By Rachel King
Ever since I have been in college, my wallet has been emptying more and more quickly. This is largely due to unnecessary spending and my failure to budget. If you’re anything like me, take these 10 tips to heart on what to avoid doing so you can bulk up that savings account for when you actually need it.
1.) Eating out for every meal.
Eating out is easy, allows for time to socialize, and satisfies specific cravings, but doing it all the time really adds up. Limit yourself to eating out only once or twice a week, no matter how much your friends tempt you. Not only will you save big bucks, but each purchased meal will become more special.
2.) Buying all your textbooks.
Purchasing textbooks is pricey, leaving you in the position to eventually sell back your book at the end of the semester and creating two unnecessary burdens. Many mediums through which you can buy textbooks also allow you to rent, so take advantage of this cheaper alternative. You also don’t need to worry about finding buyers for your textbooks, as you can easily send your books back at the end of the semester.
3.) Going to the grocery store hungry.
If you have done this, you know it is the biggest mistake an individual can make. You will want to buy absolutely everything that looks even remotely tasty, resulting in the purchase of items you wouldn’t have normally bought. Go to the store full so that you only buy what you need.
4.) Buying name-brand products.
Although they lack the name-brand logos, opt for the store-brand products whenever possible. They will always be significantly cheaper and often yield the same results.
5.) Going out all the time.
We all know how fun it is to hit the bars and hang out with friends. With having to pay for cover and drinks, though, the costs really add up after every night out. Try organizing a get-together at a friend’s apartment instead; this will help scale back on costs while still allowing you to enjoy a night with your inner circle.
6.) Getting all your drinks at the bar.
If you wait until the bar to begin drinking, you will have to spend a lot of money once there. However, if you have something to drink beforehand, you can get away with not buying as many drinks (or any at all) once you arrive, sparing yourself from the overpriced vodka lemonades.
7.) Online shopping when you’re bored.
We are all guilty of subconsciously pulling up a retailer’s website once we’ve finished our homework. We scroll through the pages, absentmindedly adding items to our carts that even if we don’t initially plan on buying, we buy at the end of the day. Be conscious of your purchases and don’t get something simply because you want it. Only buy what you absolutely need.
8.) Picking the most expensive item on the menu.
Yes, that thick, juicy cut of steak does sound amazing, but try sticking to more affordable options like tacos or a simple hamburger. Feel free to treat yourself every once in a while, but for the most part, go with the more inexpensive items.
9.) Drinking coffee every day.
Many of us feel justified buying coffee because we supposedly need it to get our work done, but this isn’t necessarily true. If you really feel like you can’t function without coffee, then start making your own so you don’t have to spend $4 every morning at Starbucks.
10.) Thinking you have more money than you actually do.
If you don’t do anything else on this list, make a budget. At the beginning of each month, figure out how often you’ll be going to eat out, buying coffee, and so on. Factor in whatever other expenses you may have, plus an extra amount as a buffer. By doing this, you will make sure you don’t run out of money by the end of the month.
Featured image is from 30 Days to X.