Having a casual job as a student is an experience that you don’t want to miss out on. It can teach you so many things about the value of money as well as increase your independency.
Most students start at their first job during high school. At this time, having a job is more about the experience than the money, considering that the pay rate at this age is quite low. It is therefore understandable that students will want to spend their paychecks as they receive them rather than save the money.
It is also widely believed that saving the little money earned as a high school student won’t do much in the long run, so there would be no point. I however, am a big believer that everything accumulates over time. It may be a few dollars or a few hundred dollars every week; but over time, you will see that number grow larger and larger, until one day you’re ready to buy a car, a house etc.
Save, save, save.
Everything that happens in life is the result of a process. A process of time, of effort, of energy. Saving money is no exception.
Have separate accounts for spending and saving.
I have two separate bank accounts. One is the account I use on a regular basis, connected to my card and the one I make purchases out of. The other is my interest account. I only receive interest if I put money in every month and not take any out. This helps me establish clear boundaries between the money I can spend and the money I can’t. Once I put money in for the month, I am no longer able to use it and can only spend the money I left in my regular account. This way, there is always a process of deliberation before I buy anything that I don’t need as I consider how much I need to leave for necessities.
For high school students, I recommend saving at least 50% of every pay check. Once you receive the money from your employer, transfer the designated amount immediately into your savings account and don’t touch it for the rest of the month.
For university/college students not living at home, pay off all bills and statements when you receive your pay. Set aside enough money for necessities and then save what you can of the amount that is left.
Do treat yourself once in a while though. You don’t always have to be so strict with savings, reward yourself with an item of clothing or a pair of shoes you’ve wanted for a while, or maybe there’s a new video game out that you’ve been dying to play. Setting aside savings caters more towards long-term happiness rather than instantaneous delight, so try to find a balance between the two without sacrificing your bank balance along the way.