One of the most challenging thing about being a college student is managing your life while on a budget. Living in Toronto has taught me how to be frugal because it’s not a cheap city to live in. You have to know the areas of the city to get the most bargains and be very creative with your money. Saving money I believe is a crucial skill that everyone should learn.
Saving money isn’t easy. It’s like juggling six balls all at once and I suck at juggling. However, I’ve learned that it’s best to prioritize my money so that in the end I won’t be stuck owing money or have no money left do to something fun. I prioritize things that are fixed such as my phone bill, rent, tuition, or credit card bills. Once I have set aside those funds, the next step is to stretch the remaining money that I have until your next paycheck.
One thing that has worked for me is reducing my expenditures to a set amount per week. It’s sort of like giving yourself an allowance. For each week I give myself approximately $100 maximum to spend. This can include going for lunch or dinner, fast food, hygiene essentials, movies, etc. but I have to stay within that limit. The hardest part about this is discipline. Sometimes I see somethings that I truly want to do and spend and go over board without thinking of how this may affect my bank account and how hard it will be to re-compensate. This happened during Christmas break. I got so excited over the sales and the deals from Christmas that I spent over $500 dollars on gifts and items for myself and family. Yeah…never doing that again.
Another thing that is helpful regarding saving and managing money is actually keeping track of all your receipts and transactions. I hate doing it, but I know it’s useful because when you look at how much you have spent, you’ll feel less likely to give your money to Fashion Nova or Adidas. I also tend to put aside a certain percentage of my money towards savings for emergencies and big expenditures. Saving isn’t easy especially as a college student, but with a little creativity you can make money and save more than you actually think you can.