With all the expenses of life nowadays, it’s harder and harder to save money. While that seems like the top priority, it’s ironically (and unfairly) the hardest. Water bill prices are increasing. Phone bills are costing an arm and a leg. Landlords are jacking up rent prices – and a latte at Starbucks is practically worth a tank of gas (sarcasm, but you get my point).
A wise friend of mine shared some personal insight, as well as advice, to help those of us twenty-somethings who are trying to gather their bearings after college and to get out of a hole before reaching age 30.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
When you get a paycheck, map out your expenses for the next month that same day you get the paycheck. Figure out exactly what you need, and when you need it. Know what you need to do? Awesome. Now before you do anything, put money into your savings right off the top of your paycheck. You’ll be less likely to justify purchases later, put it off, take less than you intended to, etc.
Now that you’ve saved off the top, you’re heading in the right direction for the month.
So next order of business: spare change. I’m not talking about coins you have floating around in your pocket, or random crumpled dollar bills you find in your car. I’m talking about VIRTUAL spare change. An app called Acorns is a savings app that helps you invest (save) your spare change when you link it with your card. Say you buy a pack of gum for $1.75 with your debit card. Acorns will round that up to $2, so will save that .25 cents. Rounding up these expenses, even on little things, adds up quickly, and goes somewhere you don’t have immediate access to. It saves your money in a virtual pocket without even trying to.
Next order of business:
Have a subscription to something you don’t truly get use out of? I recently ended my Netflix subscription. I don’t watch it on my own, and always am with someone else who is already signed into one their parents pay for. So, that $10.59 every month that I’m no longer spending on Netflix? I put that into a savings account. Little expenses like that add up. Find little ways you can put money into something better spent. Didn’t buy your weekly coffee? Put that $5 away. Didn’t order an appetizer at dinner like usual? Put $10 away for that.
While these are just three simple ways you can save more money, they really do (literally) add up. It’s the little things that milennials need to jumpstart a new habit – a new habit that creates less stress long term. It’s one that starts to set you up for financial success!
Written by GUADS staff member Kelley