Very recently, I’ve had to quit my job, considering they lowered my weekly hours from an average of twenty-five to zero, sometimes maybe five hours. Yay. Now, that doesn’t stop the fact that life is still happening. That I still have bills to pay. But now, I’m making substantially less and it was absolutely essential that I learned to save money. And quick. In the past, I’ve talked about how vital it is to learn how to budget for yourself on a college student’s salary, but once more – I’m writing this article to remind you, the reader, and to remind myself.
First off, let me just say how seemingly impossible it is to save money. It seems that every time you have a plan to save money, something comes up – like car problems or maybe finding out you need to spend another twenty-five dollars on black printer ink – to stop you from putting that extra fifty dollars into your savings each month.
It’s understandable. It happens.
So, the first thing to do – is to make your budget smaller. You can do this in several ways, but the most effective is by looking at your expenses and cutting them down. For example, I stopped eating fast food – and instead, will go to a farmer’s market if I need to, spending a total of maybe 1-2$ for a snack that’ll leave me satisfied, and leave my body feeling better and more energized.
As Beingfrugal suggests, in their article, 51 Ways to Save Money in College, there are many things you can do – like dumpster diving and even practical things like learning not to impulse spend.
The best thing to do is to, at the beginning of every paycheck, set aside the money you need for necessary things, like paying bills and setting aside money for gas and food. Then, limit yourself based on how you know you like to live your life. If you like to smoke hookah, perhaps go out once a week or even invest in your own so you can smoke at home.
Another idea worth noting is Dave Ramsey’s envelope idea, which basically entails you taking your money from your debit cards, and setting them tangibly aside, in envelopes for certain things. Whether that be rent or clothing expenses, once you’re out of the money, you’re out of the money.
I’ve begun to do this by hiding money in different places in my purse – that way, when my wallet runs out, I won’t think about the other money lying around until I clean out my bag! It really does help out – and it makes it so that in case an emergency ever happened and it was vital that I scoured my bag for two dollars or ten, that I would have that money on hand.
In any case, learning how to save money is different for everyone – but should be treated as high priority for all.