Saving money is something that everyone struggles with. It’s also something everyone should be doing. That means starting in college, even when you don’t want to, or feel you can’t. There are many simple ways to save money without trying.
Save Money Without Trying
Direct Deposit a Portion of Income into a Savings Account
This is the absolute first thing you should do as soon as you have a job. It’s by far, the most successful and easiest way to save money without tying. If you have a direct deposit into a savings account, then you don’t see that money anyway.
Start with 10% of your paycheck if you can. If you can’t, something as simple as $25-$50 can add up pretty quickly. You can use this account as your emergency fund. You should ALWAYS have an emergency fund.
Related: 4 Post-College Finance Tips to Get You Started in the Real World
Put Loose Change in a Piggy Bank
It doesn’t have to be pig shaped, I used a cool mushroom one that was from Lucky Jeans. I prefer one that isn’t clear, so I have no idea how much I’ve saved. This works for me because I’m a worrier. There’s also no push to keep saving things if you see it’s pretty empty. Simple way to save money without trying.
Say you go out for lunch and have some loose change from buying a sandwich. Just drop the coins in the piggy bank and you’re set. You’re not really missing them that much. And you’re making it easier to fit your wallet places! Change makes them all bumpy.
Related: College Senior Adulting Guide to the Second Semester
Put Birthday/Holiday etc. Money in the Piggy Bank
This is what I ended up doing. This can’t be any more easy way to save money without trying. All of my birthday and Christmas money went straight into the piggy bank. I had a summer job once and half my paycheck went into my savings while the other I let myself use. And even with that, I barely spent what I allowed myself to.
What also helped was that the little stopper thing on the bottom was hard to get out, so it literally became a pain in the ass to try and use said money for non-productive things. Occasionally I dipped in when I needed to pay the delivery guy my sophomore year. I ate a lot of hang over takeout.
Related: 4 Post-College Preparations to Have Ready Before You Get Your Diploma
Put Some Dollars in the Piggy Bank at the end of the Week
I only say “dollars” because you can either throw your singles and maybe some 5s in, which wouldn’t be detrimental to your wallet and cause panic if you don’t have money, or you can put your larger bills in the bank if carrying around a lot of money makes you nervous you might spend it.
This doesn’t have to be weekly either. Every so often I check my wallet and put whatever is in there either in my piggy bank or in my secret storage place that has a lock, so I won’t use it for stupid things. What is easier than that?
Related: 4 Ways to Handle the Work-Life Balance
Use Cash for Most Transactions
It’s been noted that some people have an easier time blowing their money using a credit/debit card because there isn’t a visual of all the money physically leaving your possession. So by using cash you notice that you’re spending $7.95 on a mocha-frappa-whatever.
Watching the bills leave your wallet with every purchase will make you rethink your purchases. I easily dropped over $50 on food during my last trip. If I had cash on hand instead of using my credit card, I might have had to re-think some of my purchases.
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