Being an adult is hard. Gone are the days where we could get away with having our parents do everything for us and pay for everything. There are so many struggles that come with being an adult but the biggest one I think we can all agree on is being financially independent. Now how independent is relative but I think at this point we all are accustomed to paying for stuff on our own. Between rent, groceries, club fees, entertainment, and just other random expenses my bank account is so low it hurts.
Not to mention whenever I do come into money my spending finger is like, ooh you have money in your bank now, time for some online shopping, only to end up right back where I started sadly and broke. So since time machines have yet to be invented, I figured I'd give you some tips about how to save earned money instead. Think of this article as a consolation prize.
Pay That Debt
This is more of a future money saver than right now, but don't knock it. Remember those loans you took out to pay for school then forgot about with everything else going on? Yah they're still there and depending on the loan, chances are they are already accruing interest. So instead of waiting until you're out of school to start paying them off, chip at them now. If you're already doing this great, if not what are you waiting for? If you have some extra fun money or just some extra cash use that to start paying off your student loans right now. Talk to your parents and your school's financial aid department about how you can start paying off those loans right now.
Work Work Work
This sounds easy and pretty obvious, but there's a lot more to it then you think. Trying to find a job during the school year is hard, not to mention trying to schedule it around all your other responsibilities is tough. If you happen to strike out there, maybe look at some other ways to obtain cash. Become an unofficial Uber for your friends who don't have cars and have them pay you gas money. Walk their dogs; something along those lines, and even if it's just a little money, it is still money.
There's an App For Everything
Get yourself one of those money tracker apps. Now it won't prevent you from spending anything, but you can put money aside for a rainy day. Plus, it helps break down what you're spending that month within detailed reports on what it was spent on. This way you can see where you need to cut back if you want to have some extra dollars in your bank account.
This one I had to learn the hard way. Do you remember when you were little and you went to the grocery store all you had to deal with was not getting lost and getting annoyed that your mom or dad ended up putting back whatever random stuff that caught your eye you put in the cart? Yah those times are over now - you are responsible for your own groceries, which is so hard. Make a list so you don't end up throwing extra or unneeded items into your cart. Also, don't just throw the first item on your list in your cart - compare the prices and go for the cheaper option. Being picky pays off in this instance.
Eating In or Out
Eating out is nice but it's expensive. Do what you can to limit eating out. When you go to buy groceries, add items that you can make decent-sized meals out of. Leftovers are your best friend as a struggling college student. Also, stick to foods that will keep you full longer so you aren't blowing your budget on snacks. With your meal plan, stick to the cafeteria when you can. It may not be the best food, but you can hopefully at least find something to eat and most of the time it's free. It's okay to splurge every once in a while but if you are eating out almost every night, you might need to either find more income or cut back on going to Cook Out.
Remember that two-week free trial that you signed up for? Yah chances are you probably forgot about it and are now shelling out a good chunk of change every month. Use your money app or go through your bank statements and see if there are any unused subscriptions you are paying for. After that go through and cancel them. No one likes to shell out money for something they aren't even using. Unless you are one of the few people who don't care - then keep doing so.
Sales can be super tempting to splurge and go crazy, but I'm telling you now don't do it. You probably don't need it right now and your bank account will be better off if you just ignore it. Also, unsubscribe from any flash sale emails - it will keep you from clicking to buy and also clear up your inbox. Two birds one stone.
Discount sales can be super tempting to splurge and go crazy but I'm telling you now don't do it. You probably don't need it right now and your bank account will be better off if you just ignore it. Also, unsubscribe from any flash sale emails it will keep you from clicking to buy and also clear up your inbox. Two birds one stone.
Sell Sell Sell
Chances are you have some extra stuff laying around the place you never used or don't use anymore. If that's the case, there's probably someone out there looking to buy it. Using whatever method you prefer, slowly get rid of all that extra clutter cramping up your place and gain some extra moola in the process. Just make sure whatever you sell you won't end up regretting it 10 minutes later and trying to get it back.
Cold Hard Cash
Take that extra cash you have laying around and stick it in a bank. Not the electronic kind - I mean a good old fashioned piggy bank. Think of this as your own secure rainy day fund. Yes, lots of stuff is paid online nowadays, but there are still lots of times when it's easier and more beneficial to pay with cash. Plus, it helps you keep spending on nonessentials to a minimum. If you don't have enough cash, then you probably shouldn't buy it. Doing this will keep you and your bank account happy. This doesn't mean you need to go walking around with $50 dollars in your wallet unless you want to get mugged. Instead, keep around $25 - enough to cover any extra spending but not so much it's ridiculous.
This is the magic word for any college student. Take advantage of free events or movie nights. Even better, make your own fun with what you have. Who says you have to break your bank to have fun.
Well, there are my 11 tips. However, if you're like me, you will slip up many times which is okay because adulting is such a struggle. Just do your best because no one likes being broke - it's not fun for anyone.