Your first time living away from home can be both scary and exciting.
You’re solely responsible for your well-being, but you can do anything you want anytime. It’s important to get a handle on your finances right away, so you’ll have the cash to get everything you need and want. Here are a few tips for saving money.
Pay yourself first
Treat your savings as your first financial obligation and you’ll amass a nice nest egg in no time. If you have payroll deduction, set a small percentage of every pay check to go into a savings account. You won’t miss money that you never see. If you don’t have this option at work, write yourself a check every time you get paid, and deposit it into your savings account.
If you’re thinking of buying a car as your first big purchase, be aware that the purchase price is just the beginning of your expenses. You’ll need to take care of gas, maintenance, and insurance. If you’re a young and single male, providers like Allstate will charge you the highest rates. Try alternative brands like United Security Agency and see if you can get better rates depending on your situation. If you have access to public transportation, rely on it to get around so you can hold off on buying your own ride. If you need to get someplace special, try a ride-sharing service like Uber, or rent a car.
Shop the Sales
Whether you want the latest threads for a party, a high-tech personal device, or a meal at a fancy restaurant, there’s no need to pay full retail. Almost anything you want to buy gets discounted eventually. Ask a sales clerk when an item goes on sale and before spending money anywhere, check online to see whether discount coupons for that location exists. Call different stores that carry the same item and find out which one has the lowest price.
Look for the freebies
There’s no need to spend money on expensive concerts, movie tickets, or museum admission every time you want to go out. Free alternatives exist anywhere, especially if you live in a city. No cost activities usually show up in the local paper or you can do an internet search for something like “free events” plus a city name. Many museums have at least one free day a month. Colleges and universities also have free concerts, movies and other events.
Getting into good savings habit when you are on your own for the first time is something you’ll carry through the rest of your life. The less you spend on the necessities you need means more money left over for the luxuries you want.