It just makes cents

How students can create long-term habits to save


Nandini Paidesetty

Saving money is an important habit to instill at a young age. The Sidekick visual media editor Angelina Liu explains how one can form key habits when it comes to budgeting.

Angelina Liu, Visual Media Editor

When I was younger, saving money was something that came naturally. After all, what would a 10-year-old need to buy? 

As I’ve gotten older, merchandise from my favorite artists, concert tickets and fast food became more of a priority. The money that I had saved from youth began to dwindle. My first instinct was to get a job. Unfortunately, this only fueled my unhealthy spending habits rather than helping build savings. 

These habits persisted until recently, when I realized I needed to stop spending and start saving. After talking to my friends and classmates, I realized that I was not the only student who struggled with this issue. 

After several failed attempts at money saving, speaking with Coppell High School Money Matters teacher Ramiro Rodriguez, assistant vice president of Frost Bank Damon Hurst and CHS senior Risa Azim, I have curated specific guidelines on effective ways to save money for the future. 

1. Create a routine

When saving, creating a routine and being intentional on where money is going will significantly increase your success.  

“Have a plan in place before you receive your money,” Hurst said. “ If you can develop those good habits of having a priority on saving early, it’s more likely that as you get older, you’re more likely to continue those habits as part of your routine. As a student, if you don’t have a lot of responsibilities, you should be putting a minimum of half of what you receive into savings.” 

However, saving looks different for everyone. 

“For my family, we have a save bucket, a spend  bucket and a give  bucket,” Hurst said. “ For a student, I’m assuming there aren’t a lot of financial responsibilities that you have, so it would make sense for a student to be able to contribute more to a save bucket. Obviously those percentages will change when you’re older as you have more responsibilities.” 

This technique has worked best for me as I have been able to delegate money to different categories, without any overages. In the past, this is where I’ve struggled the most. 

2. Have a goal 

The first step to saving money is having a goal in mind as well as defining it. According to Rodriguez, the most important part of saving money is understanding “why.”

“First things first, create a budget,” Rodriguez said. “What are your goals? What are your plans? What are you trying to achieve with your money? When you’re saving, your budget will be your blueprint. You will have to be disciplined with your budget and spend only what you have already allotted.”

According to Rodriguez, an effective way to create a budget is by taking a look at your past 30 days of expenses. Not only will it help you figure out how much money should be allotted in each category such as food, gas and fun, it will also help you realize where you may be spending too much. 

“Setting a budget is not handcuffing you. It’s actually creating more freedom,” Ramirez said. “In setting your budget, you can allot fun money while also saving.”   

However, with an increasing dependence on digital spending, spending money has become easier than ever with the simple swipe of a card. However, Azim offers a solution to this problem. 

“Let’s say all the money you earn  goes directly to your card,” Azim said. “ You don’t really realize how much you’re swiping off every time because it’s just a card. But if you go to the ATM and take out for example a $100, then every time you spend your cash you feel like you’re spending a lot, which helps to spend less because you’re physically losing money”

3. Execute the plan.

Finally, once all plans are in place, the last step is simply to execute and stay true to your goal. 

“The goal is to live life debt free,” Ramirez said. “We have a situation here in the United States where 70 plus percent of the population is living paycheck to paycheck. That means they are just inundating themselves with debt. Live within your means and your budget will help you with that.” 

Although this may be the most difficult part of saving money, sticking true to your goal will help create long lasting funds that your future self will thank you for. 

Follow Angelina (@angelinaliiu) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.