I have always been good about saving money, ever since I was a little girl. Back then saving money made me feel like a ‘big kid’ and now not much has changed. I thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of purchases before I make them – even over silly things like an eight dollar tube of mascara. With that said, over the years I have come up with some pretty great ways to budget and save my money, and considering that 85% of my readers are college aged females there is a good chance that you might be looking for ways to save money. Right now this blog is my only source of income and if you know anything about monetizing a blog you’re probably aware of how unstable blogging income is. Which makes saving money extra important for me because who knows what next month will bring!
Right now I am saving up to study abroad in New Zealand this summer, so I have an increased motivation and I’m following all of these tips, but even just following one or two, that is a great start to building up your savings account!
Open a savings account.
This might be obvious and I’m sure most of you are way ahead of me on this – but just in case I highly encourage you have one. It gets rid of the temptation a wallet full of cash provides you, you build interest, and it will hopefully have an ‘out of site out of mind’ effect on you and you won’t have the mindset that you have a bunch of cash to burn.
This summer when I was working a regular job I would tend to put either 90 or 85% of my check in savings and have the rest to spend, though this varied week by week.
Save your singles.
I have always heard that when saving money to tuck away every 5$ bill that you came across – I tried this for a while before coming to the realization that I very rarely find myself in the position of owning a five dollar bill. I don’t know why, but I just never got them. So instead I started saving all of my singles along with any spare change in my adventure jar. Overall I’ve got saved 19 dollars since making the jar, which is a combination of coins and singles.
Everyone should make a budget always. It helps you from making impulse buys and allows you to know exactly where your money is going and how much you’re saving. You should budget for groceries and other necessities, fun activities, and a few emergency bucks. The rest should be tucked away into the bank and forgotten about.
Every month or so I get around fifteen dollars to spend on Amazon or Sephora (depending on my mood!) by using Swagbucks. What is swagbucks? Basically it is a program that gives you points for different activities you already do. I get most of my points using their search bar, but if I have free time they also have surveys and other means to earn points. They have a video app that you can just keep running (I use it while I study so I’m not tempted to actually use my phone during that time!) to earn points. You can sign up here, but just to be clear – it is a referral code so I get a few points if you sign up! If that makes you uncomfortable you can always just go straight to their site, too!
This is great because you can start saving your money by not letting yourself buy silly things that you don’t need until you can get them with a Swagbucks giftcard! There are resources out there with guides to earn a few dollars a day on Swagbucks, so just look around!
If you’re in college, you have a world of discounts available to you that you need to be taking advantage of! Chances are businesses in you college town will have a ton of discounts for students, but you can also find them on Student Rate, too! Student Rate is an incredible site that has a ton of discounts college students can access for free!
Stop buying the frivolous.
If you are a actively saving your money – then stop wasting it. Replace your morning starbucks with a homemade latte, kick your gum chewing habit, and pack a lunch. Now at the end of the week put the money that you would have spent on those items that you really don’t need and put it into your savings account. It adds up.
The same goes for clothes shopping. As a teenage girl it took me a while to realize that no, I don’t need that new _______. I love to save my money, but sometimes I’d get the itch to shop. It’s not that I needed new clothes or had an event coming up, I’d just decide to buy new clothes. But I am getting better at kicking that habit and I no longer have the desire very often anymore.
Ride your bike.
Or walk, or carpool. Just stop paying for gas, especially when you’re only going a mile or two. Unless it’s blistering hot or freezing cold then there is really no good reason not to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise all while saving gas money.
Ditch the card.
Whether it’s a debit card or credit card stop using it for a little while. When you don’t have to physically hand money over it is a lot easier to spend. Instead of swiping your card without thinking about how you just made your bank account sad, use the budget I mentioned earlier to predetermine how much money you can spend that week and keep that amount out from your paycheck. Of course allow a little bit of wiggle room in case of emergencies!
Now start saving money!
So there you have it! Some of the tips may have seemed a bit obvious, but I am hoping that they might help you! Like I said before, no need to implement them all at once, but even just being conscious of how you spend your money may help you become a better saver. There are obvious things I missed like couponing and reward systems, but I have never really used any of those techniques so I am not the best resource to go for those ideas, but they are still worth pursuing if you think they may work for you!