For recent college grads, both saving up money and having fun can seem impossible.
How are you supposed to save, pay off student loans, pay your living expenses and still have cash left over for that happy hour you’ve been wanting to try?
Believe it or not, it is possible.
If you follow these simple tips, you can save cash, have fun, and set yourself up for financial success in the future.
1) Track Your Spending
Do you know where your money goes each month?
If your bank account always seems mysteriously low at the end of each pay period, you might want to do a better job of tracking your cash flow.
Maybe a utility bill was higher this month, or you accidentally spent too much money on eating out at restaurants. There are a lot of little things that can add up without you noticing.
There are a ton of free budgeting apps out there. Download one that can help you create a budget and keep track of every dollar that leaves your account.
2) Learn To Love Coupons
You don’t have to be extreme enough to get on TLC, but coupons are a great way to save money.
Coupons are easy to find once you know where to look. Check to see if there are any at the bottom of your grocery receipt, for example.
You can also use sites like Groupon to see if any local businesses have deals that you can take advantage of. If you’re an online shopper, try downloading the Honey extension — it tracks all available deals and automatically applies them to your shopping cart.
3) Automate Savings
Even if you plan to save, it’s easy to put off actually saving money until after all of your bills are paid.
Then you run the risk of either forgetting to put the money aside or spending it on something you don’t need.
Instead, set up automatic transfers from your checking to savings account. It’s less stressful and lets you save without even thinking about it!
4) Pay More Than The Minimum On Student Loans
Since this means your monthly payments will be higher, this might not seem like a good way to save money at first.
However, if you’re only making the minimum monthly payment, you’re going to end up paying thousands more in interest in the long run.
If you have more than one loan, you should look up how to consolidate student loans. If you consolidate them, there will only be one payment and one interest rate to worry about.
Whatever you do, pay as much as your budget will allow. That way you’ll pay off your loans faster and save yourself money.
5) Use Credit Strategically
A lot of millennials seem to be allergic to credit cards, but they don’t have to be scary.
Believe it or not, when you use them strategically, they can actually end up saving you money.
If you’re a frequent flyer, choose a credit card that will let you exchange points for airline miles. If all of your money goes to everyday expenses, choose a card that gives you cash back deals.
Whatever you choose, make sure that you pay off your balance in full every month.
These five tips are sure to help you save money so that you have more freedom to enjoy yourself!