How to Save Money While in College
Saving money is not for the weak. I am a firm believer in that statement. Since I started receiving paychecks, I have also received horrifying balance reports. Due to that unfortunate occurrence, I have acquired a few methods and practices that have helped me manage and save my money. Ahead, I will share a few skills I have learned.
Determine Your Cash FlowThe best way to save money is to determine how much you can save. At the beginning of each month, Write out all of your recurring purchases for each month. Your frequent purchases would include the cell phone bill, grocery, transportation, etc. Next, you would total these expenses and subtract the amount from your total income. That method is calculating the cash flow. You can save a percentage of the entire amount from the leftover money- it's up to you and your saving goals.
Utilize a planner
In my last post, I had written about the critical use of a planner. I had emphasized that a planner can help track and manage your time; however, a planner can serve another purpose. A planner can help monitor your expenses and money. A few months ago, I had read about keeping a planner of the foods you eat, and there were some critical steps to lose a few pounds. I found that the same method works reversely to keep a few twenties or hundred in your bank account. Bank institutions created applications that help one revisit and track their transactions and balance. Those applications are great, but I found that following these transactions on your own is best. Every time you make a purchase, open up your notes application, and log the purchase. Include the name, time of purchase, and total. For example, you went to Starbucks at 10:15 A.M. You purchased a Butter Croissant for $2.45 and a Venti Caramel Frappuccino for $4.95, your total would be $7.40.
Transfer your notes to a designated notebook at the end of the day. At the end of each week or month, total up the amount spent. Seeing how much money I have spent on chips for a whole month repels me from repeating these certain behaviors.
Don't Buy Things on Impulse
Impulse shopping is fun; however, it is horrible when you attempt to purchase something you've had your eye on and realized you'd spent your money on an impulse. For example, you bought a top due to a whim, but you have not worn it yet, and you will probably not wear it. The best way to avoid this mistake is only to buy when you've monitored an item's price and considered the value the item would add to your life. For example, if I see something at Zara that I love, I don't just go ahead and buy it. I will surely be there the next day and even for the next week. I'll revisit the site for a week or two and keep my eye on how I feel about it to see if it is vital. Generally, after a few days, my interest fades, and the item goes on sale for half of the original price. Later, I find a cheaper alternative.
Don't Shop According To Sales Price
Even if an item is on sale, that does not necessarily mean you saved money. If a laptop you could have put off on cost $800 goes on sale for $735, you saved $65. but you still spent $735.Think about the actual amount of money you are paying before purchasing.
Plan Your Menu For The Week
I love food! My love for food, coupled with my impulse shopping, cost me tons each week. My best advice for this is to plan your meals! Take a few hours on the weekend to make a menu of all your 21 meals (if you plan for three meals per day) for the next week. Take Sunday afternoon to cook up all the meals and pack them up in containers for the week. Each day, you already have something to eat, eliminating the need to order fast food. I guarantee you will save money each week!