Discussions, Community Building, Young Adults, Low income

Save That Money, Secure the Bag

In a time where everyone is flashing expense trips and purchases on Instagram it’s difficult not to mimic the trend.

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As young adults we face financial hardship greater than that of generations before us because many of us take on debt in the form of student loans before we even fully understand money. However, there are ways to enjoy life and to secure “the bag” for your future. Here are some tips on how to save responsibly:

 

1. Save something every month. There are so many tips out there that tell you to save at least 10% of any income you have; while that sounds great, percentages to young adults just sound scary or foreign. My rule?…save at least 20 or 50 or 100 dollars every month.

If you work part-time or full-time it doesn’t matter, the goal here is to get you use to saving. I’ve always been a hoarder of money because saving money gives me a rush. Once you see your savings account building, the same will likely happen for you. Some months you might be short on cash but save what you can because there’s a peace of mind in knowing that even when you’re broke, you’re not totally broke.

2. Practice delayed gratification. This is basically the opposite of impulse buying. Look…Ri Ri had on those fire thigh high boots but do you really need those right now? Fashionova will always have another sale so save your money for now so that you can better enjoy it later.

I admit that I fall off the wagon every now and again by over splurging on myself but there was a time when before I brought anything I asked myself “Do I really need this?” I did it often in the mall and by the time my best friend and I left the store I only had what I really, really wanted and hadn’t over spent. Don’t get it twisted, too much delayed gratification will leave you on the outskirts of life looking in. So enjoy yourself while you’re young especially but don’t blow a check on the new J’s because you may not get it right back.

3. Buy generic brands. As a low-income college student I found all kinds of life hacks and one of them was Dollar Tree LOL. I get my toothpaste, snacks, kitchen ware, party supplies, and just about everything from dollar tree. Why?…because the same set of forks or tube of toothpaste would cost a little more at Walmart.

My boyfriend blindly shops without ever really looking at prices. It drives me crazy because I know that with a little more attention and price comparison; he could be saving coins. Yea, Sara Lee’s bread is delicious but the Walmart loaf costs less and tastes fine. Oh yea, that bacon looks like its cut well but imma get this off brand for $2 less. It may not seem like a big deal but shopping for anything without paying attention to price will eventually add up.

I wouldn’t compromise on everything though. Weak 1 ply tissue from Dollar Tree will never compare to Charmin! Just be a smart, conscious shopper to understand where you can bend a little on the brands to save precious dollars every month.

4. Set some kind of budget. Hanging out with friends? Cool. Set a budget so that you won’t over spend. Need groceries? Set a budget. The ideal scenario would be to set a monthly budget that includes bills, savings, and miscellaneous expenses. Anything left over from that would be yours to do as you please. However, even I have trouble with this type of budget so I start small. Add up your bills then set your money aside for that. Put $50 into savings and set a money cap for a night out with the girls.

Baby steps people, baby steps.

5. Break up with your debit card. Like me, I’m sure most of you have been in a steamy relationship with your debit card. You take him everywhere you go and aren’t afraid to show him off (or swipe). The problem with this is that you’re not in a personal relationship with your actual money.

By taking out the amount of cash you need and leaving your card at home you won’t be so eager to spend. You’ll only spend on what you truly want…in theory. Swiping is addictive, handing cash over, not so much. So leave debit card bae at home more often.

6. Don’t be too bougie for coupons or discounts. Listen, I look forward to the first of the month mail because there will always be Dominos Pizza, Ruby Tuesdays, Hardees, and Checkers coupons in my mail.

On dates, I’m never ashamed to ask if they offer a military discount. Why?…because could I pay full price for a meal? Yea. Do I want to if I don’t have to?…Hell Naw. So get cute girl, put on that ruby woo and that cute dress but remember to pack that 15% off coupon in your purse.

 

Below are some additional links to get you thinking about savings:

http://www.youngadultmoney.com/2015/08/05/20-ways-to-save-money-in-your-20s/

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/20/136474108/young-adults-can-keep-it-simple-start-saving

 

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