Transitioning from high school to college and sequentially from college to the workforce involves a number of changes. Among these are living on your own, getting a job, being responsible for feeding yourself, being responsible for yourself in general, etc. The underlying constant in all of these things is, however, the gradual transition from being dependent to independent financially.
For some, this transition happens sooner than for others. For me personally, I am fortunate enough that my parents pay for the part of my tuition not covered by loans and my housing, while I am responsible for paying for my food, my sorority, my books, any random commodities and for paying back my loans later. Others, however, carry the financial responsibility entirely on their own and still others remain completely dependent on their parents for all of their needs. There is nothing wrong with any of the above scenarios, but the fact of the matter is, at some point most of us are going to have to become completely financially independent of our parents.
In my experience of being somewhat financially dependent on myself, I have learned a few tricks that keep me feeling somewhat secure about my financial situation. First of all, I am completely unashamed to do any job whatsoever. If there is an opportunity for me to make a decent amount of money I typically seize it. I’ve dressed up as Tony the Tiger and walked around Walmart, sat outside in the blazing heat selling Tummy Yummy’s at a 5k, done surveys at Food Lion, etc. I also babysit for a number of different families in the Raleigh area as well as at home and over the summer I am a lifeguard. Secondly, I am such a frugal shopper. I hate spending tons of money on something if I know I can find it, or something similar, somewhere else cheaper. I also try my best to not go out to eat too frequently and always try to keep in mind that if I spend money now, I won’t have any for later. Another thing I do in regards to thinking about the future is randomly transfer sums of money to my savings account and once it’s there I pretend it doesn’t exist. I have yet to touch a penny from my savings and who knows when I will. If I start to run out of money in my checking account, I pick up another job. Lastly, and this one is a bit ridiculous, I always wait until the last day to pay any bills so that I can still get the interest from the money being in my bank. This probably amounts to about 10 cents a month, but a penny saved is a penny earned, right?
While my money saving tactics are a bit amateur, there are so many resources out there with advice on how to survive financial independence. If you ever find yourself in a rut, take to the internet and I am sure that you will find something that you can do to help you out.