How to Save Money from Someone Who Knows Nothing About Money

Everybody knows that if you’re a college student, you’re broke. It’s just simple math. But there are a few ways for you to become less broke. All it takes is some determination and self-control.


1. Have a long-term goal


It’s hard to save your money if you don’t see a purpose for saving it. One way to help you save your money is to save it for a reason, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be for a specific one. Many people choose to save their money for something like a new pair of shoes or a new camera, but in order to really boost up your bank account and save a lot of money, it's important to have a goal for the future. Some good examples of ideas are to save for a trip of some sort, maybe like a post-grad celebration. I personally use my first post-grad apartment as inspiration to save my money. I think of how much easier my life will be when I graduate if I have money saved for myself, so I don’t need to worry if I don’t immediately leave school with a job. It can be really hard to do, but think of how much your future self will enjoy having that money for necessities rather than getting that shirt you don’t need. Stop impulse buying, you have more control over your actions than you think you do.


2. You don’t have enough to buy something if you can’t buy it twice


If you do want to buy a new shirt or something else, a good rule that I like to follow is if you can’t buy it twice, you don’t have enough money to afford it. You should always have enough money for common necessities that you have (like toothpaste and coffee) and for emergencies, so when you want a $100 pair of shoes but only have $130, it’s probably a good idea to wait a save up a little more. However, it’s important to note that you should never let your back account drop below around $200, so if you only have $60 you probably shouldn’t get a $20 shirt, even though technically you could buy it twice.


3. Keep a minimum on your balance


One trick that I’ve used ever since I started working during the summer when I was 14 is that I kept a minimum on my balance. I know on the previous point I mentioned never letting your bank account fall below $200, but in reality, if you want to increase the amount of money you have saved you should increase that number and continue to do so. Keeping this minimum will make you keep an eye on your bank account and stay mindful on how much you’re spending. If your starting minimum is $200, once you get above $300 that should become your new minimum.


4. Cap your checking balance


This is another personal trick I use to make sure I save way more money than I spend. I keep a cap on my checking account and any money that goes over that cap goes into my saving account. Say you have $435 in your checking, and you set a cap for yourself at $500. If you get a check for $200, put $135 of it into your savings account. Putting money in your savings account will ensure that you don’t spend the money on needless things and will be there for you later when you absolutely need it. It’s important not to go into your savings account unless its absolutely necessary. Coffee and dining out are not valid reasons to use your money from savings. From using this method I’ve managed to make it so my savings account has 13x the amount of money I have in my checking account.


Stop letting being in college be a reason for you to not have any money. If you really set your mind to it and use some of these tricks, you can go from being a broke college student to simply being a poor one.