We’ve all been there. Hell, I’m still there. It’s summer, which means everyone is out in full force spending money. Everything from cute new outfits, vacations, concerts, cocktails, road trips & restaurants. It all adds up! To make matters worse, every time you pull up your Instagram feed it seems like all everyone posts about is the money they’re spending and the crazy lavish summers they’re having. So, how do you live large like a Blogger Babe on a Budget?
I’m the QUEEN of deals & saving money. Seriously, I pride myself on holding out on things until they go on sale or I find a better offer. So, I’m going to share all of my tricks for living large with a little money.
How do you get the look for less? WAY less? You will never see me posting about how much money I spent on clothing. I don’t have any $5000 purses or $1000 shoes. The only way that’s ever happening is if someone gives them to me as a gift!
One of my biggest tips is to use websites that help you earn cash back or generate discount codes for you.
Ebates is one of my favorite sites because you basically just shop all of your favorite websites, through their site. Not only do they find you discounts, but you get cash back on all of your purchases. For example, right now you can shop Macy’s website and they give you a current discount code. Right now it’s “FOURTH” which get’s you 20% off until the 4th of July. In addition, they give you 6% cash back! So you’re basically saving 26% off of your order just by shopping through their portal.
If you like to shop on Amazon, another great app is Honey. It automatically finds the cheapest option for you. You can also use it to find the best discount codes on any website – and it will automatically apply the discount code to your order.
Another great resource is ShopStyle which allows you to search, browse & buy. It’s basically a shortcut to everything fashion. For instance, maybe you’re looking for a dress for a wedding. You know you want a short black dress, under $100. You can search using their filters & options from thousands of brands, retailers & boutiques pop up. If you find something you love, but are hesitant to buy, you can create a sale alert! I actually wrote an entire blog post about how to use their site: Save Your Money Honey.
Shop some of my favorites under $25:
You go out with your friends and they want to go out to dinner. That cold sweat on the back of your neck starts coming and you’re not sure what to do. How do you stay cool and hang with your friends without breaking the bank?
Did you know you can buy legit gift cards to most stores and restaurants for up to 20% off?!
Sites like Raise not only let you buy gift cards, but sell them too! So if you’ve got an old gift card that you don’t want to use, earn some extra cash!
If you guys are ok having food delivered (watch a movie or have a picnic!), you can get $100 FREE credits on Postmates (just use code SXMU for the discount). When you run out of funds, download the Uber Eats app and get $10 off your first order (use code eats-erina320)!
Amazon Restaurants is another great option – they give you free delivery on any order over $40 and you can get $10 off your first order using AMAZON10!
Get up to 70% off at restaurants using Groupon! Even better, get 25% off your first purchase when you use the code WELCOME!
Hey It’s Free has an awesome section dedicated to Birthday Freebies! Many of these birthday deals and coupons are via e-mail, so sign up in advance to your birthday.
Another tip: create a G-mail account specifically for deals & websites you sign up for. That way, everything stays in one place and doesn’t clutter your personal inbox.
I feel like every time I log on to Instagram I see someone showing off their super expensive vacation. It’s almost a right of passage to becoming an “It Instagram Girl”, right? I feel like this is a blog post in itself, but for now here are a few of my tips for booking cheap trips.
You don’t need to be rich to travel. I repeat, you do not need to be rich to travel.
How do I get free or cheap flights? First of all, sign up for all of the major airlines rewards and frequent flyer programs. You can sign up for AwardWallet, which helps you track all of your loyalty programs & balances. The slowest way to earn miles is by flying, oddly enough. If you’re in the position to get a credit card, I recommend finding one that links to a frequent flier account.
While it’s really hard to get a free flight, there are tons of ways to find cheap flights. I’m a huge fan on the website “The Flight Deal” because they deliver awesome deals to your inbox. Another great resource is Airfare Watchdog because it lets you set alerts on hotels and flights. If you’re not in a rush, you can wait until a deal pops up that meets your budget.
A lot of hotels have fun social media rewards programs too. For example, Kimpton Karma gives you free nights, room upgrades, and spa credits just for tagging and tweeting them. When you follow them on Twitter and Facebook, you get access to “social specials” and passwords to unlock the perks. If you’re a member (free!) you also get free Wi-Fi and a $10 mini-bar credit EVERY TIME you stay with them!
Some of my other favorite sites for finding travel deals:
A few of my other “insider tips” to living large on a small budget:
- If you’re going to splurge on food, go to lunch! Lunch prices are generally quite a bit lower, but it tastes just as good!
- Can’t afford a fancy gym membership? Get outside! Chances are your local scenery is way more instagrammable than the inside of a gym!
- Check out local meet ups for free activities! Meetup.com has a ton of activities daily. Bonus: you’ll meet some new people with similar interests!
- Tap into your network before you travel. Ask friends and family if they have any mutual connections in a city you want to visit. You may find someone to stay with or a free tour guide!
- Plan a staycation and skip the spending on airfare!
- Instead of spending a ton of money on a pricey handbag, rent it! Sites like Bag Borrow or Steal let you rent designer bags for way less!
- Have a girls night clothing swap! Invite your friends over and shop each others closets!
- Save a little money and get your hair done at a local beauty school.