As a college student, I don’t have a lot of time to work and save money. I’m always in class or working on schoolwork, so instead, here’s what I do to save money:
When I use cash, I keep the change back.
What I mean is that when you get change when overpaying with cash, I put that change in a jar at home. And I usually cash this about twice a semester, and I get about $50, depending on how often I’ve been using cash. This concept does include quarters! Don’t get tempted to use quarters on your campus cafeteria, or in the vending machines as this will deplete your savings tremendously.
Every paycheck, I take out a certain amount of money.
So every week when I get paid I take out $10 immediately. This makes it easy though, because I never miss this money. It isn’t like I’m spending it on something ridiculous and then regretting it, I literally put it into, what I call, my “California fund” for when I’m want to travel to california. But this fund is also good for when an unexpected hiccup with my car happens. Now, this doesn’t have to be a huge amount of money either. Ten dollars adds up pretty quick if you don’t constantly think about it as money you could be spending.
I keep track of how much is coming into my pocket each week.
I’m basically saying, I’m stopping myself from spending more money than I have. I know that every week I get a paycheck, that’s fixed, and most of that goes to my expenses since those are also fixed. Spending money, even on groceries since I still live at home, is made up of whatever is left.
I budget even though I don’t pay any bills.
This sort of goes along with keeping track of how much I’m getting paid every week. Instead, I know about how much I’ll be spending on gas, and this also gets immediately transferred come payday. Now, you can do this too. Just budget about how many miles you will be driving per day (always overestimate), and you will also need to know what your vehicle’s mileage is. Use these two numbers along with the current price of gas to calculate how much money you’ll need to save back for gas. (Maybe to to help you get an estimate, I save back $50 a week and gas is currently $2.67 a gallon.)
If you have a credit card, pay it off as soon as you can.
I don’t know exactly what paying on a credit card is like, but I do know what’s similar. I have a paypal credit account and this is very similar to having a credit card. They do not charge any interest if I pay in full within 30 days and charge me about 29% interest if I wait and pay later. Paying this bill off immediately could save you so much money in the long run. Because if you continue to wait to pay on this bill, after one month you will be paying interest on your interest!
And that’s it! With these five tips, you’ll be rich in no time! (ok maybe not, but that’s ok too).