Saving money probably isn't one of your top priorities as a college student. There are more pressing issues to think about, after all—finals week, org elections, and that barkada hangout that *always* gets pushed back. Still, there are plenty of ways to ease yourself into the habit of saving even if you don't have a lot of time (or money!) in your hands. We know how intimidating all that financial jargon can seem, so we've listed down five easy money-saving hacks for college students who want to start handling their finances.
5 Money-Saving Tips I Wish I Knew as a Broke College Student
- Set a realistic budget.
As tempting as it may be, don't pressure yourself to save up a huge sum of money every month. Keep in mind that going for impossible goals is basically setting yourself up for failure! That said, we suggest listing down all your expenses every week and approximating a monthly budget based on that. For instance, if you already know that you need to spend half of your allowance to eat lunch every day, aim to save only 30% of your weekly baon. That way, you still have a little leeway for spending just in case you really need to go over budget.
- Have someone hold you accountable.
Kick your impulse shopping habit by asking someone to hold you accountable for your goals. Make your BFF your money buddy so they talk you out of purchases you don't need and remind you to deposit money into your savings account. You can also ask your parents or guardians to hold your savings for you just in case those Shopee and Lazada sales get too tempting.
- Start small.
Long-term saving is all about delayed gratification, so don't expect yourself to ~get rich~ overnight. Whether it's dropping spare change into a piggy bank or keeping all your 20-peso bills in a separate wallet, starting small is a great way to build financial discipline at a young age. Think about it: If you train yourself to save 100 pesos every week of the month, you'll already have over 5,000 pesos worth of savings at the end of the year.
- Open a separate bank account for savings.
It'll be a lot easier to document expenses if you open another bank account merely for your savings. But if you really can't resist the urge to get money from that account, you can opt to invest your money instead so you can also gain passive income in the meantime.
- Find small ways to reduce your daily spendings.
When tracking your expenses every week, go through each item and ask yourself if that purchase was *really* necessary. Is it okay to spend 200 pesos on Starbucks every week if you have a working coffee machine at home? How much money could you save if you opted to take the bus instead of booking a Grab every weekend? Remember: It's all about cutting back on seemingly trivial purchases that accumulate over time.