College Q&A: Save Me Some Money
College. Sigh. It’s unlike any other time in your life. It has its own set of rules, its own unique circumstances. And it’s not always easy to navigate. Everyone needs a little guidance now and then (or always) so we’ve pulled together a variety of perspectives (the does-it-all girl, the party girl and Ms. Study Lounge) to weigh in on your life conundrums and give you the best advice we can.
Every week they’ll be tackling your questions about college. From classes to keggers to keggers before classes, they’ll do their best to respond and be your Pez dispenser of collegiate wisdom. Got questions? Unsure of a decision? Not sure about that LDR? Just wanna chat it up with some really awesome chics?
Hit them up in the comments or shoot them an email with the subject “College Q&A”!
One of my resolutions for this year was to save money, but it seems almost impossible to do in college. Do you have any ideas where to start or what I can do to save a few bucks? I need money badly because I’m interning (with no pay!) in NYC this summer, but as much as I try I just can’t save anything. Help?
This sucks! I think all internships should offer pay, or at least complimentary lodging and meals, but hopefully your internship will give you the experience to earn the big bucks later! My advice for saving and earning right now is to look at your talents and skills and see if you can transform them into opportunities. Do you know how to play guitar? Put up flyers offering lessons to kids. Know another language? Tutor for an hourly rate. Got web design or Flash skills? Put them to work online by advertising on freelance sites and landing paid gigs. Then set up a savings account with the highest interest rate you can find. Once you have the cashola from your “side” gigs, stash it in that account and DO NOT look back. Pretend that account doesn’t exist. Put at least half of what you make from your side jobs in there every time you get paid and don’t let yourself withdraw anything. You may have to go without a few lattes and new outfits from time to time, but as you see that money add up, you’ll realize it’s worth it!
I was in the same exact position as you just one year ago. I might have even had it worse, since I have a terrible shopping addiction. Seriously, whenever there is money in my pocket (or debit account), it’s spent within a day. However, I did figure out some ways to motivate myself to save and you can too. First of all, cut out all clothes shopping. You’ll find better stuff in NYC anyway! Secondly, no more coffee splurges for you. Switch to hot tea and you’ll still get caffeine for a third of the price (or you can just cut out the Starbucks runs entirely!). Thirdly, you should be buying only store brand food and drink items. They taste just the same anyway (at least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m forced to chug Popov instead of Absolut).
I want to assure you, though, that bar nights do not have to stop. You’ll have to limit yourself to four drinks per outting and those drinks have to be the ones on special OR you can use your flirting skills to score some free drinks from bar hotties. Never underestimate the power of flirting – I pretty much floated the entire summer on free drinks and meals by going on as many dates as possible. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! With all that, you should be in the clear to fully enjoy yourself in the Big Apple. Have fun!!!
First of all, yay you for getting an internship! Aside from your current money problems, that’s always a good way to get your foot in the door for a soon-to-be good paying career. Nevertheless, I completely understand. I’ve had several internships and a good number of those have been with no pay. When I try to save money, I simply just save. I don’t buy anything for a good amount of time, and when I do buy something, I make sure it’s out of absolute necessity and that it’s the cheapest possible option out there. For example, if I need food, I make sure that I buy ingredients to last me several different meals (leftovers get boring), and that the brands I purchase are the knock-off store brand (they taste the same). Also, try walking to places when you can instead of driving or taking the bus, but if necessary, carpool with some friends! I would also recommend getting a part-time job, but if that’s not possible because of your hectic schedule, then continue to be as money savvy as possible. Hey, if that means picking up lost pennies on the ground, then go for it. You know, if you pick up enough lost change, you might just be able to afford something off of Mickey D’s dollar menu!