When you initially moved to the city as a wide-eyed innocent, you might’ve imagined your young adult life to look something like a quirky episode of “Friends.”

Then the first round of bills came in. Surely some of the numbers you were seeing had to be typos? And despite the fact you keep replenishing your bank account with paychecks, you still come to find yourself disappointed when you sign in just one week later. There’s no doubt that the cost of living in the city takes its toll on your finances. However, rather than beating yourself up over it, you could be figuring out what you can be doing differently to avoid falling further into the red.

Making these simple changes could help you save major money:

Make a Budget



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In order to know how much you need to save, you first have to determine how much you actually have. This isn’t as simple as signing into your bank account once a month. That number is referred to as your “cash on hand” and is only a small part of the math you’ll need to do. When calculating your finances, make sure to consider how much you pay in rent, utilities, groceries, internet/cable, and subscriptions, in addition to any other expenses you dish out on a monthly basis. Look into how much taxes are taking out of your paychecks, try not to cry when you do the math, and slap everything into organized categories on an Excel spreadsheet.

Get Rid of Cable


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C’mon, who’s still relying on cable anyway? Instead, talk to your internet service provider to find out the cheapest available option they offer, then invest in a Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast. A little WiFi now allows you access to the most popular streaming programs in the world without having to deal with pesky commercials or subscription fees!

Make Your Meals at Home


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Turning into a regular at your favorite chain restaurant could end up bleeding you dry financially. While eating out is certainly a quick solution to our cravings, there are way more benefits to reap from learning to cook your own meals. For one, what you pay for an entree could get you twice as many groceries at the supermarket. If you’re going to splurge on food, you’d be better off doubling up on ingredients to make a larger portion of your favorite recipes to save and eat for the next few days.

What advice do you have for cutting down expenditures? Please share your suggestions in the comments below!

Would you say D.C. is a hard-working city? See where it ranked nationwide!