As a college student (I'm sure this applies to others as well though) it can be difficult to save money. It seems like every time I try to save money something happens (usually my car breaks down). However, I really like doing a lot of things (travel, eat out, etc.) and they usually require money. Working 10-20 hours a week doesn't necessarily produce the money to do "a lot of things." So I've come up with a few ways to help me save money without thinking about it.
Saving money at the grocery store. I typically shop at Fry's (Kroger for my East Coast readers). Every time I go to the grocery store and I save more than $15 using a combination of my coupons, and VIP savings, I transfer the amount saved to my savings account. This seems crazy right?
My rationale: I expected to spend that $15+ when I put together my budget. Since I didn't spend it, I might as well save it for later instead of using it on something I probably don't need.
I don't personally do this, but I know people who have $1 transferred to their savings account with every purchase made. If I did, I would probably have a lot of money saved. Think about how many times a week you go to a convenience store and spend like $2/3. Every time you did that you'd also save $1.
Instead, I have an automatic withdrawal scheduled. On the same day of every month I have a set dollar amount transferred from my saving to my checking.
Originally this was to prevent a monthly service fee. Now it helps me to save money towards the end of the month because I know that I have that "payment" coming out. Instead of spending that extra amount 😊.
Cash back credit cards. This one is not for everyone. I'm really good with my card. I rarely spend more money than what is in my checkings (the car probably broke down). What I do is I transfer the money I spent with my credit card as soon as the transaction posts in my mobile banking app. This way I earn the cash back but never have to worry about paying interest on my credit card.
Split your direct deposit. Have you ever been told to "pay yourself first?" If you separate the amount you wish to save first, it will almost seem as if the money did not exist (like healthcare or taxes). Most employers will allow you to deposit in 2-4 account. Instead of transferring the amount you want to save, have a set amount directly deposited into your savings account and the remainder into your checking account.
Be sure you choose a reasonable amount so that you don't have to pull from your savings.
Do you have a savings? Are you using the “I’m a college student” excuse?