The hardest part of saving money is dealing with the voice in your head that goes ‘treat yo’ self!’ when you’ve barely made it to half of the amount you aimed for.
Needless to say, having your own savings is very important but instead of making you the Uncle Scrooge of your group, the idea of this month’s 30 Day Challenge is to help you save money the right way. If you think you’re too young and it’s too early to think finances, your future self might get quite mad at you. Whether it is the childhood dream of getting a Lamborghini that you want to come true or you plan on starting a small business, NOW is the time to start saving.
To make this October a month of saving, here are a few things you can do.
Set a Goal
The best way to save money is to have a realistic goal that doesn’t overwhelm your budget. Is it 10% that you can easily save or do you feel more comfortable adjusting the amount according to each month’s expenditure? Figure out what works best for you and stick to it. The most important part is being persistent.
Recognize Your Spending Pattern
What is it that you waste money on? Do you order too much fast food instead of eating homemade food or do you buy crafts supplies without a definite plan of using them? Is it at the start of the month when you get your pocket money/paycheck or towards the end when you feel you’re left with more than what you need? Recognize the pattern of your expenditure, point out what’s unnecessary and change that.
Keeping Money Safe
You know what’s a great threat to our precious savings than someone breaking into our home? The sudden urges we get to go on a shopping spree!
Get a piggy bank, open a bank account if your don’t already have one or give your money to a friend or family member telling them very clearly that they are not to return it even if you ask, unless there’s a genuine need.
Open a Savings Account
A savings account not only keeps your money safe, but also adds a little to it every now and then; win-win situation!
Get an App to Help
Plan a budget and keep a check on your expenditures. Everyone has smart phones so we might as well use them smartly instead of playing Flappy Bird all day! (Seriously though, how far did you make it? I can’t go beyond 10, you guys. 😥 ) If you find notes and lists too fussy, try apps like Dollarbird.
Shopping Isn’t The Only Way to Have Fun
Getting bored and deciding to check out what’s new in the mall, (har Sunday Centaurus jana!) everyone’s been there. There are so many other things you can do to have a good time. Take your bicycle around the city, call friends for dinner or have a small bonfire and tell scary stories!
Also, when you do go shopping, go with a list of the stuff you need instead of picking up random things thinking you might need them.
DIY Whenever You Can
If you have time, DIY-ing can help you save a lot! Instead of buying expensive decor, make a knockoff. Not only does this help you with building a decent saving, but also lets you add a personal touch to your belongings.
Look For Alternatives
If you like something they are selling in a fancy shop, unless the item is made exclusively by them, chances are good that you’d be able to find something very similar for a cheaper price in the not-so-fancy shops. I’ve made this mistake several times and regretted each time I saw the same thing being sold at a better price. And once yo do that, you can go ‘no regrets’ more confidently than this guy!
More Changes to Make
Now if you’re really serious about saving, you can do more.
- Take public transport instead of booking a cab (choose Metro over Uber). Except in the rush hour, it is not so bad in public transport.
- Instead of going to fancy restaurants, treat your friends to a homemade lunch and show off your gourmet skills!
- If you can take out the time, earn a little extra. Freelancing or setting up a small online shop can help you make some more $$ from the comfort of your home.
- Go through your belongings and look for what you don’t need and can be sold. Websites like OLX let you sell your stuff without charging anything. Jewelry you don’t like or fancy shoes that are in a good condition but you don’t wear can be easily sold.
- Original copies of course books can be pretty expensive. Ask a senior student if you can get their books or look up for a decent copy in a used book shop, unless of course, new editions are out.
Save But Don’t Be Miser
Saving shouldn’t stop you from having fun. Go out, eat good, watch movies and enjoy yourself. You can totally buy that awesome shirt you saw, unless, you have 30 more hanging in your wardrobe. Where you draw the line is up to you and the goal you’ve set but it shouldn’t mean sacrificing your comfort.
No one can tell you what to buy and what not to buy better than yourself. Keep the points we talked about here in mind and identify what can you change up to save more. The key is to do a little every month and be persistent, and soon you would save more than ever.