Now it may only be week five, but we can’t help that our minds are already wandering to our spring break plans. But it is actually never too early to start saving money so we can fulfill these little daydreams that are constantly triggered each time a professor says the word “midterm.” So while our imaginations are relaxing on a beach, or we’re sipping a drink with a colorful umbrella, we should be mindful of our spending, because we deserve to unwind this March. Here are some helpful tips to budget your money:
- Use that little pink piggy bank. I know it’s been accumulating dust since you were 7, but put it to some good use now, because change adds up over time. So instead of discarding it, save the change and go to the Coinstar at grocery stores. If your piggy bank is so 1999, grab a trendy mason jar – the new hipster version of saving. For ultimate results, leave your change until spring break and have some ridiculous spending cash.
- Skip the coffee. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, go for a run! Your Cabo bikini body will thank you later. If you aren’t the runner-lifter-yogi athlete, take a cold shower to shock you awake! Hey, no one said saving is pretty. Still need energy in the morning and don’t like to give up your caffeine? Make coffee at home! This is an easy way to save – imagine what $4 per day, seven days a week, for five weeks can do. I’ll let you do the math, but it’s a lot.
- Check out StudentRate. Flash to Kirsten Wiig in “Bridesmaids” saying, “Help me, I’m poor,” because that has become the mantra of students. Companies, brands and restaurants understand the lifestyle of the poor university scholar and have started to offer discounts when you provide your student ID. So we should be taking advantage of the available student discounts! StudentRate.com is a website that shows students available discounts on fashion, textbooks, travel and dining, while also advertising deals at various locations: Toms, J. Crew, Under Armour and Best Buy, to name a few. Also, shout out to Groupon. Although it’s not a site aimed at providing discounts for students, it still offers innumerable deals around town!
- Be ATM savvy. To limit your spending from week to week, pull out a certain amount of cash that you will allow yourself to spend for the next seven days. Rather than always swiping that shiny plastic that lets you feel as if you have a limitless amount of dough, throw it back to the old days, when you used cold-hard cash and paid attention to how much a certain item cost. Then you won’t have to nervously check your bank account with your eyes half shut to see how much damage you’ve done that week.
- Reservation for two … at home. We know we get sick of the same food we buy, meals we cook and snacks we have. To break up the monotony, have a potluck with your friends, where each person brings a different dish for dinner. Go grocery shopping with people to get some new inspiration in the Trader Joe’s aisles. Swap some recipes to find out what delicious smell is always wafting from your kitchen when your roommate is cooking. If all else fails, call Mom. She always has a few tricks up her sleeve.
Spring break is the light at the end of the dark tunnel that we call school. It is the hope that gets us through each class and the smile that spreads across our face when we cross another day off the calendar. Whether you are planning to spend money on a crazy Cabo vacay or your monthly subscription to Netflix to binge watch television-show series, we all owe ourselves a relaxing break — and we can afford it if we budget!
Image Source: Chad Cooper
Contact Lauren Trambley at [email protected].