You’re not rich

Jocelyn Sandusky, Features Editor

Though saving money while living at home might seem easy, it’s actually difficult to avoid reckless spending. However, by setting a few rules and remaining aware of the goal and purpose, saving money can be attainable. 

Account for the “essentials”

Sometimes it’s easy to think deprivation is the best and fastest way to achieve a goal, but it’s unreasonable to think anyone can save 100 percent of their earnings. A plan that lacks wiggle room and doesn’t account for any setbacks is destined for failure. It’s then easy to take that failure and use it as a precedent for why it’s useless to continue striving for that goal.

It might be useful to set a weekly, monthly or yearly savings goal that accounts for essential item purchases. When I say essential, I don’t mean items like toilet paper or medication. If you have to pay for them, they should be accounted for too, but make room for the items that are important to you, whether it’s makeup products, weed, fast-food or concerts. Determine what’s essential to you, and within reason, allow yourself to enjoy those things while also saving your money.

There will be sacrifices 

Permission to indulge in something is not a free pass to ignore an objective. I live at home because I can’t afford to live on my own and I’d like to save some money so that one day I can. New items and experiences roll out every day, and they are going to compete for my money. I have to be disciplined enough to hold out for the things that are special and that I can enjoy and savor. For example, I really enjoy Billie Eilish’s music, and I would like to go to one of her concerts, but if I knew Harry Styles had just put out an album, I’d wait it out for Styles. Even though a concert wasn’t announced, I’d rather wait a few months to see if things change. I wouldn’t want to regret my decision or talk myself into buying tickets to both concerts because I think it would make me happy. I’d be cool, but not living on the streets would also make me happy. I want to live a happy and fulfilled life, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse to deter away or ignore my objective. 

Ignore the zeros in your savings account

Making room for essential items doesn’t completely take away the desire and urge to spend money. I constantly have to stop myself from buying instant gratification items. I either think I need them or I justify the purchase because they hardly cost any money. With the stay at home order, I constantly find myself driving to McDonald’s to buy a drink. I tell myself I need it because it gives me something to do when the rest of the day is occupied by, well, nothing. Also, it only costs a dollar, so I won’t even notice when I check my bank statement. Unfortunately, by the time the order is lifted, all of my saved money will have gone to a red-headed and demented looking clown. Just because the money is there doesn’t mean you should give yourself permission to touch it. If you need to, leave some money in your checking account, but live that’s all you have. Pretend the rest of it doesn’t exist.

Save now, not later

It’s easy to have a false sense of reality when living at home. I feel a lot richer than I really am because I don’t have to confront the costly pains of the real world. It’s easy to blow all of my money away just because I have it and I can. But I want something to show for my overstayed welcome at home. I need the time that I spent here to have been for something, anything. I stayed with my parents because I couldn’t afford to be on my own while in school, and I hope that by saving some money, it doesn’t have to be the case at the start of my career.