First off let me say I am no financial advisor. When I turned 22 I realized I had almost no money saved and $800 worth of credit card debt on my Victoria’s Secret credit card and I needed a change. It’s really hard to save money while you’re in college, but after school I knew I had to change my habits. I paid off my Victoria’s Secret card (and cancelled it which I now regret) and did all that I could to save money. Here are a few tips that helped me save lots during my learning process!
- Put Your Cash in a Box – people will tell you that this is stupid. “What if you get robbed?” If you live in a neighborhood where you may get robbed, don’t do this. If you don’t this is a really good tip. On paydays, I would take at least $100 out of my bank account and put it in a shoe box. This became an obsession for me. I would take a hundred here, two-hundred there and add it to my cash “collection”. I saved a few thousand this way and it was great. If I became low on cash and really needed the money, it was there for me but for some reason, I didn’t want to touch it. I wanted to watch it stack and it worked for me. At one point, my fiance say how much I had in the box and nagged me until put it in the bank – lol.
- Open a Second Bank Account (Checking, not Savings) – I know what you’re thinking, not opening a savings account is stupid. Actually if you need to dip into your savings every month, multiple times a month, a savings account IS STUPID. Keep in mind that I always move hundreds of dollars over when I get paid. I may have an unexpected bill or emergency come up and I may need to dip into it. Or, I may see a dress I want! Most banks charge you for dipping into savings more than three times a month. This is another example why the cash box method worked so well for me. Checking accounts allow you to transfer funds between them freely with no penalty. Once you save too much cash to keep in the house, you move to a second checking account. Keep in mind in order to keep checking accounts free, you must keep a minimum amount of cash in them. For Bank Of America, it’s $1500. Most employers also allow you to split your check into two bank accounts. You never miss the money going to your 401k because you don’t remember it’s there. It will work the same way if you have funds from your paycheck automatically go into a second account.
- Download Mint – Mint helped me see exactly what I was spending my money on without scrolling through my bank statement – which no one does. I created budgets for myself and I can check on them mid-month to ensure that I don’t go over. My monthly Uber budget is $50. When I reach my max or get close, my ass is taking the train like a broke chick should! Mint also sends you reminders when you have bills coming up which I love. I am never surprised by auto payments.
I hope these tips help you in some way. Comment below with your tips for me!