Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Money Saving Musts

We all know the age old stereotype: broke college kid lounging in their dorm room with a bowl of ramen in their lap and calling it dinner. While I deny that there's any truth to that image, I will be honest with you...

...once you get to college, you might start to realize that your money is disappearing left and right. Where is it going? Who really knows. The bottom line is, it's pretty easy to find yourself dreading the monthly bill when all of a sudden you're off on your own and responsible for buying your own toothpaste.

However, there is some good news. With conscientious spending when spending is necessary, careful planning, and a little bit of effort, you'll have the privilege of dreading that bill no more!

1.) Ask for the right gifts!

When you're living on your own and responsible for the corresponding expenses, sometimes a dinner out or a spontaneous shopping spree are luxuries you can't afford. With that in mind, I figured out pretty early on that gift cards are the best gift to ask for in college. Whether it's your birthday or Christmas, for your favorite restaurant or your favorite store, a gift card will always be a great gift. Don't be afraid to drop a subtle (or not so subtle!) hint to the 'rents.

(**Any soon-to-be college parents reading? Take note!!)

2.) Find free fun!

One of the many great things about living in Vermont is that planning a fun Saturday out doesn't have to be a pricey endeavor! In fact, most of the time, it doesn't need to have a price at all. Hiking Camel's Hump, exploring local parks, and taking in the view at the Burlington waterfront are all fun, free ways to spend some weekend time (amongst many more)!

3.) Make Shopping Lists!

Making a trip to the store for a few necessities? Do yourself a favor and make a list beforehand of everything you plan on getting. Having a list in front of you while you shop will help you focus on what you need and prevent you from wandering around and splurging on what you want. 

4.) Make Your Own Coffee! 

I'm amazed at how many people I see walking around with a Dunkin Donuts cup on a daily basis. Of course I'm not denying anybody some occasional Dunkin Donuts; I wouldn't dream of it. But relying on the drive-thru regularly will start emptying your wallet quicker than you might think.

While Keurigs (and coffeemakers in general) aren't exactly cheap, you'll save much more money in the long run by making your own coffee (preferably with a refillable K-cup!) than you will by dropping $3 on your morning cup every day.

Happy saving!!

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Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

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