I once heard the saying, "It's not how much you make it's how much you save". As a financially struggling college student, I thought about the statement and it began to make more sense to me. If I got a job that paid $13 an hour I would be more apt to spend 5 or $10 of that over the weekend. However, if I were only making $7 an hour, like I was at my on-campus work study job, I would not be as willing to spend carelessly over the weekend, because I knew that I was not making as much money during the week. In the long run, making less would actually prompt me to save more, and overall gain more money. Thinking about it further, I realized that maybe if I could earn a high paying job, and keep the money saving skills from the lower paying job, I would be in decent financial shape, and I was right! I landed a $13 an hour job over the summer but decided not to get too too excited (even though I was actually thrilled). This is because, I didn't want to feel as though I could spend more money, because I was earning more, after all it's not how much you make, it's how much you save. Of course you should treat yourself every now and then. I try to make it a goal to only go out to eat once a week or every other week, or if I decide to go shopping this week, not buy coffee the next week. It is pretty much an entire system of give and take that I have created. That's what life is really all about, giving and taking and finding a balance between the two.
These jars that I have set up in my room display what I am giving myself for the week and what I am allowing myself to take and spend. Also, in the take jar I like to put gift cards and coupons so I will be willing to spend those rather than my actual cash. Some may think this is ridiculous, but to visually be able to see every week what I have to work with, makes it a lot easier to track what I'm spending and stick to my goals. Also taking money out of ATM's every week, you have to remember that most of the time you are charged a fee for that! So my advice to you along with the give and take system, is to find a great paying job but pretend you are in the past, stuck at the $7 an hour job. This way you will be earning more, saving more, and overall becoming a better financially stable college student (yes it is possible)!