For busy students, saving money is always on the to-do list. You know about the old “skip the daily latte” trick, but that’s not particularly realistic. Instead of making changes that feel like sacrifices, and to change your behavior around money, try it in unexpected ways.
- Find New Ways to Socialize
You want to meet up with friends. So you a) go out to eat. b) go out for a drink. Or maybe c) sit at home and wish you were doing a or b. But there are more ways to spend time with friends than just spending money, or making plans to go spend money.
To ensure you get together with friends regularly – and don’t spend too much money to do so – come up with a sort of rotating night you can do weekly or monthly. It could be a movie night, craft night, or a scramble-together potluck dinner party, where you rotate who cooks the main dish. The fun of planning something like this, and trying something new together, can be even better than trying going to the latest restaurant, and much cheaper.
- Learn Something New
Often, boredom is what leads to spending money. Nights on the couch can end up in online shopping, ordering food delivery, or buying alcohol from the corner store. Instead, curb boredom and that money leak by putting that effort into learning something new. This should be something fun and interesting to you, ideally totally separate from your coursework.
YouTube videos can show you everything from learning to paint, to playing instruments, to cooking your favorite dish. Set a goal to learn a new skill in a certain amount of time, and give yourself a small reward for completing it. If you’re really interested in saving money, try learning how to invest, create a budget, or how to DIY something you would usually purchase.
- Get Out of an Entertainment Rut
One of the most fun ways to save money is to find interesting free events and activities either at school or in the community. University campuses are filled with free lectures, film screenings, performances, and more. Finding a new way to spend a Saturday night and dragging some friends along is an adventure all of its own. Plus, if you find stumble upon something you really enjoy, you can look out for it the next time.
- Shop Your Own Home
Feeling the itch to go buy new clothes, books, or video games? Take a look at your own shelves first. Purge the items you don’t use, and hopefully you’ll find new reasons to enjoy things that had fallen to the back of the closet. It can be easy for bookshelves to get full of novels you’ll read “someday.” Instead of buying the newest release, go through and read all those old books you’ve collected. If you’ve already invested in them before, it’s time to reap those rewards and enjoy them now!
Saving money doesn’t have to mean spending every night alone in your room, eating toast. Life can still be fun and exciting – just a little cheaper – if you think outside the box.