uhm yup i guess the title says it all, so these are my two cents (hehe get it, money reference) on how to save money as an au pair!
- when opening your bank account also open a savings account so 100$ of your weekly stipend go into your savings right away – but make sure it’s free! I unfortunately didn’t do this because I just didn’t know this thing existed, dang it. So I just tried to save up money by trying not too spend too much. Didn’t work that good. Ok didn’t work at all. And that’s why now I can only spend 100$ in the whole of June so I still have enough for my travel month.
- Especially in the first two months you’ll spend a lot of money – ask yourself if you really need all this stuff you want to buy or if you would rather save that money and invest it in travelling? I for sure didn’t need four face products at once just because they were on sale #byebye30dollars. But no kidding, in the first few months you just swipe your card everywhere you go. In just two months I spent 2000$ even though I only made 1800$ in that time. #oops
- Expensive stuff like shaving cream, body lotion or make up remover can easily be replaces with coconut oil!
- You really don’t have to go out to eat four times in one weekend. Go out once and take food from home for the rest of the time! I should do this more too.
- If you have to go to the doctor and you know you’ll probably just get a prescription and that’s it, look up if there are family health care centers near you. At least the one’s in San Diego are just 25$ a visit, while one visit at Urgent Care is already 400$.
- Go to your hair dresser before you come to the US. Ain’t nobody got 50$ for a haircut.
- Put up limits for yourself. Maybe just 100$ a month for new clothes? 100$ for eating out? or maybe even just 50$?
- Apps like “daily budget” or “piggy bank” help you to stay focused on your goal and keep you motivated! Also if you always type your spendings into an app you are more aware of how much you spend than when you just swipe your card.
- Instead of paying 300$ for a weekend trip look into if you would want to rather do this city in your travel month. That way you pay less flights since you don’t have to return to your home city first but fly directly to the next city you want to visit.
- It doesn’t always has to be starbucks – dunkin donuts has great iced coffee too 😉
- Collect all your change and pay for ~something you really need~ at the target self check out with it – that way you won’t bother any cashier with your change and do you know this thing when you pay with a five dollar bill and you feel like “dang spent 5$ again” but when you pay five dollar in change it’s like “YAAAS didn’t spend any money today”? exactly. This tip doesn’t really make you save money but the feeling is AWESOME.
- Before signing up for an expensive gym membership think about if it will actually pay off for you or if running and Youtube Workouts are enough for you. Even 30$ a month are 360$ a year and that’s a weekend trip. Or an extra city in your travel month as we learned in #9.
- Remember that your host family has to pay your gas/transport to the monthly au pair meetings and also to college/wherever to complete your educational requirement. Also, if you work over 45 hours a week you can demand 10$ per extra hour.
- Install the app “Uber” as soon as you arrive in the US (or even before you arrive) and enter the code e2mnm4x9ue. You will need Uber eventually and with my code you get your first ride for free!
- Groupon. GrouponGrouponGroupon.
- If you and your friends plan on eating out go to cheap places instead of the higher priced ones – I looooooooove taco bell and my bank account does too!
- Booking multistop flights in your travelmonth is usually cheaper than multiple one way flights!
- Also, you should always book flights while your browser is in incognito mode. Often flights are cheaper then as well.
- Don’t book your hostel via hostelworld! If you book it directly on the website of the hostel it’s usually cheaper since hostelworld of course wants to make money too so they put a service fee on top. But hostelworld is great for checking out hostels!
Of course you should enjoy your Au Pair year and not always be stressed by the number on your bank account. But your travels are not free and especially your travel month at the end of your year will be more expensive than you think. And believe me, travelling is a thousand times more important than eating out four times a week. #iknowthis #believeme
In america there’s also a higher chance of suddenly receiving huge bills. Suddenly you have to pay a necessary doctors visit yourself aka 400$. You arrived in January. 600$ taxes. parking ticket. 100$. driving over the speed limit. 100$+. A little emergency saving never hurt nobody.