Anyways, here are a few simple ways that I plan on saving money throughout this semester:
- Bring your lunch instead of buying- Although you and your friends/co-workers frequent Chipotle during breaks, it is very easy to spend around $9 on a meal there... If you bring your lunch, you save some money, use up the groceries you already purchase, and waste less time standing in that perpetual line out the door.
- Limit yourself when you do go out to eat- My general rule is to spend less than $10 total, especially if we are just casually dining... I usually eat a sandwich and drink water, depending on where we go.
- Take advantage of free food events- Even though my college is small, I can usually count on not having to make dinner at least one night per week due to a club/organization event or promotion that has food provided... granted, when food is provided, it is pizza 88% of the time, or donuts, or cereal... but hey, it's free.
- Cut your hair short- Not only does it look more professional (at least on me, anyway) less hair means using less product... I have very thick and curly hair that I kept long throughout my college career. I decided to cut it above my shoulders over this past summer, and it surprised me just how little shampoo, conditioner, and product I had to use to style it. Now, it takes me about half the time to go through these hair products!
- Grocery shop wisely- Do some research, learn the intricate art of couponing, pay attention to special deals. Give yourself ample time to shop at the supermarket, so that you can properly compare prices and whatnot without being rushed.
- Learn to live without Starbucks- This is a hard one, especially if you are an avid coffee drinker... I have been able to combat the need to refuel at coffeeshops by investing in my own reusable travel mug and preparing my coffee before I leave my apartment. Make stops at Starbucks special treats, instead of daily rituals.
- Take advantage of your student discount- Being a student can help you out at several different retail stores, as well as some museums and restaurants.
- Be sure to buy only what you need- This takes a whole lot of self-discipline, but if you stay true to the idea of "what I need" vs. "what I want," you are more likely to avoid impulse buys.
- Beware of the bars- It is super easy to overspend at the bar... Opt for nights in or if you are set on going out, bring a set amount of cash and make a point of sticking to your budget for the night.
- Go on cheap dates- Hey, nobody said you had to spend a ton of money to have a good time! Go for a walk, take part in an activity on campus, have a movie night... etc.
As you can see, these are relatively easy ways to save a buck here and there. As long as I keep these rules in mind during my daily life, I will be able to save a relatively substantial amount for my future self when I am living on my own... well, hopefully.
What are some other ways that you save money?