Saving money in college can make it or break it for some. With college itself already being outrageously expensive, I’m here to show you how to successfully budget shop along the way. Let’s start saving!
1. Make an Expense Spreadsheet
Sometimes, it’s nice to plan everything out to help you visualize your goals. Make a spreadsheet on excel or just write it down in a notebook. Whatever works best for you. Think about what you spend your money on, food, gas, makeup, clothes, school supplies, toiletries, etc. Then allot the designated amount you think you spend on each per month. Some months are different than others, but that’s okay.
2. Make Money Saving Goals
If you really want to make saving money a habit, write down your goals so you can refer back to them. Get a cute notebook or write in on a whiteboard so you can always see it. For example, you might make it a goal to go a week without eating out, or cut down on getting your nails done. These are simple things that you can easily dial down, and can save you big time down the road!
3. Shop The Sales
It’s super important to keep an eye out for all the latest sales, whether you are shopping for groceries or clothes, always see if you can get the best deal. When shopping for food, look at the price tag to see how many cents per ounce or lb. From there, you can see which options are cheapest. My mom taught me this one and it helps a ton!
4. Thrift or Outlet Shop
Thrift shopping can be so much fun if you really know what you’re doing and have an open mind. Sometimes, you can find the coolest things at thrift shops that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. If you don’t have a thrift shop near you, check out stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx because they have some great deals on name brands and designer stuff!
5. Be Willing To Say No
It’s easy to get caught up in friends who always want to spend money, as if it grows on trees. But don’t be afraid to say no to movies or dinners when you could easily stay in and have just as fun a time. Your friends will understand if they are truly your friends. There’s nothing wrong with being proactive about your money choices.
6. Realize That Money Doesn’t Equal Happiness
There is so much more importance to life than money. Money does not equal happiness. It’s the people and places you surround yourself with that make you happy. This is so important to remember when budgeting, because while it may seem like the end of the world when you have to stay home to save money, it’s really not. Making a list of everything you are grateful for will help put things in perspective.
7. Walk or Bus Places
This is such an easy way to save money and the planet! Try walking to class instead of driving a few days a week, or just walk downtown instead of taking an Uber. Not only will this save money, but it will help you get in shape. Yay for a healthier lifestyle!
8. Budget Shop 101: If You Don’t Need It, Don’t Buy It
It can be tempting to buy something just for the sake of it, but ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Will this bring me joy? Do I have something just like it at home?” Try not to splurge on things you really don’t need, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself every once in a while. I’m not saying stop going to the mall in general, but maybe avoid it for a few weeks. Also, stop online shopping. It can become addictive since you can buy a new outfit from the comfort of your bed. Just get out of the habit!