When it comes to managing and saving money, it’s NEVER too early to start learning and, more importantly, practicing. If I could change one thing from college, I would go back in time and start slowly putting away money from all my odd end jobs I worked. But, I can’t. C’est la vie. I have hope for you, though! Don’t let me down.
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Unfortunately, this list will not magically make you money. It will, however, help you start to be aware of your spending, which in turn, will help you learn to save that hard earned, precious money of yours. Let’s dive in!
1. Get Honey ASAP
Okay, so maybe this one is magic. Honey is an amazing plug-in you can add to your browser. Every time you buy something online (which face it, is often) at check out, Honey will search for any discount or promo codes for your purchase and apply the discount. LOVE IT. It’s basically as easy as:
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2. Open a savings account and master the auto transfer
Step one, open a savings account. Step two, learn how to set up auto transfers. The key to this kind of saving is automating it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Oh, I’ll remember to put money aside manually!” Guess what? It never works. With automatic monthly transfers, you literally never have to think about it, and that money just builds up patiently. Also, it’s very important to remember that you don’t have to transfer a lot of money every month. If $3 a month is all you can do right now, that’s great! I’m not kidding. Building the habit is the most import part. And in a few years from now, I bet you’ll be surprised with how much you can increase your monthly number.
3. Download Mint
The most important step to saving money is understanding how much you spend and where you spend it. Mint, the app, is great for this. Not only will it help you create a budget and stick to it, it will help you understand what category you’re over spending in each month. Their monthly breakdowns are a great eye-opener so you learn where you may need some improvement and logging on frequently is the fastest way to get a live update on if you should really buy that Starbucks or adorable dress this week.
4. Match your Starbucks
Every time you buy a Starbucks, donate $1 to your savings account. That’s fair right? If you can buy a Frapp, you can invest in yourself, right? Get creative with it! Are you a makeup junkie? $5 to savings for every purchase. Can’t say no to dinners out? 10% of your total check goes into your savings!
If you’re ambitious and want to start learning about investing, the app, Acorns, may be perfect for you. Acorns is basically micro investing. For every purchase you make, it rounds it up to the nearest dollar and uses the change to invest for you! Essentially, you’re making money off of your loose change. Cool, huh?
6. Lean into your love of pasta
No, I’m not about the tell you to stop buying avocado toast because it’s ruining your finances. That’s already been done, and the Internet did not take it well. I’m just here to tell you the cold hard truth that eating out drains your bank account with none essential expenses. As an avid foodie, I would NEVER tell y’all to stop enjoying a few meals out here and there, but I do think you should make it a treat, not an everyday thing. And please, make sure to make up for it with some at home affordable meals. When it comes to cheap, healthy, but oh so satisfying dinners, you can’t do better than pasta, red sauce and a few veggies thrown in.
7. Make it a game
Like our Starbucks hack, get creative and fun with saving. I personally like to take a month and call it my “no spend” month. Basically, I try to cut out all non-necessary purchases for a month. That book I want? Sorry, gotta wait until I finish the one I’m reading. The swimsuit I have to have right this second? Sorry, next month. But create your own game. Grab a friend and see who can spend the least on food for a week! Or challenge each other to only at home coffee for a week. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone, right?
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