I am really starting to get more conscious about my spending and saving habits. As a student, almost all of the money you make goes right back to school (depending on your money situation), whether that is for class fees, books or parking. School is just one big money pit. However, I do believe that school is important so it’s one big money pit that I allow to take all of my hard earned dollars (cue the tears). I have had a couple big splurges lately that made me feel super guilty because I know I didn’t really need what I bought. I am trying to find a balance of treating myself and saving as much money as I can.
I am super lucky that I will graduate from school debt free and have paid my way through four years of school. I am not saying having debt is bad, there is nothing wrong with using loans to help you pay for school. I just knew for myself, I didn’t want to take out loans when I could work and save. I have had a part-time job since grade 11 which was awhile ago. I worked during school and was lucky that my degree had paid Co-op. So, I understand that I had a bit of an advantage compared to others that don’t have Co-op.
These are my tips to help build your savings to relieve some stress during school. It will take time, patience and good will power but you can do it!
Open a savings account + schedule auto deposits
I know this may seem like a no brainer but I know people who do not have seperate saving and spending accounts. This was the main thing that helped me save for school. I always have a spending account which I try to keep over $500, but I can do whatever I want with that money. I make sure my pay checks are deposited into my spending account but I also set up a bi-weekly auto deposit to my savings account. So depending on the size of your pay check, your bank account will auto deposit $100-$200 into your savings account bi-weekly. This means you still have spending money and you have money constantly getting added to your savings. I also made a rule to NEVER touch my savings unless it was an emergency, that money pretty much does not exist to me.
Limit yourself but don’t limit yourself
I love Starbucks, if you follow me on Instagram then you already know that! I always like to treat myself and never limit myself to stuff I want…but there are limits. I only get coffee three times a week and I never really go shopping. I try to buy clothes on sale when I really need them. Saving is like trying to eat healthier, if you never allow yourself to have some chips then you will just give in and GO CRAZY. Similar to having one cookie instead of fighting those cravings, one cookie is never bad! Just like treating yourself is never bad, but set limits. Only buy lunch once a week, set a rule for only two or three Starbucks trips a week and only go shopping when you actually need it. It’s honestly small things that build up to being totally broke. Five dollars a day leads to $30 a week which is a lot when you’re a student. So have fun but create boundaries for yourself.
Say no to F.O.M.O
I love to stay home whenever I can because it saves me money and I am a 90-year-old women! But it really does cost a lot of money to go out, whether that’s just fun with friends or going to a club. I try to find fun ways to stay in, like wine and movie nights or study sessions at someone’s house with homemade snacks. Try to be creative at home and plan a fun night that doesn’t require a lot of money! I love to go out with friends but I do limit myself because I know that means spending money. If I don’t NEED to spend money, I will try not to.