As a college student, I feel like all I’m ever doing is shelling out money. Between textbooks, take-out, and that must-have new t-shirt for the latest football game, the expenses pile up fast! For me, fall seems to be the worst season for it with all the fun seasonal treats: The State Fair, fall break, football games, Halloween, bonfires, the list goes on and on. Even if I manage to keep my budget under wraps through October, it is quickly blown in preparation for the holiday season in December.
Here are a few tips to indulge in all your favorite things without breaking the bank.
1. Be Aware of Promotions: The State Fair in Raleigh is one of my favorite autumn events but between admission, tickets, and food, it can end up being an expensive evening. To save money, check your calendars for promotions or special campaigns running. I always try to plan my fair trip the night they are collecting cans for the food drive. Simply bring two cans and admission is free!
2. Receipts are Your Best Friend: Confessions of a Shopaholic was essentially my auto-biography. Needless to say, department stores are my weakness which means my trips to the local mall have to be planned and limited. Imagine my excitement when I discovered a great way to save 10-20% in my favorite stores. All you have to do is check your receipts! Read the fine print at the bottom, many stores offer a coupon for simply going online or calling a toll-free 1-800 number and answering a survey.
3. Carry Cash: I find that if I carry cash, when I’m shopping, I think more carefully about my purchases. It is too easy to swipe my card, so I will carry cash and know that when my cash is gone I am finished shopping for that day. Sometimes I will even leave my card at home so I have no choice but to stick to my budget.
4. Dine Out Earlier: Many restaurants will run their lunch promotions into the early evening so if you’re really craving that great pasta dish at your favorite Italian joint, try rounding up your friends earlier in the day to eat. You will get to partake in your favorites while only paying the lunch price. Plus, you’ll avoid the dinner rush and save a few calories with a smaller portion. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Buy Secondhand: Looking fashionable doesn’t have to be expensive. Places like Uptown Cheapskate resell good quality, name-brand clothes and accessories for affordable prices. From formal dresses to work out attire, the money savvy college woman is sure to stay trendy while saving some cash.
Hope these tips help you feel fabulous in fall while still keeping some money for the holidays. Have any more money saving tips? Let us know in the comments below.