It is not easy. You’re still in school, maybe just out of school and you want to see the world.
You want to travel the globe, or wear lots of fancy outfits?
Maybe you want Yeezys? I don’t know who would… but maybe that’s your dream.
You just finished school, and you’re dreading moving back into your parents house.
You want out.
But you can’t buy an apartment if you don’t have money.
And you most certainly cannot buy an apartment if you are terrible with money.
And you most definitely cannot buy an apartment if you go to taco bell twice a week, and sell your soul to Starbucks every morning.
So hear are 7 easy ways to start budgeting, saving, and becoming better with money.
I myself am no savings experts, and have been known to receive one or two dozen packages in the mail on a monthly basis. But these steps have helped me not only save money right now, but start saving it for my future.
Have you ever looked back at your transactions and calculated how much money you’ve spent on food?
I do that often just to make me hate myself.
Like how quickly does that $1.50 timmies you buy every morning turn into enough money to purchase a decent sized television?
Well now Mint does it for me.
If you don’t have it, get it.
This app saved my LIFE. I connected my cards (its run by Intuit- insanely safe) and within seconds I was faced with a pie chart of all the money I had spent on food and shopping that month.
Mint categorizes all your spending money and gives you a visual on how much you’re spending in each category. For example, it’s very hard to not change your ways when a pie chart tells you that you’ve spent 200 dollars on food this month and it’s only the eighth.
The app also warns you when you need to pay a bill, when you’re spending too much money in a certain category and you can create budgets! As many as you want!
I know it seems like such a boring way to start off this blog, but without Mint I manage to spend HUGE amounts of money on ridiculous things. This app has seriously given me some perspective.
It’s a lot easier to see your spendings, and accept your deep-seeded issues when it’s right in front of your face… in a colour coded chart.
2. The Motivation Jar.
A jar, a piggy bank, a cup, your car cup holder… whatever it is—put a label on it and start working towards a goal.
Obviously this step is a lot easier for people who receive tips at their job but even a little goes a long way.
When I was working at the bar, I got myself a massive mason jar and slapped a ‘Visit Andy Money’ label right on the front.
After every shift I would put nearly all my tip money in the jar, and it would accumulate fast.
Before having the jar, I didn’t realize how quickly I would be able to save up cash to be able to purchase a flight to see Andy.
The label also acts as a huge motivation, and it stares at you when you sleep.
Its hard to not put money in a ‘Europe Trip’ jar that watches you when you sleep- am I right?
3. Automatic Transfers.
Ok so you suck at saving money. That’s okay—let the bank do it for you.
If you have online banking—you can set up automatic transfers.
Start small—even if it’s 20 dollars. You can set it up so every time you get paid from your job, a transfer of 20 dollars will automatically be taken out and put immediately into your savings account.
And you do nothing.
It’s like the gym membership you forgot about that steals like 50 bucks off your credit card each month, and you want to cancel it but then you’re like….I’m fat, I’ll keep paying it.
It’s like that… but this actually benefits your future.
It seems so small, but even a 20 dollar transfer every pay check is 500 dollars after a year.
And you know once you’ve set it up, you will be far to lazy to stop it or cancel it.
So just let the little money fairies do their job.
And you didn’t even know it was happening.
4. Thrift Shopping.
I understand that thrift shopping is a trend right now, but it has so many more benefits that being able to buy Kappa pants.
When I moved back home, I knew I wanted to re-do my room to create a ‘happy-place’ for myself. Well, redecorating a room can be an extremely expensive endeavor (triple E there, love it).
But it doesn’t have to be.
Before you buy anything I suggest asking yourself if you can find it at a thrift store.
I filled almost all my walls in my room with picture frames—which were purchased for about a dollar each at Value Village.
I spent months looking for a big mirror for my room that was under 80 bucks—and ended up finding a beat-up chipped one in the clearance section at home sense. All it needed was a quick spray paint job and I get compliments on it constantly.
Fashion Nova is a big thing right now, because you can buy high-waisted jeans that make your butt look nice.
Stop paying these ridiculous shipping fees—go to Value Village.
Every time I need a new pair of jeans, I rush right over there.
Amongst all the junk—there is always that one pair of old-school highwaisted Levi’s that are worth more than all your online-shopping items.
And you only paid 5.99.
AND NOW YOU HAVE A CARD.
THAT GETS STAMPED EVERY TIME YOU BUY A PAIR OF JEANS!
AND YOU GET YOUR 10TH ONE FREE!
IS FASHION NOVA GIVING YOU FREE JEANS???
I DIDN’T THINK SO.
*I’m gunna pop some tags, and now I got 20 dollars in my SAVINGS*
This one is great if you ignored absolutely everything I said in my last point 🙂
I wish I discovered this application a really long time ago. But I’m so thankful I have it now. Honey is a chrome add-on (it’s available for MAC as well) that finds online shopping coupons for you and automatically adds them to your check out order.
There isn’t really much else I need to say, other than it’s like getting free money.
Whenever you are about to check out at an online store, make sure to click Honey to see how many coupons you are able to use for that order!
You’re welcome 🙂
6. Get a TFSA.
Just do it. Everyone is telling you to do it. Stop postponing the inevitable.
Get the account and then repeat step 3 (have it automatically transferred to your TSFA)
Let me give you some perspective.
Let’s say you put 200 dollars into your TSFA each month for a year. (that’s not much at all)
That’s 2,400 dollars.
After two years that’s almost 5,000 dollars.
But because you put it in a TSFA, you now have almost 6,000 dollars.
Just do it.
7. A Weekly Allowance.
My mom introduced me to this method a very long time ago, when I was starting University.
We would look at all the money I accumulated over the summer, and then figure out how much money I would be able to spend a week.
If you have a Full-time Job, even making around minimum wage– giving yourself a 50 dollar spending limit each week is insanely helpful.
You might be thinking, ’50 dollars is a tonne, I would never go over that’.
But it is so easy to go over 50 bucks. All You Can Eat Sushi is basically like 100 bucks a person.
And let’s say you were being a good little human, and didn’t spend the full 50 one week.
Because maybe you have no life, and never go anywhere.
Carry it over to the next week!
Maybe you have no life ever because your boyfriend lives in another country, and you spend your evenings watching Barbie: Life in the Dream House on Netflix.
GREAT! Keep carrying over the money!
By the end of the month, you have a solid chunk of money to spend on whatever you want.
And you didn’t break your budget.
You’re still doing great.
What a wonderful feeling.
At the end of the day, Adulting is hard.
School debt, Travel Urges, Instagram pics of people wearing outfits you wish you had.
I get it.
But it is very possible to get what you want in moderation, while still saving for your future.
Or saving for anything, really.
School makes you take mandatory classes about SIN, COS and TAN– but there is nothing about how to afford fresh fruit on a student budget.
Whoever invented cup o’ noodles must be chilling on a boat somewhere laughing at this blog.
Who needs budgeting when you make a living off starving students.