Throughout your college journey, you’ll discover all the milestones you’d like to achieve before you graduate: make lifelong friends, join a club, explore internships, or even study abroad. But what about achieving the milestones on your journey to financial freedom?
Save more is the first stage to financial freedom, and while you’ll want to make the most of your college experience, make sure saving – regardless how small or large the amount – is part of your college journey too.
Here are five recommendations to saving like a financial freedom beast while crushing your college goals:
1. Unleash your inner chef.
From on-campus quick bites to off-campus dine-in experiences, you’ll probably want to soak in all the restaurants your college has to offer.
Recommendation: Consider cooking at home often while making room in your budget for a special night out. It’s never too early or late to learn something new, so if cooking is not one your strengths, explore recipes online or stop by your local library to pick up a few cookbooks.
2. Create a capsule wardrobe.
Staying on top of clothing trends is fast-paced and a form of self-expression, but where and how often you shop may break the bank.
Recommendation: Visit your nearest thrift store or create a capsule wardrobe with your favorite pieces to wear seasonally. A capsule wardrobe includes a set number of versatile, timeless pieces. Your closet will include these seasonal pieces and is made up of a combination of items you already own. The benefits of a capsule wardrobe? You’ll save more time, money, and energy on picking an outfit for the day and shopping online or in-store. Your capsule wardrobe is always on trend, and you’re able to put the money you’ve saved into your future.
3. Rethink your transportation.
A new pair of wheels is a common goal among college students, but there’s other budget-friendly ways to get where you need to go.
Recommendation: Live on-campus or minutes away? Not only will walking or biking save you money, you’re taking care of your physical health and the environment. Your college may even provide on-campus transportation exclusive to students and faculty. If you need a car, save enough money to buy a used car and pay for it in cash.
4. Prioritize your needs vs. wants.
The newest phone is launching this week, and your phone is a few models behind. There’s also a must-watch television show that’s not included in your streaming service. Do you purchase the new phone and an additional streaming service?
Recommendation: Budgeting is key to curbing impulse purchases and prioritizing your needs vs. wants. Evaluate your needs like rent, groceries, utilities, and savings, then keep the rest for personal use. By having “fun” money separated from funds used for essentials, you’re setting yourself up to be intentional about your purchases.
5. Create a savings plan.
It’s important to make a savings plan a critical piece of your budget. Creating a plan will keep you accountable and on the path to financial freedom.
Recommendation: If you don’t have a savings plan in place, FAIRWINDS Emergency Savings is your first move to get started in the right direction. If you earn $500 a month at your part-time job, have a portion of your paycheck deposit directly into the savings account. After you’ve saved $1,000 for emergencies, continuing saving until you have three to six months of expenses covered.
Let’s break down what saving each day looks like over 12 months:
$2.74 each day for 12 months
As you embark on achieving financial freedom, there are plenty of options to start – or continue – your savings journey during college and beyond. For more tools and resources to support your education wherever you go, visit the Financial Freedom Education Center by FAIRWINDS.