When I was younger, every time I had any money, I would literally purchase the first thing I saw. Whether it was a Zuzu Pet or a Rainbow Loom Kit or Hair Chalk, whatever money I had gotten for Hanukkah or my Birthday would be gone within seconds. This continued up until I was in 7th grade and finally started making my own money through babysitting. So when I wanted a new pair of cute sneakers for school, my mom told me I had to save up for them. It took awhile and I kept getting distracted (rip to the $20 I spent on a coin purse) but when I finally achieved my goal, I was so happy. From then on I vowed to stop spending all of my money and while I can’t say that I have been perfect (I am a college student), I have been a lot better since that point and here are some things that I have done to help.
Split up your money right away (and don’t use the money in your savings account)
Everytime I get any money now whether it’s a birthday gift or a paycheck from work, I always put half of it in my savings account immediately. This helps me because I hate taking money out of my savings account so I generally don’t touch the money unless I have an emergency. Plus it’s always nice to have some money saved up just in case I need it. Since I only use my checking account, I always use the app that came with my Debit Card to see how much money I have left and if it is below a certain amount, I will not buy anything that isn’t necessary like food or medication until I get back to a comfortable number. Since starting to use this method, it has really helped me think whenever I am considering making a purchase of whether I really need this item to the point where I am going to have to stop spending money.
Remind yourself of your end goal with saving money
Like I did when I was younger, saving for bigger items is an incentive to stop spending money on the little things. I know people who would put pictures of the new items they wanted on their wallet or piggy bank to keep from using it and while I never did that, I would always have a tab open on my computer or my phone with the item I wanted so whenever I wanted to purchase something online, I would see the tab and be reminded of what I was saving for. While this isn’t a tactic I use that often anymore, it has saved me in the recent years from buying some pretty ridiculous items and for that I am eternally grateful.
Get a job
I also think the simple act of getting a job in itself is a great way to learn to save money. There is something about seeing your pay stub and seeing how hard you worked where it makes you want to spend the money on meaningful items. It inspired me to create a loose budget of sorts that I attempt to stick to using the half of the money from my paycheck that is in my Checking Account. With living in an apartment in college this has absolutely come in handy in that I now know how much I need to save for groceries and other necessary items to function. If you have a job, try to make some sort of budget.
That is about everything I do to try and save money. Of course I go through periods where I don’t have an income and have trouble saving money but for the most part, this is what I do. Stay financially smart, collegiettes.