I've been saving up for a car this summer, and I've learned some money-saving and money-earning tips and tricks from experience and from parents.
- The most crucial part of saving up is the mental block of not spending money. It's hard to stop spending money when you've been in the habit of it for a while. My point is, you don't NEED to spend money. You WANT to. You have to stop wanting to.
- Get a job. Go to some local businesses and ask for a job application. Use phrases like, "I was wondering if there were any job openings." Or simply, "Can I have a job application/how do I apply?"
- Once you have a job, verify that you're getting paid what you should be. Don't blindly assume they're paying you correctly, because people are disorganized and will usually make mistakes when it's in their favor, not yours. Take a picture of your time card if that helps.
- If you earn under $8,000 per calendar year, make sure you file for a tax return. You shouldn't be getting income taxes.
- Look for used stuff. Technology and clothes in particular. Go consignment or thrift shopping. Look for used technology or furniture on Amazon, Ebay, or Craigslist. There's no reason you should be paying $60 for a Pink sweatshirt (or just don't buy the sweatshirt). Apple also has a lot of refurbished products on their website (mainly old models of computers).
- If you don't need it, don't buy it. Ask yourself that before making a purchase. No, you don't need a twentieth phone case or an extra large Dunkin Donuts coffee every day. Buying coffee every day for $3.50/day adds up very quickly.
- Take advantage of gift cards you receive, coupons, and cash back deals from your bank. But here's the catch: don't buy those things unless you were already planning on it. If you get a coupon for "buy one get one free on Diet Coke," and you go to CVS specifically to buy Diet Coke, you've been duped by the system. You just wasted your own money on that product.
- If you have one, use your debit card instead of cash. It's much easier to keep track of where each dollar goes, and you never find yourself asking, "where did my last $10 go?" because you can always log in to your bank account online and find out. It's a good way to figure out where you spend most, and how to minimize that.
- If all else fails, get your parents to pay for stuff as much as possible. This is kind of a sneaky one, but it is a good way to keep money in your bank account.
- Don't lend out money. You'll never get it back.
(Side note: this is my 201st post.)