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Your student years might not be the most abundant in terms of money, and that’s alright. While saving money isn’t the most glamorous thing to do, you’ll be surprised how rewarding (and easy) it is. Nothing beats the satisfaction you get from seeing a few extra bucks on your bank account at the end of the month.

Here are a few ways you can start saving now!

Acknowledge why you spend money

We often go shopping when we feel emotional and uneasy. Shopping gives us instant gratification and creates an illusion of control. A good exercise would be to observe when you have the strongest inclination to spend money on things you can do without. If you turn out to be an emotional buyer, acknowledging the problem would be your first step to get out of the pattern. Going shopping with a list and waiting for a few days before buying something can also be really helpful.

Prioritize your spendings

Planning your budget is essential to track your finances. But apart from the usual monthly planning, you should also spend some time prioritizing your spendings. If you need to cover your health checkup but want to purchase the cozy sweater you saw last week, clear priorities will help you make the right decision. At the end of the day, it doesn’t mean you have to reject that sweater. The sweater will just have to wait until the next month.

Take your drinks with you

Getting a latte from a cozy coffee shop before hitting a class or heading to the library may be a great little tradition. But it’s also a big expense. Invest in a reusable mug or a bottle, and prepare your drinks at home. You don’t have to completely stop going out for coffee, but you can make it a special occasion rather than a pricey routine.

Plan your meals and cook at home

The biggest spendings on food happen when we fail to plan it. You’re at home in the evening, starving and exhausted, your fridge is empty. You want to splurge on take-out or go out for dinner. It’s just as bad as buying your groceries with an empty stomach. Planning a weekly menu may be hard at first, but planning meals for two-three days ahead is doable. And, of course, make sure you’re always stock up on snacks and ingredients for something simple but nourishing.

Choose libraries

We’ve all been there – you hit a bookstore, spend there about an hour, and leave with a few books and an empty wallet. New books can be quite expensive, and if you buy a lot of them, this will definitely put a strain on your budget. Instead of buying new books all the time, opt for the libraries. You can go through as many books as possible for free. Isn’t that amazing? Plus, you’ll never get disappointed if you don’t like the book, because you can easily return it and borrow another one. No money spent.

Buy second-hand

If you live in the area with good thrift stores, you should definitely check them out. Thrift stores are full of treasures for your closet and your home. Thrifting can be an amazing experience, and the items you get in the second-hand stores are surely unique and long-lasting. And, of course, they’re cheaper. But if you absolutely have to buy something new, stick to the essentials. If you don’t have the means at the moment, it might not be the best time to do a full home makeover or completely change your style.

Ditch the habits

Yeah, you heard me. Smoking and drinking affects not only your health, but also your finances. Reduce your habits to reduce your spendings. Nothing more to say there.

Subscriptions

Monitoring your subscriptions is crucial if you don’t want the auto-renewal to eat all your money. Make it a habit to check your subscriptions regularly and cancel the ones you no longer use. It’s also a good idea to look into more friendly subscription plans that you can share with your friends.

Money saving can be a road full of bumps, but it’a also a real adventure. Usually, the satisfaction you get from the money saved is much greater than from the money spent. Trust me, it’s worth trying. And if you decide to embark on this journey, just make sure to do what works for you and your wallet!

Leila Askerova

Helsinki '22

English major with a love for slow life and all things cozy.
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