Saving money is never as simple as it sounds, but there are some habits that will help you hold on to more of your cash. Financial Wellness Coordinator Chelsea Morgan offers some quick tips for students looking for better ways to stretch their budgets. For more detailed information, be sure to attend the online Lynx Strong Financial Wellness Workshop on Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (the workshop is free and open to the public).
Avoid impulse purchases.
Impulse-buying (and its close counterpart, retail therapy) can be associated with anxiety and unhappiness. Controlling these behaviors can help improve your overall psychological wellbeing. If an item is not a necessity, then try to give yourself 24 hours before deciding whether or not purchasing it will bring you joy in the long run. You can also check out exchange groups such as Buy Nothing Denver on social media to see if someone is giving away things you might otherwise have to pay for.
Use credit cards wisely.
Relying on credit cards can be dangerous to your credit score if you are not paying the balance in full every month. If you are racking up credit card debt, consider that each swipe takes away from your future income and goals. Every dollar you spend on a credit card will wind up costing you more in interest, so stick to cash if you can.
Budget, budget, budget!
When you don’t keep a budget, you are most likely unaware of the amount of money coming in and going out. No matter if you use a spreadsheet or a pen and paper, it’s important to keep an accurate record of your spending habits. You can also download budgeting apps like YNAB to track your finances from your phone.
Curb convenience spending.
Consumers always pay a premium for convenience, whether it’s prepared foods, parking fees, or unplanned purchases, like coffee or snacks. Slice your own fruits and veggies. Ride your bike or walk whenever possible. Remember to pack snacks in your backpack if you think you might get hungry later. Searching for quarters to buy a granola bar that costs $1.50 at a vending machine? A box of five granola bars costs only $2.50 at the grocery store.