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22 tips for 2022: When it comes to saving money, a roommate is worth 1,000 coffees

Illustration of a person thinking about money in front of a meter that's segmented into different budget areas: transportation, housing, credit, food, medical care and education.
Shannon Wright for NPR

If you're looking to overhaul your budget, focus on bigger categories — like housing or transportation — rather than all the almond milk lattes.

"If you get a roommate or move to a cheaper place, those major decisions are going to save you so much more money," says Kristin Wong, author of Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford.

"They're harder decisions to make, obviously. But they give you more bang for your buck."

Wong has walked the walk on this.

"I moved back in with my mom when I was paying my student loan. I paid it off so much faster, and I saved so much money," says Wong. "Sometimes you have to give up what you think life should look like to think about what it could look like."


Here's more on sticking with a budget.

22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip comes from an episode of Life Kit hosted by Chris Arnold and produced by Sylvie Douglis.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR correspondent Chris Arnold is based in Boston. His reports are heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. He joined NPR in 1996 and was based in San Francisco before moving to Boston in 2001.

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