This Feisty Life may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
As you may have noticed in my last few monthly goals posts, I’m trying to save money. Well, a budget will be your new best friend! Especially if you’re in college and are on a limited income. I know, I know, creating a budget sounds about as exciting as starting a diet, but trust me, it’ll help ya out!
Before you can make your budget though, you gotta know a few things.
- How much money do you make each month?
- Where the heck does all your money go? Is it just me or does it seem like it just *poof* disappears?!
- Where you can cut back on spending. Less spending = more savings = a happy budget. 😀
Now that you have answered those three questions, let’s continue on to the next step! Building the actual budget!
A few key things to keep in mind when budgeting:
- Income vs Expenses. Obviously you want your income to exceed your expenses, not the other way around! One of the perks about being a college student is the flexibility of your schedule! You can easily add more income by babysitting, tutoring, or even just getting rid of extra clothes or items laying around unused.
- It is SO important that you always pay yourself first! Before you even think about all the ways you can save (more like window-shop, am I right?!) your paycheck, make sure you put at least 10% of it into a savings account. Ideally you want to put more than 10% into savings but let’s be realistic for now. Now the really hard part, DO NOT TOUCH any of that money. Leave it alone and let it grow!
- There are ALWAYS ways that you can cut back on your spending. Do you really need Netflix and Hulu? More than likely, no. If yes, find ways to make it work in your budget. Like splitting the cost and sharing a Netflix account with friends/roommates/family. Or by taking advantage of Spotify’s student discount where you get Spotify premium and basic Hulu for $5.99/mo! Is your morning coffee really that necessary?! Try caffeine pills or making your own lattes instead. Get creative, y’all.
Find Ways To Make Saving Money Fun!
- Have a challenge! See how much you can save in a month by saving up all your loose change or how many days you can go without spending more than $2.00. Try to get your friends to join in on it too. A competitive spirit can be a good thing!
- Repurpose things! Pinterest has like a gazillion different easy, cheap, and/or FREE hacks using things you already have and turning them into cool new stuff.
- Shop your pantry and closet first before you head to the grocery store or go shopping for new clothes. Let out your inner mad scientist in the kitchen and get creative. How many clothes in your closet have you forgotten you even have? I’d say, quite a few, from personal experience.
- Have a girl’s spa day in the dorm! If you can’t do your own nails, have one of your friends do them for you. Also, here’s a tip: DON’T waste your money on buying a million bottles of nail polish like I did. Find a few go-to colors and you’ll be golden. I ended up donating like 50 bottles of nail polish, most unopened, to a women’s shelter because it was just such a ridiculous amount of nail polish.
Your Student ID Is Useful After All!
There are tons of places that offer student discounts! TONS! Besides physical stores and restaurants offering student discounts, you can get a student discount online too! Unidays is like an online mall directory offering student discounts.
The most useful student discount I can mention is Amazon Prime!
Some Benefits of Amazon Prime:
- Free 2 day shipping. ’nuff said.
- Amazon Prime reading. If you like to read but don’t like to go to the library, this is your best bet. They don’t have as many titles to choose from as the Kindle Unlimited plan but hey, it’s free.
- AMAZON PRIME INSTANT VIDEO. Can you tell this is my favorite benefit of Amazon Prime?! So many popular movies and TV shows to choose from. So when Netflix lets you down, use Amazon!
- Amazon Prime music.
- Textbook rentals.
- Exclusive access to sales.
- Many, many more.
You can get a FREE 6 month trial of Amazon Prime Student and then for as long as you are a student (and can prove it) after that, you just pay half of the regular Amazon Prime price! Pretty sweet deal, right?!
Having a budget is one thing. Sticking to it? Well…. It’s hard at times, but totally doable. If I can successfully say no to new Nikes or various photography or baking tools, then you’ve got this in the bag! Wait no, not bag because that makes you think of shopping. You’ve got this extra money in your pocket? Yeah, that sounds good.