – All you have to do is start!

#2 It’s okay to fall off the wagon

So you took the first step to budgeting and you fell off the wagon. No worries and start your savings journey again. Budgeting takes a great deal of will power and practice. Keep practicing!

#3 Take a picture instead

Going back to emotional spending here. Anyone else impulse buy when scrolling Instagram and see an influencer in something super cute that YOU MUST HAVE? Yeah me too, all the time, that’s the problem. I want everything. The only little issue is I have to take care of my 4 walls (a little Dave Ramsey for you!) and budget for food, bills, etc.

The one thing I do daily that breaks the impulse buy is taking a screenshot of the thing instead and saving it on my camera roll. Practicing this simple task releases those happy endorphins I would get when finding a deal, and I didn’t spend a thing! I have over 200+ photos on my phone of meaningless *things* I wanted in the moment. After a few hours I totally forget what it is I took a picture of. Instant savings right there.

#4 Play the waiting game

So you took a screenshot of the item you want, to combat the urge to purchase right then and there. Now what? Wait a week or two and if you are still dreaming about it, then consider purchasing. Waiting helps your mind get over the impulse and helps you rationalize if you really need it.

#5 Plan your grocery list

I love cooking, going to the grocery store, really anything involving food. Check out my recipes highlights on the blog for a peak at my favorites.

For the longest time when shopping, I never had a concrete plan and bought whatever I wanted. My grocery bills were always $$$ and I didn’t really think it was a problem because food is a need and I have to spend dollars on it to live.

Well, that’s true and all, but having a planned list helps you…

  • stay on task,
  • minimize food waste, and
  • save your dollars on unnecessary food

TIP: Many grocery stores have apps that help you price out your grocery list before you step foot into a store. Lidl and Kroger are some of my favs. Check your local grocery chain and see if they have an app!

Must Have Budgeting Tips for the Almost Thirty-Something
Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

#6 Generic is your best friend

Don’t sleep on generic, it can be your best friend. Lidl (a discount grocery store chain carrying generic/off-brand labels) has cut my grocery bill in half (not sponsored, I genuinely love this store). I also always reach for the Wegmans or Kroger brand before anything else. The quality of generic or off-brand is just as good, while saving you $$$.

#7 One piece of clothing in, one piece of clothing out

Moving out on your own can be quite the challenge, especially if you are moving in with a roommate or to a small place with no storage space. This was me a time or two, with not much room for my clothes.

When I couldn’t keep up with storing all of my junk, I purged about 75% of my closet and IT WAS HARD…but worth it. You might have that sinking feeling that you will have nothing to wear after this type of closet purging, but keep in mind I kept the most important things I wear every-single-day.

  • Basic tees
  • Workwear tops/blouses
  • comfortable shoes I wear more than 2x a week
  • black jeans
  • black leggings

Yes…I counted my closet for you. Also, no one really cares if you wear the same stuff all the time. It actually takes the pressure off of choosing what to wear and I kept all my favorites anyway. I get to wear my favorite outfits all the time!

#8 Fast fashion isn’t always the way forward

It also took me a long time to appreciate that paying a little more for a staple piece of clothing is saving me $$$ in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good deal.

I much prefer to spend my hard earned cash on $$$ staple pieces (sweaters, jeans, basic teas) I would wear often and take the time to care of them, keeping them longer. Save the fast fashion for trends that might not stick around for long.

#9 Put it on paper

I wont dive too deep into this because I feel everyone does this on some scale. Look at your spending history for the last three months and look at your spending patterns. List your income per month and your expenses, what money is coming in and what money is going out. I really enjoy EveryDollar app – A completely free app that tracks your spending patterns and guides you towards creating an easy to follow budget.

It is eye opening to see your spending habits written down, staring you in the face, because in the moment you don’t remember the $11 at Chickfila or the $5 at Starbucks. When you do that 3 times a week, that is $48 dollars a week, $192 dollars a month, and $2,304 dollars a year gone!

Shutting down those thoughts that I “deserved” a treat when something went wrong, or right in my life, helped control the impulse buy and emotional eating habits I started to develop. Break that cycle and save the money!

I do still enjoy Chickfila date nights and my free birthday Starbucks, I just nowadays find more joy with my k-cups and meal prep my lunch.

#10 Student loans

My nuggets of wisdom are small and short on this topic, as I am still figuring out this one myself. Do I consolidate, put all of my savings into paying off my loans, make only the minimum payment, what is a good interest rate?

My only advice is to do your research on all of the above! I have mentioned Dave Ramsey a lot in the blog (not sponsored) because he is the budgeting king. Check out a few of his student loan resources and what is the right step for you.

If you have made it this far, well thank you for reading along! I hope you can use and practice a few of my money saving tips. What are some of your budgeting tips that you swear by? I want to know!


Megan is the author behind M & Bee, helping almost thirty-somethings create simple & relatable recipes, productivity tips, and budget-friendly DIY ideas for your home and life.

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


  1. June 8, 2020 / 1:58 am

    Love this, so needed right now!

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