Ways You Can Improve Your Spending Habits

The broke college student. A sad but true tale of a student struggling to balance fun, food, and finances. 

But seriously, I think we all can agree that during this time in our lives it is really tough to save money. Between course fees, meal plans, and going out with friends, money seems to just disappear. If you want some tips to help you identify where exactly your cash is running off to and how to save some of it for a later date, keep reading! 

Before you even start attempting to change your spending habits, you have to begin by keeping track of what exactly you are spending your money on. Use an excel sheet to list everything you buy and exactly how much you spend on each item. After a few weeks, take a look over your spreadsheet. Go through your list of purchases and highlight your needs (food, gas, rent, utilities, etc) in one color and your wants (coffee, take-out, clothing, new shoes) in another color. Assess your wants. Could you have lived without those purchases? Did you have to eat out 4 times this week? Was that Amazon shopping spree really necessary? Visualizing exactly what you need to spend and what you don't will help you say “no” the next time you see that shirt in the window that you just “must have.” 

Another way to save is by budgeting in cash. How many times have you walked into a store and bought items that were definitely not on your list? I think we are all guilty of impulse buying, but it can become problematic if it is happening every time you go to the store. Rather than swiping away and attempting to ignore the total on the screen, use your cash to keep you accountable! Prior to a shopping trip take out an allotted amount of money in cash and keep your purchases below that amount. Just like the first tip, this tactic will help you visually see just how much you are spending and put you in control of your spending.