Money Saving Magic
Putting your earnings away for college and beyond is hard work, but a little creativity goes a long way.
Finding a way to make money is only half of it. You also have to have a good plan for saving that money for what you really need. Check out these creative ways for earning and saving those precious greenbacks.
No one hiring? Be your own boss. Think of things you enjoy doing and offer to do them for others for pay. Scrapbook a neighbor’s vacation photos. Teach a kid how to play an instrument, or how to dance, paint, act. Share your technology knowledge with older folks or children. You also can offer to do those household chores no one loves: organize closets or pantries, wash windows, take the trash to the curb, etc
Advertise your service. Make fliers that include your services and some of your accomplishments and what you are earning the money for (college expenses, charitable giving) and post in locations based on the audience you’re trying to reach (day care centers, assisted living facilities, etc.). You can use Facebook to ask friends to pass along your info. Include an email address so you won’t have to deal with unwanted phone calls.
Be smart and safe. Try to work for people you know, and always have an adult with you when you meet a customer for the first time. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation.
What to charge. With scrapbooking, charge at least double the cost of the materials you provide. For other services, research going rates in the neighborhood, then base your fee on the difficulty of the task
Keep options open. You can advertise multiple services, and if customers like your work they may ask you to do other jobs.
Cut back. Write down what you usually spend, then look for ways to spend less. Even one less Starbucks a week will help. Think before you buy
A penny saved. Find a glass jar for your loose change. It adds up.
Let friends and family know. Inform everyone around you that you’re on a savings kick, and encourage them to suggest activities that don’t break your bank.
Open a bank account. You’ll be less likely to dip into your funds if they are tucked safely in a savings account.Be a thrift shopper. Go to Goodwill or other thrift stores and treasure hunt. Brand-new $80 heels for $7? It can be done. Resale stores are also a great bet. You get cash for turning in your well-cared for duds, and you find great buys for yourself.
Challenge yourself. High school events can be costly, like prom. Set a spending goal for such things, like going to prom on $100. The challenge can be fun. Swap dresses with a friend, make the pre-prom dinner a potluck.
Stay focused on the goal. Once you have saved up a sizeable amount of money, it is tempting to “borrow” from yourself for a non-budgeted treat, like those concert tickets. Remember what you are saving for: College application fees? College spending money? It’s okay to earmark some of your savings for fun, but don’t cave to temptation.
Junior, Tate High, Cantonment
Kenneth first started keeping the money he got for his jobs around the house in a drawer. The drawer has been replaced by a savings account, and now he puts all his earnings in the bank — saving for a new customized computer.