5 Tips for Budgeting while Working
One of the most important things we learn on the first job is how to budget. Kelly Simmons and Jac’quese Hargrove put together a list of budgeting tips for their students during the Boys and Girls Club’s Summer Work Program – and we want to share them with our listeners.
Here are the top five tips for working and budgeting from Kelly and Jac’quese:
1. Pay Yourself First
Before you spend any money, set some aside and save it for later. It doesn’t matter how little the amount, it all adds up if you set a little aside each month. Down the road if there’s an emergency, or you’re looking to make big purchase on something like a car, you’ll be grateful for the extra money you set aside.
2. Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your financial goals, both big and small, holds you accountable and puts value to the money you earn. When you plan ahead of time when saving for a car, the latest iPhone, or another need, it helps you decide how much money to set aside each month and how long to save for. It’s easy to spend money fast on instantly gratifying things if you don’t consider your goals ahead of time!
3. Needs VS. Wants
A new pair of sneakers may seem like a need, but if you already have a pair of sneakers that are functional, maybe you need to re-evaluate if a new pair of sneakers is just a want. Going to the mall with your friends and spending money on Chinese takeout seems cool, but if you have food at home you could save money by inviting your friends to eat at your house. Basically, spending less money on these wants helps with saving up for things you need and want long term.
4. Utilize Budgeting Resources
It’s important to know where you spend money. It’s easy to swipe that card and not realize how much you’re spending each week on coffee, takeout, or other non-necessities. Downloading and using a budgeting app will help you recognize what areas you’re spending in that you can cut down on. You can add that money to your savings instead.
5. Open a Bank Account
Opening a Checking and/or Savings account is an important step to being financially responsible. Make sure to ask about the differences between your checking and savings accounts, as well as learn what makes certain accounts at each bank different. Some accounts have different interest rates which allows your money to grow as you add to your savings. Other accounts also have yearly fees. It’s essential to evaluate specs between accounts to choose which accounts better suit your needs.