With another year in the bag and no sign (yet) of another “once in a lifetime” economic catastrophe, 2024 could be the year that you finally get some savings together. But, you’re a student, so you don’t have the luxury of a full time job to ruin your social li…uh…pad your bank account 🙃
But don’t worry, Cleo’s got you covered. We’re going to get into some of the best ways to boost your savings in 2024, without turning you into a hermit and forcing you to live on tap water and dry ramen.
Playing the long game
But first, you gotta think long term here. Sorry to break it to you, but you’re not going to be living a perfect TikTok day in the life vlog by next week. It’s going to take some time to build up your savings, but the good news is that small regular habits can add up to serious money if you’re ✨patient✨
If you can only save, say, $75 a month, that might not sound like much. In a bad week that’s just your Doordash account spends, right? 😬 But over the course of a year that monthly $75 adds up to $900. And if you’re a freshman, by the time you reach the end of senior year you could have close to $4,000 in your account 💅
Earn more to save more
Ok so maybe you were expecting a long list of hacks to cut costs. We’re going to give you some of those, but let’s be honest, reducing how much you spend sucks, and doesn’t empower you to grow and improve. So before you start cutting coupons, you should first think about ways you could earn more money 💰
It could be anything, and these days side hustles are so normalized that there are a ton of resources available for just about anything you could want to do. Some simple examples could be:
- Gig work like Doordash or UberEats - why not get some of your own money back?
- Sell on Etsy
- Freelance on UpWork
- Offer physical services in your neighborhood like dog walking or yard maintenance
By putting a focus on earning more, you can easily save the proceeds without having to cut your lifestyle.
Once you’re earning a little more, the next way to improve your savings in 2024 without cutting things out of your lifestyle is to find and use discounts. As a student, you’ve got access to some great programs like Student Beans, giving you cash off the things you’re already buying 🤑
Pay yourself first
Now that you’re earning more and picking up some tasty discounts, savings should be simple, right? Well, yes, but we know how it goes. A little extra love in the bank account can very easily turn into a little extra love at Target ❤️
There’s a simple solution, which in financey circles is known as ‘paying yourself first.’ Or more accurately, paying future you first. The key is to create a way for your extra cash to go into savings automatically. That way, you don’t have to think about it, and when you’re heading on a night out or to Amazon.com, it’s like that extra cash just ✨ doesn’t exist ✨
Cleo’s handy save feature can do this for you.
Do a budget
Ok but what if you’re side hustled up to the eyeballs and discounting more than the ‘closing down’ carpet shop at the strip mall, and yet you’re still not able to save any money?
Well, sorry to tell you but it’s time to break out the b word. Yeh, it’s budget o’clock.
But a budget doesn’t have to be depressing. Really, it’s like clearing out your closet, except with your bank accounts. Ideally, it’s not about cutting out the things you really do love and enjoy, but instead finding the things you didn’t even know you were spending money on.
You’re not going to sell your fave pair of jeans on Depop, but that expensive winter jacket that Mom bought you three years ago and you’ve never worn? That’s cash.
Creating a budget of where your money is going is the same. There might be streaming subs you’re paying for but not using or a Planet Fitness membership you’ve neglected (good luck canceling that though 💀). The point is laying it all out, and deciding what’s important to you, and what can get the chop 🔪
Watch your debt
If money is tight, be extra careful about falling into the trap of using loans or credit cards to cover the gap. It’s a much better decision to ghost on plans or cry poor when it comes to holiday gifting, rather than spending money you don’t have 🤡
If you already have debts you want to get rid of, you should direct some or all of your monthly savings into sorting them out first. Remember to think long term, even small extra repayments can cut years off a loan or debt.
Need a little help with all this? Cleo’s your girl. On top of the awesome savings features and the ability to build a credit score early, you can also get personalized money help directly in the app. Need some gentle encouragement? Type “hype me” and get an inspirational boost. Need tough love? Unleash Cleo’s fierce side with “roast me”. Be warned though, she doesn’t hold back 😈