3 Ways to Manage Being Broke in College
Being in your early twenties can be a really stressful time when it comes to money. Many people are living paycheck to paycheck, and the phrase “I have three dollars” is pretty widespread. While I don’t have any super secrets to get rich quick, these three things should help you manage a little better. Plus, starting good habits early will help set you up for financial success in the future.
Take Cash for the Weekend
One of the worst feelings is that gnawing in the pit of your stomach when you check your bank account after a fun weekend. Between buying rounds of shots for everyone, random Target trips, and Sunday brunch, I was spending way too much money every weekend. After having this happening far too many times, I decided I needed to make a change. This is when I started taking out cash for the weekend. This way, I could decide in advance how much I would be spending each weekend. The goal, is to only spend until you run out of cash. (Note that this doesn’t always work perfectly, as you can’t 100% predict your spending, but it does really help keep things under control.) Also, I try not to have any twenty dollar bills. For some reason, I feel I spend more wisely when I have $10’s and $5’s in my purse.
Eat at Home
This can be really hard to wrap your mind around, because it does seem cheaper to spend $10 at Arby’s for dinner than $50 on groceries. BUT that $50 in groceries can last you most of the week if you do a little meal planning. One of my favorite parts of the week is planning out some meals for the week. Then I get to make my grocery list. Then I get to try to stay under budget at the grocery store. This is a great way to eat healthier, while saving money. I usually allow myself to eat out once a week, (not including Sunday Brunch) and then try to eat at home the rest of the time. This isn’t foolproof, but it really does cut back on spending. Click Here to see one of my favorite recipes to make at home.
Save a Little
Obviously, if you’re really broke, you’re not going to be able to do a ton of saving. But, having some set aside is comforting. For example, recently, I got a $100 ticket for not changing my plates, (SO stupid of me, I know,) but I was able to just take the $100 out of my savings. It felt so good to be able to pay without stressing about how it would affect my normal weekly budget. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for the easiest savings for a broke gal like myself, and I ended up with GS Sachs Online Bank. Right now, their APY is 1.5%, which is really high, (most credit unions have close to .01%.) There is NO minimum amount to keep in there, and you can add as little or as often as you want. I try to at least throw in $20-$30 every time I get paid. It’s not a ton, but it’s better than nothing.