I thought about writing a post similar to this last year, but last year I wasn’t as intent on saving money as this year. I’ve realized a lot of harsh realities this week, some more harsh than others. One of the ones most pertaining to this post is that over the next 5-10 years, I am going to continually dig myself a deeper hole of debt.
My goals in life for the last few years have been to go to medical school and become a doctor, hopefully a dermatologist and someday paid for my house in full. Don’t ask my why I want to pay for my house in full because I still haven’t really figured out the answer to that. The first part of that goal though is to go to medical school which means in am going to dig a hole to the center of the earth with all of my debt. Since I will have all of this debt, I am trying to save as much money and learn as many tips as I can to make sure that hole is as shallow as it can be.
There is no reason for me to be selfish with the tips of collected, so I figured I’d share what I’ve learned so far
#1. Give yourself a budget and actually stick to it.
This can be easier said than done for most people including myself. There are always things I can’t seem to help but spending more money on than I should, especially when it comes to food. I can make a morning out of going to the farmers market and our is only on the corner of a street pretty much. I love food and because you can get so much food for a lot less than at regular supermarkets, I get more food than I can eat sometimes.
#2. Don’t buy the $5 coffee or drink
This may not seem like a lot, but let me tell you it adds uppp! One of my favorite drinks is a chai tea latter and the product these use to make it is half of the price of what it would cost at a cafe and make about 4-5 serving for me. How ridiculous is that… I could have had at least 5 of the same drink for the price I was paying for one. I mean how dumb can you get?
#3. Thrift stores are your best friend.
The number if time I have found a brand new piece for a mere percentage of its selling price is beyond me. Once I found a $375 dress for $7, it still had the tag. I enjoy shopping and so the best part about thrift shopping, at least in my opinion, is that it is kind of a treasure hunt because you aren’t guaranteed to find anything. The best part is when you do. If you get super lucky and find a lot of items you like, a bunch of items are probably the same price as one item you would have bought at another store. It doesn’t always have to be a thrift store though, you can shop at consignment store such as tjmaxx and still find really could deals. The point is, if you are going to shop, find a way to save money doing it.
#4. Carpool or walk when possible.
This is not only good for your bank account, but it is good for your health and the environment as well. This one is pretty self explanatory though.
#5. DO NOT BUY NEW TEXTBOOKS
You might as well have a bonfire with hundred dollar bills because it gives the same effect. Textbooks are expensive, find used textbooks, find a friend with the textbook you need, or if you are really lucky, you can find it online for free. But seriously, I’m begging you, do not buy new textbooks or pay full price for a textbook ever. Also can we take a minute at how ironic it is that we as college students can get student discounts pretty much anywhere but we can’t get discounts on our textbooks… dumb, so incredibly dumb.
#6. If you have the heart for it, try to become a resident advisor (RA)
I happen to be an RA, so I can’t truthfully tell you it is not worth the money, not in my case at least. You will deal with so many petty arguments, you will have sleepless nights, there will be people you were acquaintances with before that you may even start to dislike or even potentially hate. There are so many reasons as to why this job is not worth the money if you don’t truly want to be an RA. If you goal is to make the most money, find a student worker job elsewhere or off campus. If you want to help people and make a lot of new friends, become an RA. It is not for those faint of heart but if you can tolerate the extreme ups and downs, it can be worth it.
# All the rest…
There are plenty of obvious or self explanatory tips that I don’t feel the need to list. You may even believe some of my tips are obvious, but these are the ones that I have the most experience with.
Have a great day and a great college experience,