Making the Most of Autumn on a Budget

Adulting, Author: Gauri Bhatia

Ahhhh, autumn. Crisp leaves, brisk wind, the smell of… pumpkin spiced everything, even Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (I see you, Trader Joe’s)! We know how to make the most of fall, but now let’s make the most of fall on a budget.


Leaf peeping
The grand old tradition of watching some leaves change and enjoying the vibrant reds, oranges and browns that come with the change of the season.

For those in the New York area:

  • Central Park: that’s free and absolutely gorgeous!
  • The High Line: that’s also free and beautiful! And fun!
  • Head upstate along the Hudson and enjoy the views. The leaf changing happens north to south, so right now is the perfect time to head north of Manhattan!
  • If you’re not in the New York area, here’s a great list of places across the country to see leaves changing.
  • If you wait until November, you should see the leaves change around the Washington, D.C./Virginia area.

Pumpkin spiced coffee
No need to go to Starbucks for your PSL fix. Trader Joe’s sells a box of Pumpkin Spice Coffee K-Cups for around $5 and a can of the coffee grounds for around $10! Equally delicious, but way less expensive!

Pumpkin everything else!
Pumpkin pie!
Pumpkin cookies!
Pumpkin ravioli!
Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds!
Pumpkin Beer and Cider!

Pumpkin and apple picking
It’s not free, but it’s quite cheap! Just google where they are in your community, or go for a drive and stumble across one — we’re sure you’ll see some beautiful foliage as well.


Give back to the community

  • Collect cans for those in need.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  • Start a coat drive in anticipation of the winter.
  • Get creative — there are a variety of ways to get involved! Check your newspaper and the internet for more!

Enjoy the season by simply sitting outside!
Preferably by a fire pit with s’mores but really anything will do!

Why Are You Spending a Lot On Wine?

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

No but really, why are you spending more than $20 for a bottle? You’re already paying off your student loans. You’re already paying more than you should for rent. We learned last week that budgets are super important. Well, cutting back on the amount you spend on wine is something that your budget will thank you for.

Yes, I get it, there are plenty of delicious wines that cost more than $20, but there are plenty of delicious wines that cost less than $20. It seems silly to spend more when you can get something just as good, if not better tasting, at a lesser price. Here are some great tasting wine brands that you should be drinking. Your wallet will thank you (and so will your taste buds!).

This is my family’s favorite. All kidding aside though, any family event, there’s some form of white and red bottles of Kendall-Jackson. Those of us ranging from our early twenties to eighties will enjoy a glass or eight. To give you an example of prices, their Avant Chardonnay goes for about $17 a bottle and their Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir goes for $20 a bottle.


There’s a solid chance this was your go-to in college, but why do you have to stop there? It’s good, inexpensive wine. Relive your college days or just unwind with these wines. A bottle of this wine will usually cost you under $10. Sounds like a steal to us! Plus, they even have bubbly!


I personally haven’t tried this one but it comes highly recommended from my BFF who loves wine more than anyone else I know. Her favorites from this California wine company are Rosso, the red wine, and the Chardonnay. Bottles usually cost you under $10 as well.


Italian wine for under $20? It does exist! If you don’t believe me because I’m very much not Italian, that’s fine, because this wine comes recommended from one of our own writers, Danny Abriano, who is Italian. Ruffino has a large assortment of both red and white wines, and can cost you under $20.



Technically not entirely wine, but adding it to the list anyway because it blows my mind how many people don’t know the deliciousness of this sangria. Yago Sant’Gria is another staple at any family party; I’m not even kidding when I say I have aunts specifically asking for it on Thanksgiving. It’s that good folks. We’re usually able to find it at a warehouse store such as BJs or Costco for under $20. Add some fruit to it and you’re all set!


Have you already tried any of these brands, or do you have another that is your favorite (and inexpensive)? Tweet us at @NotAMBlog and let us know!

Your Finance Cheat Sheet

Adulting, Author: Michelle Ioannou

Not all of us are good at finance. In fact, not all of us even understand finance. No, it’s not because we’re dumb millennials — it’s because we’re human beings and we’re unfortunately not perfect. This situation, of course, raises an important question as to how are we supposed to be responsible with our money when we don’t even know where to start?

Well fellow millennials, here’s a little cheat sheet full of great assets for you to utilize to better understand finance.

You’re already on Twitter, so why not follow financial advisors? Plus, some of these advisors tailor their work specifically towards millennials. You can get financial advice in 140 characters or less, plus sometimes they even tweet out other free resources to help you. Unsure of who to follow? Douglas A. Boneparth and Winnie Sun are a great start!

With podcasts all the rage, why not spend some time listening to ones that can help you with your finance skills? You can drive to work and better understand finance at the same time.

You Need A Budget
Yes fellow millennials, we (most likely) unfortunately do need a budget—and this podcast is upfront with you about it, which in turn will help you budget.

Listen, Money Matters! 
That name grabbed your attention, didn’t it? Mine too. It gets better. If you go to their website, in big letters it says “manage your money like a badass.” Interested yet? You should be.

Do you prefer reading to listening to podcasts, or enjoy doing both? Here are some fun blogs for you to read—and yes, I did just refer to finance blogs as fun.

Millennial Money Man 
Don’t be fooled by the name, this blog is very much applicable to women too—and, well, the name is pretty self-explanatory. This blog has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Forbes and many more, so you know it’s legit.

Budgets Are Sexy
Before I continue, do you see a trend with budgets here? Budgets are so crucial, and sexy (of course). There are plenty of ways to save money shared on this blog, as well as free budget templates.

Broke Millennial
Raise your hand if this sounds like you! You are not alone. I repeat, you are not the only broke millennial in this world. This blog will not only show you that there are others in similar situations to you, but also show ways to stop being broke.

There’s an app for that! But really…there are many apps out there to help you budget (ah, that key word again!) and keep track of your finances. Mint is arguably the most common money manager that I know of, used by many of my friends (I should probably download it as well, right?).

Ah yes, the good ‘ole fashion book! Of course, there are loads of books out there to help you with your finances — and no, I’m not talking about Personal Finance For Dummies, which of course does exist. There are much more interesting, millennial-targeted finance books out there for you to read and enjoy. For instance, check out Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build A Fortune and Smart is the New Rich: Money Guide for Millennials.