We all know that after a second semester of cramming and studying, that Spring Break is much needed. I mean we’ve been hashtagging #SpringBreakBod for months now, isn’t this what we’ve all been waiting for? I mean it’s the best! Unless you just remembered that you’re a broke college student and all of your savings for the semester are about to be blown in a mere couple of days…because same. The term “Spring Broke” did not get coined for just any reason, what started as a silly Instagram caption turned into a quick reality as your wallet wheezes the second you step off that cruise ship back into your regular lifestyle. It can definitely be stressful, especially if you’re like me and your bank texts you how much you have left in your account at least once a week. It’s ok though, I’ll just make it into a meme, and we can all laugh about it right?
You (my bank) vs. The Guy She Tells You Not to Worry about (Spring Break)
And while we understand that Spring Break can be the greatest week of your life, we don’t want the week after to be one of your worst due to tight finances. I have a couple of ways that I can help you save so that you can step off the plane and not have to worry about what you’re going to eat next week because you can’t afford groceries. Let’s turn Spring Broke into “Spring-Not-Completely-Rich-But-Not-Broke-Either” because tans may fade, but horrible credit scores last a while.
1. Download Honey and Save Yo’ Money
Nothing is sweeter than Honey, I will tell you that much. Honey is a browser extension that makes it easy to find deals on everything you shop for. At the checkout of an online store, Honey will apply coupon codes to make sure you are getting the best deal and saving as much as you can. It is truly as simple as one click. I use it on the daily, and sure maybe I should be questioning my online shopping habits, however, this is about Honey, not me and, I am telling you it will turn your Spring Break to Spring Bucks in no time.
2. Meal Prep and Snacks
Courtesy: The Daily Meal
Do you want to hear something actually chilling to the core? In a recent study done in 2017, it was said that the average American spends around $232 per month eating out. This means the average individual consumes around 18.2 meals a month that cost them around $12.75 per dish. $12.75 does not sound that bad until you realize you spend 18 times the amount in just 30 days. You’ve been budgeting so hard for Spring Break, who knew saving would be as simple as eating at home? A website that I love using is Budget Bytes because it gives you meal prep ideas that are not only healthy but affordable. It gives you plenty of recipes and even tells you how much each dish will cost to make, usually around just $2. That saves you $10 a week from our original going out spending of $12.75. And if you are traveling somewhere and you think you might be hungry, bring a snack! After all, you are what you eat.
Have you seen the price of a piña colada? Those bad boys can really get up there in the price range, especially if you are on vacation. I hate to admit it, but I have spent a good $15 dollars on those heaven slushies in a glass and sure that’s fine if you’re buying one. However, I don’t know what it is about vacation, but having a perpetual piña colada in hand is truly living the dream. I think anyone would be surprised at how much one might accidentally spend on alcohol if they aren’t careful. In fact, many individuals who go on cruises are likely to spend $200 on just drinks during their Spring Break this year. Don’t become a statistic, it’s all about BYOB, and I have some fun ways for you to do it. My personal favorite, sunscreen bottles. Or I guess I should say, sunscreen flasks. Amazon sells sunscreen flasks for just $10 so you can smuggle your booze in as easily as applying sunscreen. The fake sunscreen bottles look real as ever and even come with seals to make the bottle look like it hasn’t even been opened yet. Whoever thought of this, you deserve a raise… and a drink.
4. Go In with a Budget
Courtesy: Overdraft Apps
The trick to not spending more money than you want is to budget. I’ll say it louder for the people in the back, Y’ALL NEED TO BUDGET. Period. There are multiple ways you can do this. If you are traveling and are expected to go to touristy spots to buy some souvenirs, do not bring more money than you plan to spend. In locations outside the U.S., this trick is also a great way to bargain with locals, by saying “this is all I have, I am sorry.” Either they’ll say they will take what you have, or they won’t. Either way, you can find a better price elsewhere. That’s how I ended up getting a cute ankle bracelet from a local market in the Bahamas for just $5, it truly was all I had, and she wanted to make a sale.
You can also use your phone to budget. Yes, that handy little device planted in your hand 24/7 is here to rescue you and talk about convenience. Mint is a free app that will allow you to plan and track your budgets. You simply input your personal budget and then the app will offer suggestions based on your spending. This is a handy tool even outside of Spring Break where you can also track your bill and credit score while getting tips on how to improve it!
Courtesy: Google Play
Vacationing can be expensive, and one of the things that will really get you is going on expeditions on a vacation that you’ve already paid for. That means you are dropping cash on top of cash when there really is no need. Expeditions can cost tens to hundreds of dollars, and as a college student, that’s a lot. A lot of people tend to forget that there are cheaper, maybe even free options that we tend to look past. You can use the free app, Roadtrippers, to find fun tourist attractions and maybe even destinations that you’ve never heard of or considered! This app has it all, and it is guaranteed to save you money while providing some of the best adventures. I used this app to help me map my journey across the country from Georgia to California when I was 19, and I can still say to this day that it was one of the best weeks of my life.
Saving money is truly not as hard as it seems, and if it can save us hundreds of dollars why not at least give it a try? No one wants to have those post-Spring Break blues, instead, let’s try post-Spring Break greens if ya know what I am saying ($$$). Where there’s a bill there’s a pay, and this Spring Break I don’t want to see a single “Spring Broke” caption on any one’s Instagram, ok? Go have fun, stay safe, and happy savings!