As a bonafide shopaholic and purveyor of all things fashionable, one of the hardest things I had to learn in college was budgeting. Living on your own, contrary to its fabulous depiction on TV, is much harder to do in real life. What could formerly be described as living in the moment and being carefree is now seen as foolish and silly. So whats a spend-loving gal or guy to do?
I have overcome and conquered my spending errors of the past and the best advice that I, or any financial planner for that matter, can give you is to make a budget. A budget is so much more than knowing how much money you have in the bank, it's about taking responsibility for your actions and it begins with how we feel about ourselves.
Strange? Not really. Studies have shown that we buy things to make us feel better about ourselves. Those things can be a new plasma television, a new pair of heels, or new computer equipment. When we stop buying useless things to serve our ego, we start to serve our bank accounts with some much needed cash.
Therefore, saving more money starts with asking ourselves a few questions:
Is it $50.00? $100.00? Only you know that answer. Also keep your receipts handy. At the end of each month add up all of your receipts and see for yourself how much you spent. You'll quickly realize that those daily Venti Frappuccinos add up like nobody's business! If you end up being shocked by how much you've spent in a month, cut that amount down by 10%-15% and gradually wean yourself off of the frivolous spending.
Are you primarily concerned about having money to go out with friends? Do you need to have proper supplies for school? Is having weekly grocery money the most important thing to you? Whatever your priority may be, set aside money for that first. Everything else must come later.