Livin’ on a college budget..
I graduated from college recently, and I know the struggles of trying to pay bills with grocery money, etc. With that said, here are some cash saving tips that I used (and still use). - Don't get an ATM Card. They're stupid, especially if you're trying to save money. If the money is easy to access, of course you're going to go take it out. Take out a small amount of money each pay day at the bank, so you're sticking to a financial budget. - Buy stuff when it's on sale, and clip coupons! I always stock up when things are on sale, especially on things like chicken breasts, pasta, canned soup, and frozen veggies. My rule is that if it's not in the budget, and you don't need it, you don't buy it. - Make a grocery list, and STICK TO IT! Again, if you don't need it, you don't buy it. - Save your pennies. You'll be amazed how quickly change piles up. I've gotten over $50 every time I've turned in my rolled change. - When you want to buy something, think about it before you buy it. Do you really need those shoes? Is it necessary to have 15 tubes of lipstick? Isn't paying your bills a bit more important than that new cd? Put the item back, walk around the store or mall and think about it. More likely than not, you won't buy it. - Garage sales and estate sales are your best friend. I've gotten some nice furniture at garage sales, for next to nothing. The same can be said for curtains, vases, and certain kitchen items. No one is going to know if you got what you bought at the store or at someone's sale. - Think about what you're spending your money on. After having cable for $50/mo, I realized that I really didn't watch a lot of tv anyways, and that I was wasting my money. Switch to basic cable, and use DSL or dial up. The services are cheaper than cable modems or digital cable. - Buy slightly used stuff like cd's, clothes, and even cars. It's amazing how much money you'll save. - Find cheap or free entertainment. It's okay to go out to a nice place every once in a while, but doing it every weekend is going to kill you. State parks, museums, and nature centers are nice places to go, and cost you little dinero. - Get your friends together and sell what you're not using. This goes for clothes and electronics and furniture. If you haven't used it in six months, it can probably go.