How Francy Stays Frugal in New York City

Posted April 12, 2013 by in Lifestyle

Francy is the voice behind fashion blog, Fancy Francy. In the past year, Francy moved from Atlanta and got an adorable apartment with her older sister in Brooklyn.

Here’s one of the only problems with New York — It can be very difficult to control yourself when you first move here. It’s just so easy to blow all your money on fashion, good food, yummy desserts, coffee and late-night drinks with friends in Soho’s trendiest bars. But if you want to be able to stay in New York for the long haul, you have to watch your finances.

We recently sat down and enjoyed coffee at a popular Lower East Side eatery and had a chat with Francy. According to Francy:

Living in New York, you have to be disciplined with your money. Lucky for me, being a recent grad, I still have a college mindset and I really hope I keep that as I get older and my salary increases. Being a poor college student isn’t glamorous, but that experience can really determine how you treat your bank account as you age.

Below, Francy shares her secrets on how she’s able to stay frugal while living in one of the world’s most expensive cities:

1. Bring Lunch To Work

I try and bring my lunch to work as often as possible. So many of my co-workers leave work everyday and spend $12-$15 on lunch. I’ll do it every now and then, but if I made that an everyday habit I’d be very sorry later.

2. Keep Food At Work

I like to keep oatmeal and cereal at my desk. That way, if I forget my lunch or didn’t have time to eat breakfast, I don’t have to leave and buy something. If your office or work place has a kitchen with a microwave and fridge for milk I’d take advantage of it.

3. Only Go Out To Eat On The Weekends

Going out to eat every night is very tempting, but it’s not realistic. If a friend wants to grab brunch or dinner on the weekend, I’m down, but if it’s a Monday, I’d rather pass. Going out to eat two days out of the week is budget friendly, but going out seven days a week is just a waste of money. It’s also not very healthy.

4. Don’t Take Cabs Too Often

I avoid them as much as possible. If the traffic is light it’s usually between $9 and $11 (not including tip). But if it’s rush hour, the price just increases. Definitely take the Subway on a day-to-day basis (it’s only $2.50 a ride) and save cabs for late nights out with friends only once or twice a month.

5. Price Adjust Your Clothes

My Aunt taught me this when I was a kid. Say you bought a jean jacket from H&M last weekend and you love the coat, but when you go back to H&M the following weekend you find the same coat you just bought on sale for $7.

Just bring the coat and receipt back to the store and ask for the price to be adjusted. What they’ll do is give you back the difference. For this reason, you should save all your receipts!

If it’s been over two or three weeks, forget about it, but if it goes on sale shortly after you bought it then go for it. I’ve saved a lot of money this way!

6. Don’t Shop At Expensive Stores

I’m not talking about Celine Paris or Chanel, but stores like Topshop and Urban Outfitters. Trendy, yes, affordable, no. What I do is go to expensive shops and boutiques for inspiration only. If I like something, I leave and try and find something similar at a more affordable store.

7. Shop On Ebay

If I find something I like at say, American Apparel, I’ll search for it on Ebay. There’s two ways you can go about this. Say I really want a pair of their black disco pants:

  • 1. You can search for a used pair for less.
  • 2. You can find something similar that’s made in China that’s $20 or less.

If you care about the brand, go with the first. If you care more about the look, go with the second.

8. Look for Discount Codes When Shopping Online

Whenever you’re about to pull out your credit card while shopping online, quickly Google if there are any discount codes available from the company you’re buying from.

You can also go to one of the websites below and search for discount codes.

Remember, these tips aren’t just helpful in New York, but all over the world! If you loved Francy’s tips make sure you follow her on Twitter and check out her awesome blog.

Do you have any money saving tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!