"Got $20 in my pocket": Five ways to save

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez. Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

College is a place for students to grow from teenagers into young adults. That learning process is neither easy nor cheap. We spend thousands of dollars each semester as a payment to the societal overlords simply so we can get an education in return.

It's a time of transition — this is the time when we encounter our first jobs, first internships, first paychecks and our first bills. Freedom doesn't come for free.

We get caught up in the desire for fun that we lose sight of practicality. College is the place for ridiculous antics and some mistakes, but blindly plundering into the depths of credit cards, loans and debt is not a good idea at any time.

Here are some quick tricks for saving some money (and saving yourself from a whole lot of big-kid angst later):

  • Make yourself want to save money. Sounds crazy, right? Instead of buying everything you want willy-nilly, try to incentivize it. Want a new pair of shoes? Save $200 before you can buy a pair. Want to go to that Justin Timberlake concert in eight months? Save $300 before you can buy tickets.
  • Stop eating out so frequently. Mickey-D's sounds fantastic at 2 a.m., but the eight bucks you drop on a burger and fries can be put into a savings account for something even cooler down the line. Restrict yourself to 2-4 dinners out a month. You can call it your fast-food budget.
  • Drink more water and split appetizers. Your friends want to go out to dinner? You experience FOMO frequently? You don't have to miss out. Eat a homemade sandwich before dinner to curb your hunger. Then drink only water at the restaurant, and get a cheap appetizer to eat or split one with a friend.
  • Decide on a percentage of your paycheck to send directly to savings. Don't even look at it. Just have it automatically set up to deposit a specific amount into your savings every two weeks. It'll hurt for awhile, but eventually, you'll stop noticing it.
  • Save your change. Put it all in a piggy bank and at the end of the year, cash it. This can be used to buy something fun after all that saving you've done!
Have any tips for saving money? Comment below!

Reach the blogger at Stephanie.Tate@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @StephanieITA

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