Saving is critical in building financial wealth. It can be habit forming if you train yourself to save regularly even small amounts. It is the knowledge you acquire once you understand how money grows over time if invested regularly and consistently.
Pay Yourself First: An easy way to save is to pay yourself first before you commit to all other payments. Decide on a monthly amount to put in your savings before you allocate other amounts to your expenses. Make paying yourself first a non-negotiable item while setting your personal budget. This concept will not only allow you to build wealth overtime, but it will help you reach financial security as you establish an emergency fund for rainy days. When you decide to start investing, it is a good idea to consult with a qualified professional, financial planner, about your financial goals. Always check the credentials of financial planners before you commit to investing your money.
- Rent or borrow textbooks or e-books instead of purchasing.
- Consider taking extra classes each semester to graduate earlier.
- Make a list before you go shopping of things you need... and stick to it.
- Use coupons. There are a plethora of coupon apps available.
- Do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry.
- Review your billing statements to make sure you are not charged unnecessary fees.
- Call to negotiate rates – for your cable, internet, interest rates on credit cards, etc. The worst they can do is say no.
- Search for cheaper rates through other providers (cell phone, cable, etc.)
- Consider using online television and video services instead of expensive cable packages.
- Look for cheap (or FREE) entertainment.
- Consider dinners where friends bring food instead of going out to eat. Anyone up for a game night?
- Always ask if you can get a discount with your student ID.
Additional Saving thoughts
- Don’t compare your spending and finances with your friends. You don’t know where their money is coming from. They could have family or friends helping with their expenses. They could be charging up a lot of debt. Focus on your finances and what you know you can afford.
- Use the 30 Day Rule. If you want something – but don’t need it – take a step back for 30 days. This gives you time to think about whether or not you should purchase it and if the value it adds to your life is worth the price. It also gives you time to search for a better deal.
- Know the time value of your money. How long do you have to work to earn the money to purchase that item? Or are you borrowing from your future income to purchase it (i.e. debt)? Is it worth it?
- Consider going cash only. It’s easy to swipe a debit or credit card… too easy. Studies show people spend 12% to 18% less by using cash instead of cards.
For more information, please check out the Consumer Action Handbook.