The New Year is well under way but it’s never too late to refocus on your studies and of course, your living and education budget.
Here are five super easy ways you can begin to save immediately without too much effort.
1. Don't Eat Out
It's always more expensive to eat out than it is to cook at home and cooking is one of the easiest ways to keep your costs down. Remember, even fast food outlets have to make money, so you’re being charged for every ingredient you consume, not to mention the service and the cost of actually running a restaurant – even if it's just a drive-through!
If you plan your meals properly, you’ll be able to utilize your food purchases more effectively. You’re paying to eat every day anyway, so take full advantage of it.
Switch it up and consider organizing a potluck with friends once in a while. It will save money and likely be much more fun for all of your school friends who are in a similar situation.
2. Break your bottled water habit
Water is the simplest commodity to save money on because you’re really only paying for convenience. The actual water comes from the same sources. If you think bottled water tastes that differently, purchase an inexpensive water filter and a reusable water bottle that you can refill daily. Think of all the plastic bottles you’ll never pollute the earth with!
3. Brew your own coffee
While the savory scents and social element at coffee shops are enticing, you can recreate that aroma at home for a mere fraction of the cost! Seriously, you can do it for pennies a cup!
Forego the really expensive brews (remember, you are trying to save here) and opt for the more cost-effective coffee choices. Most of the differences will come from properly measured portions anyway. Once you master the art of brewing a delicious cup of coffee, others will be asking you for your secret. At a minimum of two to three dollars a cup, times several cups a day or more, brewing your own cup of java will add up in no time!
4. Explore the art of couponing
No, couponing is not just for moms trying to stretch their household budgets. There are coupons for pretty much everything nowadays and there’s absolutely no shame in utilizing them fully, especially when you’re a student with tuition priorities.
Check out many of the offers online for items such as groceries, toiletries and any other item such as like haircuts, school supplies, etc. When you do treat yourself to a meal out (only once in a while!!), choose restaurants that offer promotions and discounts.
5. Buy in bulk, whenever you can
You can’t buy everything in bulk but, for some things, it’s a much smarter way to go. Purchase items in bulk that you know you’ll use eventually such as non-perishables and household items like toilet paper, paper towels etc. In some cases, you can go in on bulk items with your friends. It can be a very cost effective the way to go since you can divvy up the price and the goods.
You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by following these easy tips. These are also excellent habits to continue once you’ve graduated and snagged that awesome job!