With just three weeks left in the quarter, your warm weather clothing collection and bikini body aren’t the only things you need to think about getting ready for spring break. You’re trying hard to keep that balance in your bank account right where it is before you leave school. For those of you looking to run off to vacation without an empty wallet, check out these tips to conserve your cash.
Problem: Late night study snacks
Solution: You can usually tell finals are approaching by the increasing amount of deliverymen in your doorway late at night. This quarter, head to a C-store and use your equivalency meals, along with the last of your points, to purchase your favorite foods to store in your room for the week. That way, instead of reaching for the phone (and your credit card) for those 2 a.m. munchies, you can reach into the family-sized bag of Tostitos you bought from Lisa’s.
Solution: Yes, you may feel you need a wardrobe update for your vacation plans, but your budget may not feel the same. Make a list of only absolute necessities, and search for stuff on sale (or in the back of your closet first—you never know what old outfits you might find). If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. If you’ve already made a plan to hit the stores with friends, suggest a cheaper alternative, like ice skating or exploring Chicago—there’s more to the city than Michigan Avenue.
Solution: If you’re a caffeine addict, you don’t need to be spending $4.25 for your daily fix. Feeling brave? Switch to dining hall coffee. If you’re more of a coffee snob, seek out one of your lucky friends whose parents sent them to school with a Keurig (and offer to bring your own k-cups!). However, if you absolutely can’t live without your seeing your favorite Starbucks barista in the morning, downgrade your drink to a plain coffee, and go crazy at the free condiments station.
Problem: Dining out
Solution: Sick of dining hall food? Rather then spending on a dinner out, go grocery shopping (look for deals in the store!) and have one of your more culinary-inclined friends cook dinner. It’s an escape from your normal routine, and it’ll make for a fun study break without having to change out of your sweats.
Problem: Going to a bar
Solution: Just because you want to slow down on spending, doesn’t mean you should slow down on social outings. Go out, but leave the credit card at home and only bring a little bit of cash with you. You can control exactly how much you’re going to spend before you leave your room without getting carried away once you hit the venue.