“A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned” –Benjamin Franklin
What some people don’t realize in college is that not everyone graduates with a nice, well paying job under their belt. It could take weeks, months, maybe even a year before you get an offer, and while your scholarship or loans are helping you out now, it won’t last forever.
When I was in high school and getting my first savings account I remember the banker telling me that everyone should have at least $6,000 in savings because that will get you by for three months if unemployed. College is a time to have fun, go on adventures, and try new things, but it is still important to be thinking about your savings. I don’t want to depend on my parents after graduation. I want to be independent and self-sufficient; hopefully most of you agree.
So when it comes to my savings I have one big rule, one that has no if, and, or but excuses. That is, what goes into savings stays in savings. Everything I’ve put in my savings account since freshmen year hasn’t been touched, and it has accumulated quite nicely over the years.
I follow this rule for 3 reasons. First, it makes me think ahead. If I know Christmas is coming up or I need to buy books for school I can budget and keep the money I need for those purchases. I have to manage the money I earn each month and decide how much I need and how much can be put in savings. It also helps me save because after I put money in savings, the money left over is all I have. It makes me budget for the important things and keep me from spending money on things I don’t need.
Next, this big rule gives me goals to reach. Every semester and summer I give myself a money goal. If you have a number to reach it makes saving money more competitive and fun. I like to challenge myself to get to my goal, and having a goal also gives you a motivation to put money in savings in the first place.
Lastly, this savings rule helps me save for something big. If I want to go on a big European vacation or if I decide to go to grad school, I can pay for it. It’s nice to know that I have the means to do something like that.
If you haven’t got a savings account get one right now. Save money any way you can, and follow my rule. You will see what I mean if you do. It is never too late to start saving, and trust me, you will be thankful for it later.