Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Hey everyone :) I've been on this finance journey since January but getting super serious about it since April and I've already saved over $5,000. As college students, this is a big deal because we know how broke moments can be. It seems almost impossible to save money when you barely have a source of income, time to work, and things to pay for.
These are 10 things I stopped doing that contributed to saving $5000+ these past few months.
STOP: Subscribing to retail store emails.
The discounts are tempting & probably aren’t even discounts for real. How many times were you not planning on shopping, but ended up doing so because you saw a sale sent to your email?
Especially from super cheap stores when they throw in that free shipping will have you weak.
Save yourself the trouble and your card the funds :)
STOP: Bye Bye Nails, Brows, Hair & Lashes!
This is going to hurt a lot of my ladies, but it will free some of y’all lol. This one has personally saved my pockets and is what started my savings journey.
For me, brows were $10, nails $25, feet $10-$25, and lashes (strips) $15. I don’t even want to get into hair maintenance. That right there is $200+ a month I was spending. Did I feel good after doing these things? Yes. And honestly, sometimes you have to for self-care purposes, but if you’re really trying to save, these aren’t necessities.
Personally, I make it a priority to only do my nails when I am traveling, or have a very special event like a wedding. I haven’t done my makeup in months. I do my own eyebrows or have my little sister shape them for me, and learned how to do my own braids. Consider learning how to do these things yourself if you find that they are important to you.
STOP: Buying brand new clothes for every event.
Please stop going out and buying new outfits for every banquet, gala, and school function there is. For one, you probably have outfits that you have never worn or barely repeated and two, you don’t have the money to keep doing that.
If you have to go shopping, check out your local Goodwill or thrift store before going online to Forever 21, Fashion Nova, and spending big money for a 1-2 hour function. Better yet, find a family or friend with the same size clothes and swap.
Once I realized how ridiculous it was to go shopping for events that didn’t even take up half of my day, I stopped and haven’t looked back since!
STOP: Carelessly subscribing to things.
This mostly goes for channels like HBO, BET+, Disney+, Netflix, etc. We are living in a time where we have replaced the cable with paying for TV apps like these, and they sure do add up. HBO alone is a good $15, and I know you most likely don’t watch all the content either!
Subscriptions also come in the form of news, books (Kindle Unlimited), music (Apple Music), makeup (Ipsy), Amazon Prime & the list goes on.
I know people who pay nearly $100 for all of these services combined monthly and didn’t even realize it because of the $7.99 and $5.99 added here and there. It doesn't sound like much of an investment single-handedly, but it will end up being more than you originally bargained for.
STOP: Spending unexpected money.
How many times has your cash app had some extra funds sent and the first thing you do is go buy a meal? Lol GUILTY. Or someone pays you for whatever they were finally supposed to and you think “Yes, now I can finally get ___”. When that's not a smart way to be thinking. We are going to stop that for the rest of this year. Our first thought should be to save, but it takes time to get there, so no worries. But start practicing this.
New mindset: When you get unexpected money, it needs to go into your Savings. No, and, if, or buts. You weren’t planning on having that money anyway, so what difference does it make?
STOP: Keeping your Savings & Checking account in the same place
This never ends well and takes so much discipline it’s crazy. You will end up transferring from your Savings to your Checking eventually, so save yourself the temptation.
I keep my money in different places, but for one of my major future purchases I'm saving up for Chime (member.chime.com/join/christinapresmy) is my best friend. I can earn way more on my money while it sits there vs in a traditional bank and I love that. If you use the link above you'll get $50 for free once you direct deposit $200 in your account. If you don't, you don't get $50! I love links like this because it's literally free money and a shameless plug.
Chime is my new best friend because I am getting 1.00% back on my money vs. 0.01% in my traditional bank account. It's not my traditional account, so sometimes I even forget I have it and don't constantly check the funds that are in there like with my regular bank.
STOP: Paying for rent if you don't have to
I love my personal space, but paying rent (especially in this pandemic) is just not worth it. If you are trying to strengthen your finances, why are you willingly paying for a space to live that's $500+ when you can take up space at your parent's house? In this time of uncertainty and with school's all over the place with their opening procedures, it's just not a smart move.
Once again, I get your house might be crazy (mine is a hot mess too lol), but sometimes you just have to suck it up and see the bigger picture.
Now I know this one does not apply to everyone, but for the ones it does, TAKE ADVANTAGE!
STOP: Being too good to use coupons
I don't know when people's pockets got so thick to the point that we are in our 20s and people are ashamed to use reward programs, coupons, and discount codes at stores, but it needs to stop. It's okay to use these things and not be worried about looking "broke", or "cheap" it's all a narrative that you shouldn't feed into and isn't real.
You can forget about coupons when you are financially stable, but most of us are still trying to get there. So save all the money you can by applying all the discounts you can :) Ebates (Rakuten), Ibotta, RetailMeNot. The list goes on. One thing about me imma use my coupons and rewards lol and anyone who knows me will tell you I am always sending my link so others can save too :)
STOP: Eating out and start grocery shopping
"There's food at the house." is such an underrated statement we heard all the time growing up. It took me going to college and not being able to afford $14-$16 meals with delivery charges when I was carless to understand my mom. That same $16 I spent on a meal that's going to be gone in less than an hour could've been used for groceries that can make you weeklong meal prep. That's rice, beans, meat, vegetables, fruit, and more that can be covered!
Try grocery shopping more. It's definitely something to ease into and get used to if you've been buying out every day a lot. It will help your budget A LOT especially because food is one of the biggest things we spend money on and need to survive.
STOP: Keeping $ on you if you know you like to spend
One thing about me is that as soon as I get funds I have to "dispose" of it properly. If I get cash, I run to the bank to deposit it then transfer it to one of my third party savings accounts. If I get digital funds, I transfer it to 3P accounts right away. If I don't whew, that money will be GONE. Sometimes not even on purpose. I look and I find myself wondering where my money went, which is never a good thing.
If you are like me, get it where it needs to be before that happens!
These are all things I stopped doing to help me with my financial journey to financial freedom/savings. I hope this serves you well.