Between dinners and lunches out with friends, spontaneous trips to Target and the grocery store, and all other random expenses, I've found it quite easy to spend more than I wanted to. I'm generally good at keeping up with my finances, but there are so many temptations, especially in college. In high school, I was in class all day and then I would go home and do homework. College brings much more free time, which means much more time for some of things I mentioned above. Here are my tips from what I've learned so far.
1//Skip that coffee.
I know, it's hard. And it's the most cliche advice out there - but, it works. Think about it. If you get coffee three or so times a week for about ~5$ per cup, you'd be saving ~15$ per week, which you could either save or put towards a dinner out with friends. Invest in your own coffee maker and you could save even more over time and still have your coffee.
2//Avoid online shopping.
I don't know about you, but there isn't much decent shopping in my college town. So, I generally resort to online shopping. Because online shopping is such an impersonal experience, it's way too easy to fill up a cart and check out without feeling like you're spending a lot. Plus, if something doesn't fit, it's always a struggle to return it.
3//Try to go a week without spending once a month.
It's easier than it sounds, I promise. If you're on the meal plan, stick to the meal plan and avoid the temptation of eating out. Do activities that don't include spending money - go on a hike, go to the gym, organize your room, etc.
4//Use cash instead of cards.
Just like skipping coffee, this is also a cliche piece of advice, but it works so well. Withdraw a certain amount of money at the beginning of each week and only use that. Physically seeing how much money I have left for a week helps me use it sparingly and I generally end up with some leftover at the end because of it.
5//You don't need every single t-shirt.
This especially applies to those in greek life - I get emails from our t-shirt chair almost every week about some new t-shirt. At first, I ordered practically all of them, until I realized I don't need 25 t-shirts that all kind of look the same. It saves quite a bit to skip out on a few t-shirts every now and then. And even if you aren't in greek life, it's always hard to pass up the new spirit wear in the school bookstore. Just walk past it and stay strong!
What do you do to save money?