Your spending money can stretch further if you try these tips
Being a student can be rough on the wallet. In addition to the obvious expense of your tuition, most students are also living on a tight day-to-day budget. Here are some quick tips to make your spending money last a little longer.
1. Cut out the expensive coffee drinks and sodas
Coffee shops and doughnut shops have become a part of many people’s morning routines. We get our caffeine fixes by spending $3 to $5 every day on high-end coffee. These morning pick-me-ups add up quickly over a week’s time. Instead, make your own coffee at home and bring it to school in a reusable mug. The same goes for the soda machine. Instead of that afternoon soda, bring a refillable water bottle with you every day, and fill it up at the water fountain. This is much healthier than soda too!
2. Pack your lunch instead of buying
Usually packing your lunch is healthier and less expensive than buying lunch. For an average bagged lunch that includes a sandwich, fruit, and a snack, you are probably paying about $3-4 when you add up what you’ve purchased at the food store. Buying your lunch, even at a fast-food drive-through, is usually more expensive than this.
3. Don’t fall prey to impulse purchases
Many times we do a good job at pinching pennies, only to make an impulse purchase at the last minute. That gossip magazine at the checkout counter, a new pair of shoes you don’t really need, or the latest facial cream that’s supposed to improve your skin tone...all these items can take a bite out of your piggy bank. If you don’t need it, don’t get it!
4. Try using only cash or a debit card
Many students find themselves using a credit card to cover their purchases, and before they know it, they are in credit card debt. While it is important to build good credit, you don’t want to end up in debt. If you think you can’t handle a credit card, try a debit card instead. Or, an even more tangible way to see where your money is going is to use only cash. This way you can literally see how much is left in your wallet each week. If you are currently in credit card debt, find helpful advice from the Credit Counseling Society.
5. Cut back on your vices
Smoking, vaping, and drinking alcohol are vices that are not only bad for your health but also very expensive. Try your best to quit or cut back. Cutting back might mean having just one drink, and then switching to water. For smoking cessation tips, try the advice from the American Lung Association.
We hope these five tips will help you stretch out those dollars each week. For more extensive tips about staying on a tighter budget, try these additional money-saving tips.
The Harris-Casel Institute in Melbourne, FL offers practical advice for students in its weekly blog. To find out about enrolling in our career training programs, visit us online.