Let's face it: Thinking about finances as a young adult is both stressful and scary. Apart from the overwhelming financial jargon, the thought of tracking all your online impulse buys sends shivers down your spine. Still, you'll be managing your own finances someday, and there's just no point in delaying the inevitable. Remember: Saving is about investing in your future, so the sooner you start, the better.
To help you out, we've listed down 5 easy tips students can try now to start saving more:
Identify your budget.
Setting a monthly budget is key to preventing unplanned purchases. First, you need to identify how much money you get from your allowance or side hustles every month. Afterwards, list down all your monthly projected expenses, then compare the two together. The challenge is finding the sweet spot, a realistic budget limit that allows you to save and splurge. Setting a cap can also help you differentiate between what you need and what you want. For example, instead of having food delivered every day, maybe you can cook once in a while and pocket the extra money.
Plan out your expenses and track them accordingly.
Other than documenting your savings, keeping track of your expenses will discourage you from buying impulsively. Many use Notion or Excel to build a personalized system, but there are also lots of money tracking apps for your phone if you need convenient options. Organize your expenses into different categories so you can determine what items you spend on the most. Bonus tip: Whenever you get the urge to add something to your cart, add it to a wishlist instead. That way, you can think before you buy, and you'll have a sensible list to reference when you're finally ready to treat yourself.
Be on the lookout for student discounts and sales.
A smart shopper is a patient one! If there's an item on your wishlist that you really want, wait for it to go on sale. Beyond the big sales of shopping platforms like Lazada and Shopee, several stores also offer discounts for students. And if you're in a student organization, don't be shy to ask if your org has any perks from brand partnerships.
Allot a portion of your budget to a separate savings account or an investment.
The temptation to spend is real when you have easy access to your bank account. That's exactly why many adults recommend opening another bank account solely meant for your savings. Of course, you can also opt for an investment to gain passive income. Consider it your safety net—sacrifice a little today so you can spend more tomorrow.
Find ways to earn money.
If your allowance just isn't cutting it for you, you can always find ways to earn more money. Fortunately, there are currently lots of freelance and part-time jobs you can manage alongside your school work. You can also tell your family and friends that you'll help them out with certain tasks in exchange for a small fee. Another popular option among students is to start a small business in line with your hobbies. In the long run, these opportunities won't just generate income—they'll give you work experience and skills training, too.
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