Operation Don’t Go Broke is devoted to bringing readers helpful tips on ways to save in college.
Where is your money going? Certain major expenses such as tuition, insurance, rent or mortgage are unavoidable. However, adjusting your everyday spending may make the difference between having a few bucks in your wallet at the end of the month and being broke.
Cutting out small expenses is as easy as one, two, three.
1. Save receipts.
2. Analyze spending habits.
3. Make wiser investments.
Making wise investments involves weighing all your options and sorting needs from the “wants.”
Food & Drink
- Create a grocery list based on weekly online specials. Don’t shop hungry. Stick to your list.
- Buy necessities in bulk from Costco or Food 4 Less.
- Don’t splurge at the coffeehouse. Invest in a travel mug and make your own.
- Drink water, it’s free. Pack a sack lunch. Eat your leftovers.
- Stash snacks in your car so you’re not tempted by the drive-thru.
- Plan a strict dining-out budget. Once a month is reasonable. Once a day is downright excessive.
- When you go out, ask your server about the deal of the day. Split an appetizer sampler with a friend and time it right so you catch the lunch special or happy hour.
- Instead of paying to watch every blockbuster hit on the big screen, wait for the DVD.
- Free DVDs, books and magazines are available at the library. Many television networks offer free online streaming.
- Rock out for free with Spotify or Pandora.
- Attend a free live show or tune in to local radio stations to win tickets.
- Avoid trips to the doctor by eating right and exercising. Central Oregon is filled with excuses to go outdoors and be active.
- Quit smoking. Cigarettes are expensive to your wallet and your health.
- Compare prices on contacts vs. glasses.
- Guys–trim your own beard.
- Girls–trim your own bangs. Save on makeup by going for a more “natural look.” Polish your own nails.
- Make your own jewelry.
- Shop thrift stores like City Thrift and Rescue.
- Mend your own clothes.
- Throw a “Closet Party.” Invite your friends to clean out their closet and bring gently worn items to swap with friends.
Around the home
- Avoid harsh and expensive cleaning chemicals by using distilled vinegar.
- Mow your own lawn.
- Make your own laundry soap.
On the road
- Set your cruise control to get better gas mileage.
- Walk or carpool with friends.
- Wash your ride yourself.
- Save on your phone bill by going with a prepaid or family plan.
- Get your credit card company to lower your interest rate or pay for purchases outright to avoid interest all together.
- Sign up for auto-pay or direct deposit to avoid late-fees and get discounts.
- Cancel pricey newspaper subscriptions and get your news for free via The Broadside and www.TheBroadsideOnline.com.
First year COCC nursing student, Anna Quesenberry is a wife and mother of two who is passionate about saving money.
Next on ODGB, save money on transportation.