If you’re a teenager then you’re usually out of money most of the time. Wanting to go out with your friends to places every other week eventually puts you in a position where you run out money to spend. Maybe not only that, perhaps you’re saving to pay off your student loan, or for a car that you want to buy in the near future, or just simply for emergencies.
Being at such a young age places you in a position of an advantage as you have the opportunity to get into the habit of saving from early on. And other than begging your parents for money or taking on an odd job here and there, there is really no other option. And yes, we understand, the list of things you want to buy seems to increase relentlessly, while your wallet cringes and retreats back into your pocket. So how should you go about it? Is there truly no other option? Well, not quite so.
- Keep track of your spending
First and foremost, begin by keeping track of your spending. Collect receipts. Have a book where you record them, and maybe write a small review of the item you purchased. This way you can figure out where you seem to spend, and find out that some of the purchases were pretty unnecessary. Apps like Wally and Mint sure do make the job easier!
Furthermore, to continue in a more financially organized and secure manner, you could also start a Liv. account. It is produced by Emirates NBD predominantly for students over the age of 18 and is a great way for young adults to manage their finances effectively while earning 2% annually. If you’re under the age of 23, there is no minimum balance required and fees for additional services are eliminated. They also have a feature of a Goal Account, where the consumer selects which goal to save towards, and a portion of the cash in the account is transferred monthly to the Goal Account.
2. Prep your meals and drink more water
As you will observe and be more mindful of where your expenses are mounting up to, you will soon realize it’s food. A small snack every now and then is all right, but spending $12 – $20 on every meal for 5 days a week is the opposite of cost-efficient.
You may think, how is drinking more water going to save me money? Here’s how: caffeinated and other soft drinks cost more than a bottle of water. So instead of buying a cup of coffee every morning, simply carry a bottle of water. The famous Shark Tank investor and businessman, Kevin O’Leary, refuses to spend the mere $2.50 on Starbucks for a similar cup of coffee that he can prepare at home for just 18c.
So if you’re tight on your budget, you may want to start carrying home-packed lunches and drinking more water. And maybe lose a few pounds on the scale as well.
3. Use public transit or carpooling
If you own a car, you could choose to find out peers who live around the area and suggest carpooling for a few extra bucks. It’s quite on the sustainable side as well.
Public transit is also a good option if you don’t have a car. You could cut costs on the regular Uber rides, and plus reduce your ecological footprint.
4. Take complete advantage of your Student ID
With the help of your student ID, you can have access to great discounts on food, travel, accommodation, insurance, entertainment and more! Apps like UNiDAYS and Student Beans do the dirty work for you by finding out places of student discount and hand it right over.
You never know which stores offer student discounts, but it wouldn’t hurt to just ask.
5. Keep a lookout for on-campus jobs
Several universities constantly need more help, and preferably by students, for on-campus employment. Some professors and lecturers may also need student-assistants for research or other purposes.
Don’t be afraid to ask around, as it can also brighten your resume.
6. Buy second-hand textbooks
We’ve all been there when textbooks came in the “needs” category, but also in the “expensive” category. The best option for this situation would be to find people who have done the course previously and buy it from them at a cheaper price.
7. Explore the variety of options in your field
If you need to buy a new laptop that’s within your budget, you should explore all available options for you that are best-costed. For other items, try looking at second-hand or unbranded options.
You’ll soon realize that branded miscellaneous items are not a necessity when you’re saving up.
8. Incorporate the 30-day rule
It’s as simple as this: you shelf the idea of a potential purchase for 30 days.
This is to mostly target big, unplanned impulse purchases and gives you a 30 day period to evaluate and analyze if you truly need it or not. Not only does this help prevent unnecessary shopping, but it also helps identify which items you could have not bought had you given yourself time to think it over. Just like that mountain bike rusting in the corner.
The 30-day rule will further assist you to consider each and every cost while you’re at it. Do you really need that gym membership or magazine subscription?
Identify which costs are the ones you need and eliminate the rest. You’ll eventually understand that you could be saving a lot more if you prioritize and work according to your needs. Health and fitness are important, but a gym membership is not.
9. Tutor your peers
If you’ve excelled at a course or subject, you can suggest tutoring others for a small hourly fee. Skynkers is an app that brings together student and professional tutors and struggling students. This is a great way to earn some cash as there are always students that need extra help, and you can also make some friends in the process.
And then once you’ve seemingly collected a handful of students and wish to be more settled at your job, you may probably want to try Reportcard. It helps you track your students’ attendances, schedules classes, and even assists with admin tasks. Learn more about it here.