Budgeted: Short-Term Saving Series


If you are new to Amazingly Graceless, you might not know that I am a full-time law student. This summer, I have an awesome opportunity to work as a legal intern with a well-known organization in entertainment, but unfortunately I am not being paid. My school has accepted my application for grant funds for my first seven weeks, but even still, I’m going to be working on a major budget this summer. I’m very fortunate to have people in my life who will gladly help me should I need it, but I personally want to see what I can do to work within my circumstances.

Along with my grant, I’ve also put in availability to tutor for TCU, and I’ll also be looking at tutoring online as well for students across the country in summer school. My blog is also monetized by the advertisements that you see, and while these advertisements only add up to a few cents each month, consistent viewership actually increases what I make from each ad.

For now, I want to share five ways that I’m already saving on expenses here in LA that might help anyone else looking to save some change.

#1: At-Home Iced Coffee Maker

I use the Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker that I got from Bed, Bath, and Beyond in my first week in my apartment. It was $30 [now retailing between $35 – $45] and I use it every single day. I drink my coffee black, so it really is as easy as filling the Maker with water, putting coffee grounds in the filter basket that comes with, and filling the tumbler cup-also included-with ice and waiting maybe five minutes. I get my coffee either from Trader Joes for $5 a bag, where two will last me a month, or Target for a single Starbucks bag that costs $11, and lasts me the same amount of time.

A one-time machine fee and then $11 a month absolutely beats the spending I would have to do for a $4.25 grande iced cold brew at Starbucks each morning. If I were to buy a coffee every Monday through Friday in a month [i drink coffee on the weekends but we shall exclude that detail for now], I would be spending $95 a month. So this is a big savings area!

#2: Hoopla and Libby Subscriptions

I am a big reader and it’s something I am trying to dive back into this summer after two long semesters in school. I just got an e-library card to my local library, as well as my mother’s Naperville Public Library account, which allow for me to use Hoopla and Libby applications at no cost. Hoopla is compatible with my iPad, while Libby works through my Kindle.

Now, when I do buy books, I only buy retail when I have a gift card. Otherwise, I aim to up my collection through Thriftbooks.com, which is second-hand books (yay sustainability) at a very affordable price (sometimes $3.50 to $4.00)! Overall, thrifting instead of buying new tends to be easier on the wallet.

#3: Costco Membership for Gas

Gas prices are insane right now. The station outside of my apartment is currently $7.09-7.39 per gallon (yay California). That being said, I am saving on gas because I have remote internship and most of my commuting will be going to the gym, the store, and maybe the hike path parking lot. But when I do need gas, I go to Costco. A membership is $60 annually, but in the state of California, it is an absolute saver on gas. I’m saving at least a dollar per gallon each time I fill up.

#4: Working with my Natural Hair

In January of 2021, I ditched years of blonde highlights to go brunette. As it turns out, this was my natural color, and other than a touch up in August, I haven’t colored my hair since. I’m hoping to get it redone this August as the sun is adding in its own highlights, but as of now, I don’t have to worry about outgrowth or desperately needing to get it done.

I’m also working on putting less heat on my hair so I can avoid needing a haircut these next few months (I already had one a few weeks ago). Leaving my hair be just leaves me with less of a cost to keep up with.

#5: All-Purpose Gym Membership

And finally, I belong to an all-purpose gym, LA Fitness, for $35 a month. Last year in Naperville, I was religiously frequenting Planet Fitness, which has even cheaper memberships. I switched in the move because one, there are no Planet Fitnesses in close proximity to me, and two, I wanted to be at a gym where I could take classes. I paid upfront the $99 initiation fee, but if that’s not an option, it can be waived for $45/month membership fees. It all works out to be the same cost in the end.

At LA Fitness, I am able to take hip-hop, cycling, yoga, and Zumba classes, as well as get a regular cardio/weight workout in. This saves me money on specialized gyms where an unlimited monthly membership might cost 4, 5, or 6 times as much as I’m paying at my gym. It’s tempting to go to CorePower or SoulCycle, but these classes are pretty top notch, the instructors are great, and there’s less pressure for when I’m starting something new.

These are just the ways in which I’m being cautious of my spending now. Next week, I will update this series with what I’m cutting out for the summer to help with the budgeting process!


One thought on “Budgeted: Short-Term Saving Series

  1. Andrea says:

    Enjoyed reading. You now have me thinking of ways to cut back. …..which I need to do 🤪😮😳😝Can’t wait for your follow up next week 😒


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