How to Save Up In College

If there is one thing I always hear students say, it’s that they’re broke. Well, let’s break it down as to why you have no money (are you spending your money on things you need or things you want?)

There is a huge difference between want and need. Over the summer I really focused on creating a budget for myself by following the 50, 20, 30 rule. 50 for things I need, 20 percent goes to savings, and 30 percent for what I want. I would take every pay check and figure out the percentages, and before I knew it my savings account was growing every paycheck. I also have my bank account set up to where a certain amount of money from my checking account is automatically deposited into my savings – this has dramatically helped my savings account grow.

Now that you have an idea of how to budget your money, let’s consider the wants and needs.

Wants: alcohol, clothes/accessories, going out with friends, makeup that you really don’t need, etc.

Needs: groceries, gas, bills, etc.

Basically, stop spending money you don’t really have on stuff that isn’t necessary!!!! The extra stuff may be nice to have, but if you are over the age of 18 and need to start preparing for the REAL WORLD, learn how to budget your money now before you’re a struggling adult in the REAL WORLD and no one is there to help you. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to be 30 years old and still dependent on my parents. I haven’t asked my parents for money in a LONG TIME. I bought all my own books this year and I’ve been paying for my own groceries ever since I moved away from home (my mom chooses to put money into my account here and there – but that is her choice, and whenever I see she’s done that I’m grateful but I also feel bad because she really doesn’t have to be doing that).

If you go out with your friends constantly your bank account will see the dark end of your spending habits. If you go out, be cautious of what you guys plan on doing – are you going to the movies? (what time, because movie times earlier in the day are less expensive) where are you going out to get food? (is it a sit down restaurant that will require you to tip? is it an expensive place to eat?) are you going to the mall? (go to the mall with a limit for yourself on how much you will allow yourself to spend – don’t go over your 30% that you already calculated from your check!!) There have been many times at the beginning of this semester where I had to turn down nights out with my friends because I didn’t have a job at the moment and money for groceries was more important for me to have.

Another reason saving money is important to me is because within the next couple of years I want to be out of my parent’s house, have my own car, my own place, and also prepare to start a family. I don’t want to be someone who is dependent on someone else for my finances. I want to be able to spoil my future kids, do things that I want to do, take nice vacations, and live a nice life. If you don’t know how to budget your money you won’t be able to afford those luxuries, I’m sorry, but that’s the hard truth.

I hope this will motivate you to start thinking about your finances, and if you have any other questions for me leave a comment and I will get back to you!

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