Saving money can be hard to do! Even adults struggle with it sometimes. That’s why it pays to put these smart spending and saving habits to work as soon as possible.
Here are 7 simple tips that can help you save your hard-earned allowance or paycheck:
- Identify what you’re saving for. A savings account is a great idea, but you’re even more likely to put money aside if you name the account something like “Car Fund” or “New Laptop”
- Find new ways to make money, including doing chores around the house or neighborhood.
- Wait for things to go on sale before buying them but don’t buy anything just because it is on sale
- Find something you and your friends like doing that doesn’t cost money like volunteering at an animal shelter or joining a club
- Use cash. It is easy to hand over a debit card or send money digitally but old-school cash makes expenses seem more “real” and makes you less likely to spend frivolously
- Find a hobby that you can earn money doing like photography, graphic design, painting or video editing and then be sure to tell your friends and family you’re available for hire
While sharing photos, videos and updates on social media isn’t a new trend, those being able to use your shared information for identity theft and fraud have risen. Being careful about the kinds of information you share can save you trouble down the line.
Roughly 92% of teenagers post their real names, 82% list their dates of birth, and 71% show their city of residence on their profiles, according to a Pew Research Center study. While much of that information may seem innocuous, there are a few things you should never share, according to Credit.com.
Driver’s License or Personal ID Details
The excitement of getting a driver’s license, whether it’s your first or you got a new one in a new state, leads some to post a pic of the full ID. Identity thieves can use the information they can see – like your date of birth, picture, license number, and other personal information.
Sharing your date of birth, Social Security Number and too many personal details open you up for fraud, so keep that information as private as possible and never share it on unsecured sites like social media.
Burglars troll social media sites just looking for people to share information about their vacations, or even use geo-tagging to take the opportunity to rob your house. If they see you’ll be gone for a few hours, or even days, they could see that as a chance to break in and steal from you. Don’t share your location, especially if your address is public record.
It may seem obvious, but don’t post about your bank account info. CNN reported that in 2014 a huge identity theft ring was caught looking for bank information by people who posted their paycheck with the hashtag #myfirstpaycheck. Don’t post pictures of checks, regardless of how excited you may be, since it’s not difficult for thieves to then forge checks with your account. Pictures of your credit or debit cards should also never be posted anywhere.
To protect your identity while still staying social on websites include making your profiles as private as possible to only your friends – and that includes on your mobile device since most younger people post while on their smartphones or tablets.
If you think outside of the box, there are probably many ways you can utilize your talents to make some extra dough. Working in this way is great for when you are in school or as some extra cash when you start working full time.
Start A Handmade Craft Business – There is a huge Do It Yourself movement happening across the country – and even the world – right now. It’s never been so easy to get your creations sold. Artists no longer need to spend every weekend at craft fairs (unless they want to!). They can now sell their art online thanks to sites like Etsy.com. With sites like this, you can set up a store to sell anything you create: wedding invitations, party invites, holiday cards, curtains, illustrations, fabric items, and even jewelry. Especially if you create things that are part of the latest trends, you’ll definitely be able to cash in.
Seek Out Treasures – If you are really good at spotting cool antique treasures at thrift stores, your talents could be worth quite a lot to people across the country. Many people don’t have the patience or know-how to sort through items at thrift stores and would rather head to eBay.com to purchase these special treasures. Head to thrift stores and grab all the cool vintage stuff you can find and then list it on eBay. Depending on how much you pay for it, you can make quite a profit by selling these items.
Do Freelance Work – Do you write, edit or design? Offer your talents by designing logos, websites or brochures. Sites like elance.com are a great place to look for assignments. You can also get the word out there about your services via family and friends. It’s an exciting way to build your portfolio and make extra cash at the same time.
Many people have a misconception that “going green” is expensive. When, in fact, in many cases going green saves you tons of…well, green. Help Mother Earth and your wallet with these easy tips.
Conserve Energy – You’ve been hearing this from your parents for years, but it goes beyond turning off lights when you leave a room. However, you should continue to do that too! In addition to lights and TVs, turn off other electronics like computers and video game consoles each day. And don’t forget to unplug items that are not in use – yes, cell phone chargers count, too.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – When it comes to money and the environment, this adage rings true. Cut back on spending and waste by reducing your purchases and consumption. Reuse what you already have and recycle what you can when you’re done.
Share And Share Alike – In addition to reusing what you can, sharing items or borrowing them from friends and family will help you all cut back on spending. Even if your pals don’t have what you need, you can often find inexpensive or free items on sites like Craigslist.org, Freecycle.org or Swaptree.com.
Pack Your Lunch – After years of eating ramen noodles, once you start your first job, ordering your lunch every day might feel like a luxury you deserve. However, not only is ordering out costly but it is also wasteful. Take out containers and excess packaging contributes to the 4.6 pounds of trash the average American produces per day, according to the Clean Air Council. Buy a reusable lunch container and Tupperware, and then bring your lunch every day. You’ll save hundreds of dollars –and pounds of trash – each year.
Reuse Your Water Bottle, Too – Keep the bottles out of the landfills and keep more cash in your pocket. Each purchase of bottled water costs a dollar on average. By refilling a bottle with filtered water from your place, you’ll stay hydrated – and your bank account will stay happy.
Clean And Green – Whether it’s at your parents’ house or your apartment, it’s always a good idea to clean with homemade products. They work just as well – and in many cases better than the store-bought kind. Plus, they cost just pennies to make. Make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of dish soap. Add 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil for an added kick!