How to Save Money While Living in D.C.

If you’re like me, you have a budget.

If you are also like me and live in one of the top ten most expensive cities in America, your budget is also tight.

*tears*

Rent or shoes?

Groceries or a fancy gym membership?

Tuna sandwich or elaborate poke bowl with questionable-looking avocado that is still more expensive than its west coast equivalent?

Sometimes the choice may feel harder than it has to be. However, living in a city like D.C. and still fattening up your savings account is doable with discipline and some small, totally-worth-it sacrifices.

Here are some tips for enjoying a full life as a city girl on a budget:

1. Make a list, check it twice – Dedicate Sunday mornings to grocery shopping and ensure that you have everything you need to keep you well-fed and happy throughout the week. Divide your grocery list into meals to plan out your week. To lower the temptation of eating out or abusing UberEats,  I make sure that no meal takes more than fifteen minutes to make.

2. Studio hop – When I moved to D.C., I was not excited about the $120 monthly price tag for a gym membership to the athletic club closest to my apartment. Who would be? I found that I could get some pretty solid or reduced cost workouts by searching for first-timer specials in the area. After maxing those opportunities out, I downloaded ClassPass and still have my fitness life in check for up to 70% off the price of each studio class I take. Since I don’t have an unlimited budget, I take two classes per week and workout at my free apartment gym for the remainder. Since there is no commitment to a studio, I can opt out or skip a week when money is tight.

3. Always pack a lunch – D.C.’s dining tax really sucks at a whopping 10%. I have found that waking up fifteen minutes earlier than usual or skipping makeup allows enough time to make a quick sandwich, wrap, or throw together some leftovers from dinner.

4. Limit eating out and drinking – Since I moved to the city, I have only gone out to eat once per week. Between work, working out, and my side hustle, I don’t really have time to go out for dinner and drinks. Thankfully, I save money doing so.

5. Download apps – There are plenty of apps that are designed to save you money. From saving money on workouts through ClassPass to saving money on flights through Hopper, I have saved a pretty penny.

6. Free things to do in the city – As much as I complain about D.C.’s cost of living and bad weather (why is the temperature high at 7 p.m.?) the city is full of free things to do. From world-class museums to walking through the National Mall, entertainment can be done on the cheap.

7. Unsubscribe from newsletters – I had to unsubscribe from newsletters that only encouraged mindless online shopping. Now, I usually only buy the things I need when I need them. This has been major, but I still treat myself every now and then.

8. DIY: Make your own coffee and do your own nails every once in a while. It’s really that simple. Over time the little unnecessary things add up.

Do you have any additions to this list? Comment below and let me know your money hacks!

Stay gold,

Adri

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s