When you start university, it is very easy to neglect your personal finances. This is often because of a lack of experience in money management or because studying involves a lot of hard work, time, and dedication.
That’s why developing habits such as saving money will not only help you not be without money but will put you on the path to healthy, well-managed finances.
Take these tips as a starting point for achieving the independence you seek without throwing in the towel!
1. Goodbye budgeting, hello conscious spending!
The trick to saving money is learning how to spend. You have to make decisions like, buy a college essay or save that money and buy food.
Conscious spending will help you create healthy habits that allow you to buy what you want without feeling guilty or arriving at the end of the month with an empty wallet.
You should first categorize your spending, set aside a certain percentage for discretionary purchases, and automate payments for important things like your cards. Then, make sure your finances are in order.
PRO TIP: Before you spend, you should also plan for your future. Put some money into long-term investments, such as an emergency fund or retirement fund.
2. Saving needs your discipline
One of the keys to saving money and not failing is to be disciplined in your spending. For example, you can set weekly or monthly limits for each spending item.
But if at first, you struggle with this, you can schedule your savings so that you don’t have to worry about manually setting aside money each month. All you have to do is make a commitment not to use those funds for current expenses.
PRO TIP: A good idea for staying within your budget and saving money at the same time is to go shopping with a list in hand.
3. You have to know what you spend and why
Controlling your spending doesn’t mean you’ll stop shopping. It’s more about analyzing what you spend your money on and how you spend it. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep track of your spending regularly, especially if you’re one of those students who left home for university.
This happens a lot in our country! To do it right, we recommend that you save your shopping bills and record your daily expenses in an app on your cell phone to make it quick and easy for you.
On the weekend, you can take a few minutes to look at the money left in your account and compare it to your spending and what you left at the month’s end. This will help you get a realistic financial picture and know when it’s time to limit your spending.
PRO TIP: Don’t spend too much, because those small expenses pile up and affect your pocket much more than you think.
4. Don’t use one card for everything
Credit and debit cards are good allies in managing your purchases. That’s why it’s important to know how each one works so your spending doesn’t get out of control.
For example, paying with a debit card is the same as paying with cash since the amount is immediately deducted from your account.
On the other hand, a credit card allows you to buy something with money you don’t currently have, and you have to pay off the debt at the end of the month.
Also, if you start using a credit card and make your payments regularly, you will have a good credit history, which will help you have a good reputation in case you need to take on more debt in the future.
PRO TIP: Credit cards aren’t just for shopping. They also give you access to many perks and discounts that help you save more.
5. Setting a goal helps you save
Fulfilling a dream or achieving a goal is a powerful motivator for everyone. That’s why sometimes it’s easier to save money when you know what you’re saving for.
Not only will setting a goal help you know how much money to set aside each month, but it will motivate you to keep saving until you reach your goal. Set a goal for yourself, calculate how much it costs, and set aside a monthly amount of money so you can reach it as soon as possible.
PRO TIP: Avoid disappointment! Start with small savings goals so you don’t fail. This will help you gain the confidence to set bigger goals in the future.
6. You have many ways not to spend so much
It’s no secret that you need to spend wisely if you want to save money. It’s understandable that you have major expenses like books, food, transportation, and even entertainment when you’re a student.
That’s why we recommend that you take advantage of the discounts many institutions give students and any government assistance you can receive. Another alternative is to buy used books or to participate in free events organized by your university.
PRO TIP: Finished the semester? Don’t let your books get dusty; sell them to a classmate who will need them next year.
7. It’s time to build your professional experience
There is no better feeling than the fruits of your own efforts. We know that during our college years, time can be limited by classes, homework, and studying. But you can get a part-time or weekend job if you have days off or even holidays.
Having a paycheck (even if it’s small at first) boosts your savings and student budget. In addition, you will learn new job skills, and it will teach you the value of money.
PRO TIP: If you want to experience this in your future career, we recommend looking for internships related to your professional life.
University years are a great opportunity to build a good relationship with money and take responsibility for your personal finances. You decide! Start saving your money today.