I started working basically as soon as I turned 15. While it was at a tiny pizza shop in my hometown, it was still exciting to know that after two weeks I would have my very own paycheck that was my hard-earned money. As I got older and got better jobs, I started getting paid more and then it hit me: I wasn’t really paying attention to how much I was spending or where my money was going. Here is where your favorite intern (me) comes in with a solution to the problem. I created a list of helpful tips to think about and remember as you start navigating the adult world when it comes to financial responsibility.
Utilize electronic banking apps
Luckily, we live in a world where almost everything is electronic. Use this to your advantage to get the app for your personal bank. This way you can manage the money coming in and out of your account in real time. I know for me it’s been super helpful to see what subscriptions I forgot to cancel, because fun fact, even if you don’t use the service anymore the company will continue to charge you!
You don’t have to eat out every night
Trust me this is a hard aspect for a lot of people to grasp, including myself. Living on a college campus is especially hard when I’m busy during the times the café is open, which leaves me ramen or mac and cheese bowls in my room. Take some time on the weekend to get actual meals to make in the dorms and celebrate the “free” food that is offered around campus. I know it might seem fun to do a late-night Taco Bell run, but saving that money toward something else will help you in the long run. It should also be noted that you can in fact make coffee in your dorm or at home, which means you don’t have to have a latte every day. If you really pay attention to how much you spend eating out or on experience coffee, you’ll be very surprised.
Savings accounts are a thing
As someone who is constantly spending money, this is something I need to work on too. You need to put money aside. You know how your parents or at least people on tv shows would talk about saving money for a rainy day? Putting money aside for literally any emergency is so important and something that should be learned now so it will be natural in the future. Just taking little amounts from your paycheck and putting it into savings will make it like it wasn’t even there in the first place. Sometimes I like to think about the money I put into savings as another expense like taxes. That way you almost believe that you have no control over the money being taken out.
This is a huge aspect that I think not many college kids think about. Making a list to see exactly where your money is going will help keep you financially stable. Set a goal of what you want to spend at the store. Maybe even put a limit on how much you spend on coffee. It could make a huge difference. Practicing this now will only set you up for a better future.
Treat yourself within reason
I am all for finding something that you want and saving up for it. I think practicing saving to get yourself a reward is a great mindset to have. It makes the purchase much more exciting and valuable because you know what it took to get there. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself once in a while, because after all you did work for that money.