Song: 'Money To Be Made' by The Hoosiers
(How cute is this piggy bank?)
College students can easily be mistaken for grinches around this time of year, as we all grumble about how impossible it is to scrape enough money together to buy decent presents for friends and family. Well, I have done enough grumbling now, and I have decided to put my energy to good use and think of ways to save money from now until Christmas (and after that too if I can keep it up!). So here's what I've come up with.
- Packed lunches. I know, I know, boring. But what a money saver! So this week, I will cook extra pasta or rice or whatever I eat for dinner, and I'll throw it in a lunch box for lunch the next day.
- Walk, walk, walk. Taxis are expensive. You have feet, and they work for free.
- Starbucks at my college makes so much money, yet it would be so much cheaper to make coffee at home.
- Have movie nights at home with friends instead of going out to the cinema. We all have DVDs at home to bring along. We can provide snacks from our own cupboards, and we have the comfort of blankets and cushions, and a pause button!
- Share clothes. I don't like going out in the same outfit over and over again. But I don't mind wearing something that my friends have worn before- it feels new to me!
- Water is free! Fill a bottle from your tap and stick it in your handbag to avoid paying €1.60 for a bottle when you get to college. And avoid buying fizzy drinks- unnecessary cost. Bad for you too!
- Avoid special offers. Yes, you read that right. Just because something says 'Buy one get one free' doesn't mean you need it. It's only a bargain if it's something you had set out to buy in the first place, so quit going to the shop to buy milk and coming home with chocolate just because it was half price!
- Students don't have to tip. Simple as. If you're tipping a waiter, chances are you're just giving your money to another student anyway. Keep it.
- Turn off the heat. Swap the radiator for an extra blanket.
- One of my favourite past-times costs me €1. I buy a cup of tea in a cafe, and I sit in the corner with a book to read or my journal and a pen for hours. Love. :)
- Don't go grocery shopping hungry! This is one of my biggest problems. I want to buy everything!
- Get a piggy bank that you have to break to get into- best idea ever!
- No alcohol. This one is easy for me, I don't really drink. But it is a big money waster for a lot of students.
- Noodles. Cheapest food ever.
- Don't call- text! I pay €20 a month for 'free' texts, and that's it. Or if you really must, an evil little tip is to call, then hang up instantly. The poor person thinks they missed your call, they call you back and it costs them not you. But I didn't give you that idea.
- Baby wipes. Forget fancy facial wipes, washes or scrubs- baby wipes work for everything and are way cheaper.
- Bring clothes home to wash them- doing laundry costs too much money if you don't have your own washing machine and dryer.
- Forget fancy exercise classes- walk, dance, do sit ups and push ups and whatever you need to at home with your iPod.
- Don't be tempted to wander into your favourite clothes shops if you know you can't afford anything. It's just mean.
- Fruit is cheaper than chocolate.
I'm sure there are lots more ways to save money, but for now these will keep me going. I am determined to have money to buy Christmas presents!