Biz Beat: Personal finance for college students (Part II)
Today and for the rest of the week, I'll write about some things that could save you a lot of money. Today's tip is ...
Write down everything you spend.
Spent $20 on gas? How about $1 for a cookie? Write it down. Start for a week, then commit yourself to a longer time frame.
I did this all of last school year, and it worked wonders. There's some part of your subconscious that won't make a snap purchase if you have to be accountable for it later. I found myself really taking a hard look at every small purchase, like buying a vending machine snack at work. At the end of the week, look at your purchases. What didn't you need to buy?
Another benefit of doing this is you'll also know exactly what you're spending every week. If you also write down how much you're earning from your job, you can see if you're saving money from week to week. If you're not, try to cut out some of those unnecessary costs. I worked hard to actually net a little money over the course of the last school year, when most of my friends were lamenting how they couldn't wait for summer so they could make back what they'd been spending.
For the serious: Before the week begins, anticipate what you need to purchase, make a budget, and stick to it. If you need $25 in gas, $50 in groceries, $30 for dinner and a movie, and $60 for the utility bill, stick to your plan! That way, you won't make those impulse coffee purchases during the day. Those seemingly cheap snacks add up if they become a habit.