When we're on our own for the first time, we're so concerned about spending money that we so often forget that we can save it too. Having money set aside for an unforseen expense - like a car repair - is not only smart, but necessary too. So ask yourself, how much do you want to set aside each month? 10%? 20%? 50%? Remember, the more you save, the more you'll have... but it's also important to remember that you're human and to give yourself a little freedom to buy what you want every now and then.
Every time you go shopping ask yourself, "Do I need this?" Will the world stop turning if you buy the store brand instead of the name brand? Seriously, if you really want to save money for more important things, you have to ask yourself these tough questions. If you're in a store and the items in your basket look like impulse purchases, they probably are. So step away from the cart. Leave those items in the store. And keep your money in your wallet. Besides, most people end up later regretting the stuff they bought on impulse.
Many of us have rooms full of... well, junk. Things that we thought we needed. Things that we thought we wanted. Things that we just... you get the picture. Take a look around your room. How much of that stuff do you REALLY need? Sure, some things like the iPod, cell phone, and your laptop are necessary items (Hey, you've got to be able to visit My Kind Of College some how!) But do you really need to own 4 pairs of the same type of flip flops? Separate your belongings from the things you need and the things you don't. Try selling some of the stuff in your unecessary pile or if you're feeling especially generous, donate them to the Goodwill or any other charity seeking donations. Once we're able to declutter our lives, we slowly start to realize what's really important in life and budgeting becomes so much easier.
I'm not one of those lame people that just gives advice without living it first. I've incorporated these very same tips into my own life and now I'm better for it. Try it yourself. You just might surprise yourself with how much you end up saving.