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Stomping the Yard: Saving While in College

Ramen noodles every night. Avoiding the nightlife. Making excuses for not going to dinner with your friends. Spending your money on non-necessities.

Do any of the aforementioned actions sound familiar? If you’re doing so to save cash, realize that it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re looking for less depriving ways to save, here are three ways to save and enjoy your collegiate experience.

1) Eat out once a week.

Frequent, fast food meals add up and hit your pockets big time. The same goes for those fancy dine in restaurants. Make a plan to eat out once a week. That way you can still satisfy your taste and enjoy the ease of not making your own meals. This also goes for snacking throughout the day. If you bring snacks to work or class, the less likely you are to hit up the vending machine or café during the day. A major component of this savings concept is to be mindful of what you do with your money and to become aware of what comes in and out of your bank account.

2) Save a dollar a day.

Saving money is less about the dollar amount that you put away, but more about your commitment. Start by saving $1 a day. If for some reason you can’t commit to saving a buck a day, shoot for $5 per week. You do the math and see how much you can save by doing either option.

3) Divide your paycheck appropriately.

Budgeting is key! Once you know where and how much things cost, it is easier to see how much more you can save per month. Plan out your fixed expenses for the month and whatever is left over, take a percentage and put it in your savings account. The saying, “out of sight out of mind” is valid here. If you get in the habit of putting money into your savings account or allocating funds from your paycheck if you are employed, you lessen your chances of overspending and will be able to afford all of the things you’ve been avoiding on the weekends.

The savings lifestyle cannot be adopted overnight, but just like anything else, with practice and dedication it can be done. The major takeaway is to be mindful of your funds and not spend absentmindedly.