Money 911! How do I save my moolah?
Good for you for not wanting to spend your cash right off the bat. Trust me, it might be hard to tuck some bucks away for a rainy day when you see a bag you’ve just gotta have, but it’s worth it in the end. We’ve got a few tips for keeping your wallet (mostly) closed.
Put yourself on a budget
Once you start making more than just twenty bucks every other month for your once-in-a-blue-moon babysitting gig, it’s time to sit down and start figuring out what kind of money you’re making and how you want to spend it. Is there anything you’re dying to have, like a new iPod? Do you need to save up for Christmas prezzies? Look into the future—the next few months and the next few years. Think about driving, prom and college. It might seem far away now, but when these milestones start coming up fast, you’ll be relieved you had the foresight to start saving for the big day.
Keep a ledger
I know it’s totally boring, but writing down your income and your expenditures is a great way to see first-hand how you’re spending your cash. It’s easy to hand over a debit card or a crisp $10 bill every time you think you need something, but that money adds up. Instead of spending willy-nilly, divide your dough into separate accounts (real accounts at the bank or theoretical accounts on paper). Save some for the future, more for big purchases you’re dying to make. Put some aside to spend now. And a bit for donations so you can do some good, too.
Go ahead, shop yourself out!
Just ‘cause you’re saving most of your earnings doesn’t mean you can’t indulge. Give yourself a weekly or monthly allowance based on what you tend to make during each period and let yourself spend or save it as you see fit. That way, you won’t get the itch to shop ‘til ya drop…and blow all of your savings.