If you’re anything like me, you’ve wanted a job since you were a preteen. Either because you wanted more money to gain more material goods, or you didn’t want to have to rely on your parents to get that shirt. Regardless – you waited and waited til you were of legal age to work – and you waited til companies would actually hire you. For some, that time comes when they hit sixteen. For others, that time comes when they’re done with high school and they turn 18.
But if you’ve never had an income or an allowance, it can be very easy to lose sight of being responsible with your money. After all, it’s your first time having it around – and no one can blame you for that late night pizza you bought for you and your dorm mates. So that’s what this post is for: the people who don’t know, but need to know.
Here’s some tips that may help you out if you’re stressing over money.
#1. Pay off urgencies with your first paycheck.
Do you have bills? Do your parents make you pay rent? Get those necessities out of the way before you go and spend your money. Yes, it takes some patience to not spend it as soon as you get it – but you’ll be thankful in the rest of the month’s pay.
#2. Make a goal for yourself in regards to savings.
You should always have some savings. Even if it’s just a tiny bit. So – that is exactly what you should do. Set a goal for yourself. Whether it be putting one hundred dollars aside a month, or fifty. Eventually, it will accumulate. (Note: This will also keep your parents off of your back for blowing all of your money.)
#3. Fill your gas tank with what you know you need.
Chances are, you know your plans for the week. And if you have spur of the moment plans, you can ask your company for help with gas money. After all, you are a broke college student – so if there’s a time where it’s completely acceptable, it’s now! Fill your tank appropriately with what you need to get by. At least this way, you know you won’t break down on the highway.
#4. Do whatever you want!
It’s your money, and you’ve paid your responsibilities and even impressed your parents with how fast your savings is growing! Now it’s a good time to be reckless – if you choose to! You don’t even have to be reckless – but you can actually purchase the things that aren’t necessities, but you’ve had your eyes on.
It’s hard to be responsible with money when you’re used to spending everyone else’s. Suddenly, everything seems that much more expensive – and it’s not your fault! It’s how anyone with a job feels! In any case, hopefully this outlined ways that you can productively use your money and stay on top. If you follow this model for a general way to spend your money, you’ll be just fine. You can be responsible and still have fun. After all, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”