5 Unique Tips to Save Money as a Freelancer

Carrie Bradshaw, from Sex and the City, lived a great life as a freelancer, but she also spent a lot of money too!

When bingewatching became a popular way to pass time, one of the first shows I watched was Sex and the City.  There was something about Carrie Bradshaw that spoke to me; I was all about marching to the beat of my own drum and becoming a published writer was my main goal since I could even hold a pencil.  She was my idol, my hero and has definitely remained at the top of my list of people to look up to after all this time.  So imagine my excitement when I was told about the new HBO Max reboot, And Just Like That.  It’s almost as if hearing about the reboot revived something in me as well and I decided it was time to focus on my goals.  What better way to start with an homage to one of my favorite people? Today we’ll discuss some of Carrie’s expenses and how to save money so you can splurge too!

Now that I’m older and, you know, adulting, I can see that there are a lot of things that just didn’t add up in Sex and the City. However, I’m a sucker for gossip and drama, so I can’t help but enjoy it, anyway.  I also can’t help but feel envious.  As a fellow New Yorker and freelance writer, I am not living the life that the wonderful Carrie Bradshaw got to experience.  Although I am 28 years old and I’ve found my Mr. Big, I certainly don’t make $4 a word or work for prestigious magazines. 

However, I do have to live in a very expensive city while making the earnings of a freelancer.  I agree that Carrie’s exact lifestyle wouldn’t be affordable on my salary (well, maybe the green overalls, but surely not all those shoes), but I have learned a lot of tips over the years on how to save money as a New Yorker, without actually spending like one. Today, I’m going to share some tips so you can live like Carrie Bradshaw without spending like her too. Below are some of Carrie’s top expenses.

How to save money as a freelancer

1.) Use coupons for brunches and drinks

Sex and the City Cast enjoying their weekly brunches, save money to be like them!
Sex and the City Cast enjoying their weekly brunches.

Most of us can probably agree that Carrie spent a great deal on her weekly brunches and nightly Cosmopolitans and who can really blame her? I know I enjoy brunch: the food is great, the ambiance is fun and what an acceptable way to get obliterated before 2pm on a weekend, but — they are hella expensive. However, there are great apps out there that provide huge discounts for meals, drinks and events.  These apps are used primarily in larger cities, but check regardless to see what’s available in your area.  The best app by far is Fever.  Once the app knows the location, it shows coupons for popular restaurants, bars and events near you! 

There are constant deals for brunches around $40 dollars for two people.  Saving half of what was estimated that Carrie would spend.  Pulsd, Groupon, and Eventbrite all work similarly.  Although, Eventbrite has more events and smaller businesses, which is great to find those hidden gems!  With a little digging, one can expect to find extended happy hour packages and VIP passes.

2.) Don’t overpay for Cigarettes

save money by not overpaying for cigarettes

In the beginning, another one of Carrie’s biggest purchases were her cigarettes.  If you don’t smoke or don’t know someone who does, feel free to move on to the next tip. However, it’s not a surprise to know that cigarettes are expensive.  Ranging from $11- $14 a pack (unless you know papi behind the counter who might sell it low-key for nine or ten dollars), it adds up and adds up quickly.  So here is the tip (aside from we should quit asap): roll, roll, roll! That’s right: roll your own cigarettes!

One pound of tobacco and three boxes of tubes is about $50 at Smoker’s Outlet Online.  That’s essentially three cartons (600) of cigarettes for $50.  One carton at the store is over $100!  I broke the math down one day, each rolled cigarette costs about seven cents, one pack is worth 70 cents.  The initial setup is where most of the money be needed. Smoker’s Outlet Online has a variety or manual and electric rollers ranging from $30 to $150, which is well worth it when hundreds of dollars are being saved yearly!

3.) Cut out the middlemen for clothes and shoes

Carrie Bradshaw's closet from Sex and the City, by cutting out the middleman you can save money!

Another enormous expense Carrie Bradshaw had was her wardrobe. While I may not have a shoe fetish, I do my fair share of (online) shopping. This tip actually comes in two parts. The first suggestion is: cut out the middle man.  As wonderful as Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target and alike can be, they’re middlemen. They appeal to us with their convenience, sometimes lower prices and supposed free two day shipping. The secret is, the same item you have in your cart is available directly at the site/store.  A quick Google search and one can find that and similar items, as well as the store or site.  There might be a small price change, probably shipping and handling too, but that’s where the next tip comes in.  

4.) Save money using promo codes

Promo codes are our best friends.  Surprisingly enough, most websites have them, they just don’t advertise them.  There’s two simple ways to get promo codes: Google search the site along with the tag “promo codes” or a browser extension such as Honey.  Around my birthday, I had a gel polish set in my cart at Amazon from Beetles Gel.  When I went to their site, they had a BOGO sale as well as a 25% off promo code.

The total from the website was about $15 less, came with two extra polish sets, a better UV light set and the package still arrived within a four day window.   A little bit of time really paid off in the long run and with tools like Honey, it’s a smoother process.  Honey runs all the promo codes available for the site so you don’t have to! After installing Honey, head over to checkout, Honey will pop up in the corner asking to scan. The results are presented real-time as it finds the highest discount.  They even have rewards and points programs that help save and store money!

5.) Negotiate bills

We all have bills and sometimes believe that those prices are set in stone. Guess what? They’re not! This tip can be a little more time consuming, but will be worth it in the end. There are two options to lowering bills. Companies run promotions that they don’t always advertise; additionally, in most cases “new customer” pricing options are also available to existing customers. Give the company in question a call; whether it’s the phone company or the gas company, explicitly ask what current promotions are available. They might give you the run-around (of course they don’t want to give away money either!) but stay strong.

Ask about age or military options if that applies, teaching or business plans. Especially with Covid-19 still strong, companies are willing to work with customers more than we may realize. The second option is to use a company or an app like Truebill. Truebill will do all the hard work! Simply login or link the bill in question to the Truebill account. Truebill will then make all the arrangements; if they are able to successfully lower your bill, they keep a small percentage of the money they saved and you pocket the rest!


And there we have it! 5 unique tips to live a glamorous life like Carrie Bradshaw without breaking the bank! Which of these tips have you tried? Are there any tips you would like to share that we may have missed? Leave a comment or question below.

Stay tuned for our next post on how to combat writer’s block!

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