CONTROL YOUR SPENDING
step in controlling spending is knowing what you're spending
money on. To do that, you need to track where your money goes.
An easy way to do this is to write down everything you buy
for a month or twoeven just a week is helpful. Use the
chart from this Web site, or record things in a small
notebook you can carry in your pocket or purse.
Be sure to jot down even the smallest expenses, including
that soft drink or latte you bought at the mall. Even if you
keep track for two or three weeks, you'll start to see how
your money disappears, little by little. Then you can think
about ways you can control spending.
Start today. You'll be amazed at where your money goes.
Ways to Control Your Spending
Once you've tracked your spending, you are likely to realize
that some of your habits such as smoking, can add up to a
lot of money. At almost $3 a pack, cigarettes are one sure
way to burn up your budget. You know all the bad things smoking
does to your body, but remind yourself how it affects your
financial health, too.
Save your money and kick the habit now; it'll help keep your
financial goals from going up in smoke!
What other things do you buy that cause money to "leak"
from your pockets? Instead of purchasing cold drinks from
a vending machine, buy a 12-pack at the grocery store and
keep some in a dorm refrigerator. If you buy midnight snacks
from the machine because the cafeteria is closed, buy crackers
or snacks at the grocery store and store them in your room.
this chart for other spending leaks and how much you could
Now that you're an adult, you understand the marketing game.
If we all believed what they tell us on television, just wearing
the right shoe would mean we're young, good-looking, and always
having fun. Right. Brand names are a huge temptation. You
can probably list cool brands and not-so-hot brands off the
top of your head. Often brand names don't even equate to quality,
but have the force of millions of dollars of advertising and
marketing behind them. Do you want to be like everybody else?
Or do you want to be an original? Some ideas: Shop vintage
stores for eclectic styles. Cruise end-of-season sales. Browse
through thrift stores for awesome deals and one-of-a-kind
looks. You'll look cool and your wallet will thank you.
Peer pressure is something you're used to by now. It can
be a factor in college, too. Although you might not want to
be the only person who turns down a beer, it's OK if you don't
want it. College is about becoming comfortable with who you
are, not who others want you to be.
Think about ways you can meet your needs in creative, less
Here for this chart in .pdf format. You will need Adobe
to view this files. Download it here
I could substitute
|Sodas from the vending machine
||$12 per week
$1.00 each (two per day, six days per week)
|12-pack from the store
(divided by 12) = $.25 each
||$6 per week
$3.00/pack, two packs per week
untold amounts in future health costs)
|Latte at gourmet coffee shop
||$10.50 per week
3 times per week $3.50/each
|Coffee at dorm
||$1.50 per week
$.50 per cup
|Driving to class every day
||$2.00 per gallon for gas, plus parking
||Taking the bus with student ID
per week cost
(for two semesters)
||$45.00 per month
||Buying a prepaid cellphone plan, or buying
a calling card
||A lot less, plus no surprises
||$10-$20 per month
Try writing down some of your frequent
expenses. We've all got them. Now add them up. Are you surprised
by how much you can save?