Keeping your money in your wallet

Cassandra Adams


Alex Terlacher

Junior nursing major

“My New Year’s resolution is to learn to budget my money better. I’m trying to save some money. I’m allowing $40 spending money a week. The rest is in the bank.”

Between eating lunch out and weekend trips to the bars, it can be difficult to save extra cash. Here are some useful tips for keeping track of your spending from economics professor Kathryn Wilson:

Tip 1: Make a list of what you spend money on

“If you really want to take control of your finances, for two weeks write down every penny you spend and what you spend it on. Two things will probably happen. First, there will be money you don’t spend because you think about it before spending it; second, you will be surprised at how much money you spend in certain areas and be able to make changes that save you money.”

Tip 2: Pay cash

“Pay cash for everything you can (and I mean actual cash, not using a debit card). There is something about seeing the actual dollars leaving your hand that causes you to think more about your spending, and you will make sure you don’t spend money you don’t have (and don’t have to pay high bank fees for overdrawing.)”

Tip 3: Deposit into your piggy bank (savings)

“The first thing you should do when you get a paycheck is set some of the money aside for savings – don’t wait until the end of the month and plan on saving whatever is left over because there will probably not be anything left over.”

Tip 4: Recognize the true necessities

Yes, this may mean less frequent trips to Starbucks.

“If you are on a really tight budget, think about what necessities really are. Do you need that many cable channels? Do you need a cell phone plan that is as costly? Do you need to drink a coffee from Starbucks instead of making a pot of coffee in your room?”

“Remember that when you are in college, you are investing in your future. Doing well in college will help you become a more critical thinker, get good recommendations, have a solid resume and get a good job when you graduate. Consider spending fewer hours working in a job during college and more hours focused on your education. You may have to give up some luxuries now, but it may greatly increase your lifetime wealth,” Wilson said.

Contact features correspondent Cassandra Adams at [email protected].