I am a senior in high school, and it was not until this year that I started even thinking about making a budget for myself. Obviously, it’s not the first thing on teenagers mind! With college coming up in less than a year, it was time I started to figure it all out. Making a budget has not been the easiest thing, but since my mom is an accountant she has been a big help! I wanted to share a few tips on how I save my money, and how I am preparing for the future.
Find a way to earn money
Having a consistent job is so important and the way I make all of my money. Since I turned 16 I have had a job, and even though at times I hate it, I am so thankful for it. Making my own money has made me a lot more conscious of what I am spending. I know when I go off to college I’ll be happy I have experience in spending and saving, and that I can depend on myself in that area.
Figure out your weekly income
This is probably the biggest part of making your budget. You have to look at how much you’re making per week, how much you can afford to spend and how much you can save. Like I said before, having a constant job and always earning money is crucial because it can disappear a lot faster than you think.
Set aside money for what’s necessary
This is one of the hardest parts for me. I have to pay for my gas, so setting aside at least 40 dollars every week is a lot for the amount of money I make. Each week I make sure I have enough money for everything I absolutely have to have before I go spend it on other stuff. For example, I know I will want to go get coffee or eat out with my friends a few times a week, but I have to make sure I can afford to do that first and plan out each week how many times I can do it.
Put some savings into a DIFFERENT account
This is my favorite tip on this list, and I think the most helpful! I can’t count the number of times I told myself I would only get one coffee that week, but end up getting 2 or 3. You tell yourself you will save your money, but a lot of times it does not happen. To solve this problem, I started putting my college savings into a completely different account, that way it’s not easily accessed. I have it set where it transfers $10 per week automatically, so by the time I get to college, I will have a good amount saved up. This summer I will be making more money than I am right now, so I plan on transferring $15-20 each week. You just need to look at your weekly income to figure out how much you can afford to save, and no matter how much you make, if you do it constantly, eventually you will have a good amount saved for your future self.
leave a little left over for treating yourself!
This is the fun part! When you make your budget make sure to leave a little left over. I usually plan on not spending $10-15 each week that I can use when I want to treat myself or when I am having a bad day. There are always those times you find a cute top you want to buy, but when you can’t afford it it’s not fun. Having a little extra money allows you to do it. You can’t do it every week, but every once in a while is good and is not something to feel guilty about.