As Valentine’s Day comes and goes, we often get caught up in celebrating our relationships with significant others and friends. This year, are you remembering to show your wallet some love, as well?
With days filled with classes, friends, club meetings, sports, and part-time jobs, you can quickly fall into wasteful spending habits. Here are some quick strategies for showing your wallet some love that you can easily start doing today.
- Ask for student discounts. Even places that don’t advertise student discounts may have special student pricing. Anytime you are making a purchase, whether it’s at a retail store close to campus or when you’re booking your train or bus ticket home for break, ask if the company offers student discounts. You may be surprised at how many hidden savings opportunities you can find.
- Use what you’ve already paid for. During the winter months, it’s easy to start feeling lazy and forego the seemingly long walk to the cafeteria. However, spending money on food from fast food restaurants or pizza places adds up quickly. Even spending just $10 a week on food would run you about $150 to $200 a semester (depending on how many weeks are in your semester). Multiply that by two semesters a year and you’re looking at between $300 and $400 a year on food outside of your meal plan. Yikes.
- Take advantage of free events. Colleges typically have plenty of free events on campus. These can range from something as simple as a free non-cafeteria lunch if you attend a lecture, workshop or club meeting to something more exciting, like a movie night in an on-campus theater with free snacks included. Try swapping out one or two of your paid activities each week for one of these free events. A free movie night alone may save you upwards of $20 once you add up the cost of the ticket, transportation and snacks!
- Automate your savings. If you work part-time on or off campus, you may get paid via direct deposit. Even if you don’t make much, you can set up your direct deposit so that part of your paycheck goes into savings each month. Setting aside just $10 a month will add up to $120 over the year, which may be just enough to keep you from going into debt if your car gets a flat tire or you need to buy new clothes for an interview.
While the savings from each of these individual strategies may not seem like much, when you combine and practice them on a regular basis, you will see your savings really climb. Start out with just one or two today – your wallet will thank you.