Simple Money Saving Tips for College Students
There are two common thoughts that stop people from saving money:
“Why bother saving money when I can’t save very much?”
“I spend all my extra money, I just don’t know where it all goes.”
People that succeed with saving money know these two things:
Whatever amount of money you can put away will add up over time – as long as it is done consistently.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult.
And today, I have something that will jump start your saving account back to life:
10 easy & effective ways to that you can use to start saving money right now.
Here’s the thing:
Most people use one bank. And that’s normal…
This first way to save money is a little unconventional, but majorly effective.
When you open another bank account, choose a “brick and mortar” bank that is a different institution from your current one.
Pick one that is inconvenient for you to go to.
Make sure there are no fees for maintaining an account there.
Some banks like to charge you a monthly fee when you don’t have X amount of money in the account.
Credit Unions on the other hand usually do not have those penalties. Shop around and ask questions until you find the right place.
After you’ve picked a bank, opened an account and deposited the minimum balance, there is just one more step to complete:
Set up your direct deposit pay check (from work) where a small portion of it will go into that new account every time you get paid.
Choose an amount you can afford, and it can be as little as $5 per check. You can always up that amount later if you realize you can afford to put aside more – the point now is to start saving something.
So, what does opening a new bank account accomplish?
When you have another account that is a hassle to go to, you tend to forget about it.
And, when you have money automatically come out of your paycheck it’s a whole lot easier to save it.
Forget about it that new account for a year and let the savings add up. By that time you’ll have a nice pile of cash that can go into a vacation or an emergency fund.
If you are a person who is already in the habit of balancing your checkbook, this method can work for you.
And if you’re not that type of person, it can still work for you. Because it’s really simple.
Let me walk you through the Round Up Method:
When you make a purchase the total you pay is typically not an even number.
You could buy something for $3.39.
With the Round Up Method, you would then round up when subtracting that money you spent from your account.
Instead of writing $3.39 on a check register (or whichever way you keep track of your spending), you would subtract $4 even.
Do this for an entire year.
At the end of year reconcile your account and see how much you saved.
From there, rinse and repeat:
Move that money into your savings account and start over again for the next year. You may be surprised at how much money you’ve saved with this strategy.
Believe it or not:
I saved over $1000 doing this one year and I didn’t even notice.
The trick to this method is to ALWAYS round up to the next dollar. Even if you spent, say $5.01 – round that up to $6.
We’ve all made one….
Or two, or three….
Avoid making poor spending decisions in the heat of the moment by doing one simple thing:
Give yourself a waiting period.
I suggest a waiting time of at least 72 hours, if not a longer.
If I want to make a relatively small purchase on something unnecessary, I make myself wait three days. If I still want it after that time, I’ll buy it.
On bigger, more expensive things I want – I wait two weeks before making a final decision.
Most of the time after waiting and thinking about it, I don’t really want to make that purchase or I even forget about it completely.
What’s the bottom line?
Giving yourself time to think about it will often times stop you from wasting money on unneeded purchases.
It may be obvious:
But it needs to be said – don’t go into any more debt than you already have.
This goes hand in hand with tip #3 – evaluating your needs VS wants.
Three of the biggest budget breakers are:
Credit card debt.
What it all boils down to…
The more debt you have the more of your money that goes to making payments. Which in turn is (of course), less money you can save – and spend later.
This next method is a great way to save money a number of reasons:
It takes only minutes.
And, it doesn’t require any of your own money.
You may be wondering:
“How is this possible?”
This is where certain smartphone apps come in.
How these apps work:
You make any purchases you normally would and then you scan your receipts with the apps.
The apps then reward you for doing so with cash and gift cards. Some just for the receipt information and some for buying select items.
Interested in learning more about these apps?
If you have nothing to spare in your budget – this is a way for you to save money.
Make extra money effortlessly with these apps and dedicate what you make to just your savings account.
If you get a raise at work – save it.
It sounds, well, crazy but trust me here. Save it, don’t spend it.
“The more you make, the more you spend” is probably a phrase you’ve heard before.
And, it’s true that people tend to spend more when they make more. But, it’s not a rule that you need to follow.
Think of it this way:
You’re not used to having the extra money that you’d now be getting from a raise. So, you might as well put it away as you won’t notice what you didnt’t have before anyway.
If you are disciplined enough, you can save the cash in a jar.
Have it direct deposited to another account (like tip #1).
P.S. When you get a raise it may not be as much as you think it is – after all, raises are subject to taxes just like regular pay. Make sure you know the after tax total.
Saving your change is a simple, yet effective, tried and true method for saving money.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, interacts with change. ANYONE can save money like this.
Start with a coin type (like quarters) and every time you get one – toss it in a jar.
Or, you can save all the change you get regardless of value.
Don’t touch the coins in the jar for a year. And, I know you’re hearing this wait a year phrase a lot.
If it’s too much for you to wait that long, pick a shorter span of time that works for you. I myself, have had great results with doing this a year at a time.
Another way how to save money is to increase the amount of taxes you have taken out of your paycheck.
You may thinking:
“How is upping my taxes going to SAVE me money?”
I’ll sum in up in a word:
This will give you a BIGGER refund when tax season rolls around.
This isn’t my favorite way to save money…
As you are just letting the government hang on to your money – interest free.
HOWEVER, I did include it because it is an easy way to put saving on auto pilot.
For those who just cannot make themselves save any other way; this can be your ticket to success.
If you money burns a hole in your pocket every time you have extra cash, you may want to consider this.
Taking care of your personal belongings is a subtlety powerful way to save money.
If you have a car make sure to keep up with regular maintenance like changing the the oil. This will save you from needing to pay for more serious and more expensive repairs.
Keeping the tires inflated to the correct PSI will get you the best gas mileage for your car.
Stay with me here….
Keep your electronic items in good working order – no need to buy a new one if the one you have doesn’t break.
Check the back of your appliances, dust clogs can ruin a fridge or dryer fast!
If you have something that does break YouTube seems to have a video for everything. Fix it yourself!
All in all, when you spend a little time making sure your stuff is taken care of your stuff you can avoid a lot of extra spending.
Anyone can invest, right?
Well yes and no, it turns out.
You might decide you want to invest in a company, but the a single stock may cost something like $500.
AKA – a lot less than affordable.
How do you get around this?
Easy. Use Sharebuilder.
Sharebuilder is a great way to invest because you get to choose exactly how much you want to spend.
With Sharebuilder, you can buy partial shares – meaning that over a period of time you accrue full shares.
And, let me tell you…
…it all adds up!
You can have any amount automatically removed from your account and invested once a month. There are no minimums deposits.
It’s another way to save money without doing much.
Here’s the kicker:
With Sharebuilder your money is not liquid – meaning you can’t get it out immediately if you need it. This will keep you from cashing out when tempted and help you keep saving.
Things to know:
You will pay a small commission fee for each time you invest (this amount is much less than paying a broker).
Leave your money and as it adds up you will earn dividends and can reinvest those earning for more stock instead of cash. This is a way to continue to add more stock to your portfolio, faster.
Keep in mind that you CAN lose money as it is the stock market. I suggest doing research before buying stock – instead of just winging it and picking your favorite companies.
Alright, now you’ve read all about my 10 easy & unconventional ways to save money.
Now its your turn to pick one and get started saving.
If you are just getting started saving, this may all sound overwhelming.
But you don’t need to use all of these ways to save. Start by picking one method to try and go from there.
After you’ve mastered that method, add another to your routine.
The more ways you save, the more that adds up. I always like to pick several ways to save, so I have more choices when I do need extra money.
Leave a comment below to let me know which way to save you’re going try.
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