The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

Sensible saving

Budgeting may seem difficult, but is easy and beneficial if you follow these steps.

Budgeting: something everyone has to do and no one wants to. As someone who can see an advertisement for a product one time and want it, I’ve had to learn how to avoid spending money I don’t need to spend, and I’ve definitely regretted purchases later. Here, I’ve outlined a few tips on what you can do to set yourself up for success. 

Think about “routine” purchases. Before buying anything, first stop and ask yourself if you really need that daily purchase. Take Starbucks for example, if you spend $7 every day it might not seem like a lot, but a week later, you just spent almost $50 on coffee. Even inexpensive repeat purchases add up. If you want to buy a drink at Starbucks, think of it as a treat and try to do it less frequently.

Avoid impulse purchases. If you see something you really want, write it down and in a week, look back at your list. If you still want it, and you have the available cash, buy it. If you don’t, it was never a good purchase. I currently have a Google Keep with a ton of products I want to purchase just to make sure I pause and think about it before I make a purchase.

Research. If you want a specific item, make sure it’s the best product for the amount of money it costs and make sure if it’s an item of clothing that you’ll actually wear it. Regardless of what it is, make sure you will actually use it. Research also means researching different ways to save/invest money as you get older. Consider buying a stock or investing in a mutual fund.

Do not buy food if you do not have to. If you pack lunch, do not buy school lunch. If you go out to eat or buy fast food, limit it to once per week. Teens tend to spend a lot of money on buying food, and unless you have nothing else to eat, then you don’t need to make that purchase. 

If you can, use public transportation instead of a car. In addition, it is far more eco-friendly.

If you’re shopping for school supplies, buy only what you need—I know we are all used to buying random items, like fine line markers at Staples—and try to reuse old materials you already have.

Build Credit. Ask your parents to add you to their credit card, not so that you can use it, but so that you can build your credit score. When they pay their bills each month, it will begin to create your credit history and raise your credit score.

Save. Open a bank account so that you can save whatever you have earned from working, or presents and make sure that it has a good interest rate and no monthly fees.

If you follow these steps, your wallet will thank you.

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