We know what you’re thinking–why are the words “save” and “money” together in a college newspaper?
Saving money might sound like a daunting task, but debt aside, college is a wonderful place to analyze your money-spending habits. Because then, you’re able to build your money-saving habits.
With the extra money we make through tutoring, wiping down machines at the UC or from our work-study jobs, we can surely invest in ourselves by saving.
If you need money for spring break, summer travels or just to build a rainy day fund, here are a few ways to strategize your financial planning and save money.
1. Download the Mint app
The Mint app shows you your spending habits, sets up monthly budgets for you and even calculates your total net worth. You have the option to check your credit score (which doesn’t affect your credit score) and also see when your next credit card payment is due. Did I mention that it’s also absolutely free?
2. Find a budget and stick to it
It’s always a good idea to establish a “why” before you start a transformation–why are you saving? If you’re saving just for the sake of saving, that is fine, but if you’re trying to save up for a vacation, to pay off your car note or any other big expense you want to cross off your to-do list, figuring out your “why” will help you plan out the how.
3. Use up your dining dollars first
Before spending your “real money,” use up all of your dining dollars. Save up some gas money by spending those tax-free dollars buying snacks, laundry detergent, pads and soap at the P.O.D.
4. Meal prep
Meal prepping is like the Tylenol to all your adulting problems. Wanna gain healthy weight? Meal prep. Wanna lose weight? Meal prep. Wanna save money and time at the same time? Meal prep.
Meal prepping forces you to think about what foods you know how to make and what ingredients you need to make them. You’ll feel obliged to use a list when grocery shopping (which will stop you from buying/eating things you don’t need). When you meal prep, you’ll prepare a week’s worth of meals in one day. No need for fast food!
5. Ask for discounts
You’d be surprised how many companies acknowledge student discounts. Next time you ring up those jeans you’ve always wanted, ask for a student discount.
6. Use cash, ditch the card
Use those spare dollars and coins just floating around on your desk and put them in your wallet/purse. Using a card for purchases might save more time, but limiting yourself to only cash will make you more aware of how much you’re spending in a day.
Saving money may sound impossible as a college student with so many things to pay for, but with patience and discipline, saving doesn’t seem so scary.