Welcome back from Spring Break Lumberjacks! Now that you have partied it up, shopped until you dropped, and ate all the food you'd been missing from your hometown, your wallet or purse might be a little "lighter". College students are known for not being the best at saving money, but here are some quick tips that could make saving a few dollars every day a big difference in very little time.
Stop eating out
Eating out at our favorite restaurants in the city adds up quickly. We all might not be the biggest fans of the cafeteria, but if you have a meal plan, use it! Those of us who live off campus, and don't have a commuter plan, buying groceries for the week is cheaper than eating out everyday, and depending on what you buy, can be much healthier than going to your favorite restaurants all week. This does not mean giving up eating out; you can pick a day of the week to eat out with friends or bring take out back home to your dorm room or apartment. You can save as much as 50 dollars a week or more.
Limit your alcohol intake
For those of us 21 and up who enjoy Big Glass nights and Thirsty Thursdays, as well as other drink specials throughout the week in the city, our alcohol tabs can be sky high. Of course we want to unwind during the week, so when you go out, only choose days where your favorite restaurant/bar has drink specials. You can get the same drinks you enjoy for a fraction of the price. Also, pick at least one week a month where you stay at home.
Monitor your expenses
Its easy to spend lots of money without looking at your receipts. Here's a challenge: Save all of your receipts from transactions for one week. At the end of the week, add up your expenses. You may be shocked to see how much you are spending a week. You might also be shocked to see what you could have done without for that week. This is an easy way to monitor frivolous spending and keep more money in your pocket.
Find different sources of entertainment
Going to the movies, getting a cable package, might seem like a good idea, but these items are terrible investments when you consider the fact that you can enjoy most of these things for free or for very little cost online. There are tons of sites that allow you to watch your favorite movies or television shows for free. Ditch the cable (basic cable can run your anywhere from $40-$80 a month) for a netflix and/or hulu account, to watch thousands of movies and TV series. If you want to go to the movies, SFA has a movie theater where students can buy a ticket, and get concessions for only $3.00! Also, if you want to watch new releases in Nacogdoches, the local Carmike theater has discount ticket prices at specific times every day.
These tips are just a start to getting more money in your pocket. Set a goal amount you want to save each month and try to reach that. For working students, try to save a percentage or portion of your paycheck each month, deposit it in your savings account and leave it there. Having that extra money in your savings account can come in handy for small emergencies like car trouble or having to buy supplies for a project.