Don't Go Broke Over Spring Break

I have to say, it’s honestly really weird that spring break is around the corner. It almost feels too soon.

Source

Excuse my skeptic ways, but this back and forth weather here in Atlanta leaves me clueless as to what season we’re really in, so I’m a little shook by this.

As it starts to get warmer, you may find yourself getting excited and making plans that involve spending money on things you’re going to need. Spending is almost essential in everyday life, but it’s what you do with your money behind closed doors that counts the most.

It sounds good, but the idea of actively putting away money gets a bad rap most times. So first, I want to make it clear that saving money doesn't mean that you can't treat yourself. You can definitely enjoy saving your coins without having such a tightly closed fist on your wallet. Spring break is about relaxing and having as much fun as you can in between, whether you go on a trip, or stay where you are. 

It’s important to always have a guide for almost any of your upcoming plans, whatever they may be. If you’re going somewhere with a group of friends or family, I suggest taking time to create a list of activities you may be interested in doing while you vacation.

Even if you don’t know every detail right now, you’ll have a much better guideline for spending in general. This will help you know what you have, what you don’t have and will give a stronger sense of confidence while you're shopping! To get you started, here are three tips to get this process of saving started. 

1. Evaluate Your Taste

We can never have enough combinations when it comes to clothes.

Whenever I go shopping, it never fails that I end up making a purchase that I could’ve done without. I used to have such a hard time letting go of the first couple of cute items I’d see. It's not a cake walk having to put anything back, but what must be done will be done. The even bigger problem would be having to stare at my cart deciding what stays and what goes. 

Source

We all fall short, but with practice and a better understanding of your finances, you'll be asking yourself, “Do I really need that?” with no regret. The only catch to this is that you have to be willing to be honest with yourself! The excuses we'll make just to buy something can be really hilarious, but I’ve learned that it’ll always be best for your pockets when you re-evaluate your purchases.

You’ll often find that the cuter items are a smidge more expensive. Yeah, putting some things back may sting a little, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have the hottest bikini or sundress in the store, especially after what it’s going to cost you. Quality is very important but there can be quality in lower priced items if you really take the time to search for the deal. 

You won’t regret saving some extra bucks while still having what you need for your plans. It's a win-win situation! 

2. Set a Budget (Almost Immediately!)

When you find out how much financial wiggle room you have, set your spending limits and have your mind made up to stick to them.

It may not be your thing to write out a budget and follow it daily, (definitely not my thing either), but that's where your smart phone comes in. There are plenty of apps being recommended that help with budgeting. Most finance apps will do the work for you and should be free to download! NerdWallet has a list of apps that are worth checking out. You’ll thank yourself for saving more than you may have realized.

I suggest making a checklist so that you can see all of your expenses ahead of time. Take a guess at how much money you will need to eat, refill on gas (if you’re driving anywhere), cover potential lodging costs, etc. There’s no bigger mood kill than having a surprise expense throw off your plans. 

3. Have Your Student ID on Hand

It may seem like merely a campus thing, but your student ID can act as a coupon for places you’d probably never guess. You never know which stores will honor you with deals and discounts for just being a college student.

Most store and restaurant managers understand the struggle of trying to have fun on a budget. In areas that are considered to be college towns, discounts can be in places you least expect it. 

Take advantage of this if you’re staying on campus or somewhere nearby for spring break. There are tons of places and events to go to that will most likely honor your ID. This has to be the easiest freebie out there, so keep your ID nearby. 

A financial drought is something we're all trying to stay clear of. Having fun on a budget can be easier said than done. Practicing financial discipline and better decision making can make budgeting something that's easily said and done.