How to Actually Stick With Your Savings Goal

Wow! You’ve looked at your financial situation and found out things are actually pretty doable. You have a plan, but having a plan on paper is always easier than putting a savings goal into practice. Here’s how we stick to the budget: Cost of Living in Shanghai - For the Economical Expat

6 Tips for Sticking to Your Budget

1. Stay on top of it! Pick a date to look at your expenses each month. This is a vital step to keep your spending in check. When we sat down to see how much money we spent over our first 2 months in China, we were surprised to find out we were overspending our weekly budgets by roughly 40% and had to figure out a solution.

2. Ditch the cards! We started a cash allowance for food and fun each week. Every 7 days we withdraw money at the ATM and that has to last us until the next week. Some days we eat home cooked meals with little out of our pockets, which allows us to splurge on fun nights out with friends and still stay under our weekly budget.

3. Buy some groceries! Even though you can find a hot bowl of noodles for $2 in China, cooking your own meals is even more cost effective. Spend money weekly to stock up on vegetables and a few pantry staples like rice and you can eat for less than $1 per serving.

4. Take the metro or buy a scooter! A metro ride will cost you about 4rmb per trip in the inner loop. This comes out to about $1.30/day to get back and forth to work. We chose to buy a scooter with an up-front cost of $300.00 that we will easily save through not using the metro or paying for costly evening taxi rides.

5. Find happy hour deals! Our irregular schedule (typical of most training center schools) gives us Monday and Tuesday as our “weekend”. This is perfect for the during the week specials! We rarely ever pay full price, or at all, for drinks and food when we decide to hit the town.

6. Find a second job. Most jobs will be 30 hours or less per week. This leaves you plenty of time to pick up a tutoring gig or freelancing online for extra income. On the lowest end tutoring will pay 200rmb/hour ($30ish/hr).

Even with the initial start-up costs of moving to Shanghai of a 3-months rent deposit and stocking a studio apartment, It’s easily possible to save $1,250.00 per month. This adds up to a whopping $15,000.00 in one year!

How to Actually Stick With Your Savings Goal by

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