With the back to school season in full force, stress levels rising, and Black Friday a mere few months away, we’re about to get real here on the blog today.
This week let’s talk about one of my least favorite things to think about.. money! As a college student, time is scarce and working crazy hours is just not a possibility when you’re stressing over assignments, extra-curriculars, and a social life leaving those weekly paychecks something to be desired.
It’s so easy to get caught up in blowing through money without even realizing it and I wanted to share with you guys some of the changes I’ve been going through over the past few months that have really helped me save and FINALLY grow my bank account again.
Remember, these aren’t changes you need to make immediately. Little changes over time turn into a lifestyle and you’ll be saving money before you know it! So don’t panic and let’s get right into it!
1. Stop wasting money on take out or pizza delivery.
If you absolutely need to have a fix, remember to order water as your drink. It’s free, helps fight inevitable dehydration, and you’ll start to realize that the $3-12 dollars you save each time adds up quick!
2. Ask yourself if you really need that next starbucks run?
Actually, ask yourself this about the 12th pair of shoes you want to buy this year or about that statement piece you just ‘NEEDED’ but let’s be real, will only wear once.
This is my biggest struggle and probably how most of my money has flown out of my pocket over the past few years. For me, retail therapy is very real but I’ve been taking time over the summer to evaluate how much I really wear all of those things I splurged on and the truth is I have to admit I should have definitely saved my coins instead.
So just be honest with yourself! If you really won’t be missing that regular Chipotle run, skip it and instead treat yourself on those extra rough days to make something you love feel a little more special.
3. Utilize that student discount!
You might be surprised at how many places offer a discount on admission prices to things like museums, play/movie tickets and so much more! I love the student discount that Spotify has (seriously, I don’t know who I’d be without Spotify), it’s only like $6 a month and they include a free Hulu membership as well!
Not only can you score discounts on day trip ideas, but also online! Like I just mentioned, I’m an online shopping fiend, so next time you’re surfing the web and find something that you absolutely adore, check into Unidays to see if they offer a student discount for your favorite store! **Spoiler, they probably do and the deals are always changing so be patient and a totally worth it discount will be coming your way!
4. Start setting a goal for yourself.
It’s so easy to get your next paycheck and just blow through it but start realizing how much you AREN’T saving and your outlook might change.
This past summer, I really was honest with myself about my spending habits and I made a goal for myself to reach by the end of it. It wasn’t always easy because nothing makes my heart happier than that initial rush of swiping my card (sick, I know) but now that I can see actual progress in my bank account I can say it’s 1000% worth it.
There’s no need to start crazy with this, it can be as simple as trying to save $20 a week and putting it aside in an account (or piggy bank) that you absolutely do not have access to. That way you always have a back up plan for things like a traveling fund, Christmas gifts, or emergency situations!
I may have mentioned this before but it actually is a really good place to start looking on Pinterest for some good savings plans! They make it seem painless and you can pick a plan that works for you and the time frame you’re going for!
5. Give a new life to things you no longer need!
This is one of my favorite things to do. Two of the things I spend the most amount of money on are, you guessed it, clothing and books. You can so easily set up a Poshmark account and start selling your clothes to interested buyers! This works perfectly for me because most of my clothes are lightly worn and I can send them off totally hassle free (the buyer pays for shipping and Poshmark sends you the mailing label, all you have to do is package it all up!) for a mega reasonable cost and still make a few dollars in the process.
You can also do this with your books! I take my books to 2nd and Charles and they’re able to either give you store credit or actual cash in exchange!
6. Stop swiping your cards!
This is another big one for me. Ever since adding a credit card to my arsenal, I’ve been extremely careless while spending. I would alternate between the credit card and debit card that I had and was never really monitoring how much I was spending. Essentially, I was spending double what I would have otherwise.
This summer, I’ve made an effort NOT to use the credit card and stick mainly to my debit card. This has actually made a huge difference in the way I spend and consequently save! I’m so much more aware of each purchase and have practically cut my spending in half because of this simple change.
If you’re still struggling, I would encourage you to start writing down what you spend in a planner or journal every time you purchase a new item. Nothing makes me feel more guilty than actually having to see the damage I’ve done!
What are some ways you guys try to save money? Even though I’ve found some things that work for me, I’m always looking for more tips and tricks! I also have to remind myself often that this is a marathon.. NOT a sprint. Savings won’t happen overnight and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of a few splurges every once in a while! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time,