photo courtesy emdot
Zen Habits published a list of money saving tips, many of which apply great for college students. From the list, we must say we most disagree with #3, yet love #6.
3) Stay home. Going out makes you more likely to spend unnecessarily. You eat at restaurants, go to the mall, stop at the gas station for snacks. It’s hard to avoid spending when you’re on the road. Instead, stay home, and find free entertainment. It’s also a great way to bond with your family.
You’re in college and these 4 (or 5 years) are going to be some of the most memorable years of your life. Go out as much as you can, make new friends, meet new people, see new surroundings. Don’t stay boxed up in your dorm room studying 24/7. If your major does require you to study 24/7, do it in different places.
Some suggestions for places to study:
- coffee shops
- the library
- a different floor on the library
- the student center
- your friend’s place
- around nature
- at the beach
- in a park
- the list goes on…
But with that said, you probably shouldn’t go partying and eating out every day. It won’t do wonders for your health and sooner or later your wallet will start to feel the squeeze. The last thing you want to do is build up bad credit before graduation.
6) Cook at home. I know, it seems more difficult than eating out. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Throw together a quick stir-fry with frozen veggies and either boneless chicken or (my favorite) tofu with soy sauce or tamari. Make home-made pizza with a ready-made crust, some sauce, cheese and veggies. Put some spices on something and throw it in the oven while you cook some brown rice. Not only is this much cheaper than eating out, but it’s healthier.
It’s so easy to cook at home, yet continually it seems so difficult for so many! Going out and getting a hamburger here, a latte there, a slice of pizza later on… it all adds up quickly and before you know it, it feels like somebody stole all of your money because you have nothing to show for it. Eating out will kill any budget you have. Make it a goal to go grocery shopping with your roommates every week.
Our tip to college students on when to shop:
The best time to do it is evenings on weekdays, especially when you’re stressed out or need a little break from studying. Evenings on weekdays = less people & less standing in line. This way, it helps you get over the mid-week hump too knowing that you’ll have some great munchies to snack on during your Thursday and Friday classes.