Summer is nearly past and I have heard it all before; “I work so much during the summer, but I still have NO MONEY!” Its been a common trend for college students with a combination of loose spending and an underestimation of costs. This summer I sought out to conquer this common dilemma so I could say at the end of the summer that “I’m a saver!” Just to preface, my two campus jobs don’t pay an exceptional amount of money per hour but earning spending money while attending college (and trying to save some as well) can be done.
Budget, Budget Budget! Listing out the typical expenses and estimating the amount for each will give you a reference frame for success. Everything from groceries and bills to fun excursions need to be placed on the budget.
Power of Coupons- Its the newest fad on TLC and it exposes the truth behind coupon success. Taking some time to look through the circular flyers or online is extremely beneficial and saves you a whole lot of money. Most coupons can be used at any grocery store and many even double the coupons value at the register. Though it definitely takes some extra effort, you will be able to free up some space in your budget for more fun stuff!
Saving it all- If your have multiple income sources – two jobs for instance – you can elect to save all the earnings from one job and use the other income for out of pocket expenses. By setting aside a set portion of your paychecks you can count on that as savings towards a future expense (like graduate school or spring break).
Be honest with yourself – there is a difference between wanting things and needing them and that’s where you can learn to save by not spending on unnecessary items. Nice as the Student Union food court is – you don’t have to eat there everyday. You can write out notes rather than photocopying pages. You can wear jeans multiple times before washing them which not only saves money but water and energy too. And don’t be too tempted by sales items. If you would not buy an item at full price – then do you really need it at 30% off?
So be mindful of you spending habits. Set savings goals and stick to your budget – and you will find a nice chunk of change in you bank account at the end of the year.