I'm always looking for ways to save money. Especially since I cannot work a job with golf and school at the same time (thanks to my parents for always helping me when things get tight). So I work a summer job. I use the money I make and pray that it lasts me for most of the year because I hate asking my parents for money–they already do so much for me, and I want to be responsible. So here are some ways that I am learning to save my money and have some for the rest of the year!
1. Take some from each paycheck.
This is the first one I do every other week, or that you can do as often as you get paid. I take a little over half of what I make in each paycheck and move it into a different account that I use specifically during the school year. This way I don't see the money in my account and am not tempted to use that money. I cringe when I first move the money, but I still have some that is good for gas, food and some frivolous purchases.
2. Budget your money.
By this I mean look at the amount that you receive each month before you spend it, and then divide it into categories, from things that you have to spend money on to a fun category. So if you pay your own bills, make a category for each, then gas, groceries, shopping, entertainment and emergency items. In each category, you have a set amount that you can spend that month. The easiest way to do this is carry cash and put it into labeled envelopes. You can only spend money on an item from the category it is in. If you have money left in one, don't spend it in another, put it into your savings account or let that amount go to the next month, but not being an additional amount just already in there.
3. Order water.
This one is super simple. If you go eat at a restaurant, just order water instead of a soda or other drinks and save like two dollars. I know that may not seem like a lot, but it does add up.
4. Join clothing exchange groups.
This has been so helpful to me this summer. I live in a college town and there's a clothing exchange on Facebook that I joined. The group is awesome from both a seller and a buyer standpoint. If I have some semi-new clothes that I don't wear anymore, I can list them here and receive more money than what you would get at a consignment store. Just the other day I sold two dresses for $35. I had to sell eight items to get that at Plato's Closet. Also, from a buyer's standpoint, you actually meet the previous owner and get pretty good deals, most of the clothes are almost brand new and about 30-60% off depending on the item. And there are really good items as well, like Show Me Your MuMu and RayBan sunglasses.This has been a huge help to my closet from a buyer and seller aspect.
5. Only buy things you need.
This is a tricky one because I love to shop. But what I have come to realize is that I need/should be in complete love with the item if I am going to walk out of the store with it. I did have some purchases already planned before my paycheck arrived, but they were items I had been dying to have for over a month.
6. Budget after the summer is over.
Once you have your final month where you didn't take out a good chunk into your other account, look into your school account and divide that number by the amount of months you have before you start your summer job the next summer. Then take that amount and make a new categories that are relevant to purchases in the school year. Any money left in the other account, you should either leave to have in case you have a huge emergency, put into your savings, or transfer the money to the school account. I recommend one of the first two.
Just like with a diet, it is okay to splurge every now and then, that's why there is a miscellaneous category, but don't do it all the time–that's when your funds will start getting tight, trust me!