It’s 2013, a time when extra cash in generally unheard of. I myself am constantly requesting donations for my charity organization, the Broke College Kid fund, but hardly anyone is able to contribute. If you’re living paycheck-by-paycheck and struggling to come up with rent that was due a week ago, fear not, for I am here to help you save $$$, and take away some of that financial stress.
Bargain shop. Hey Macklemore, can we go thrift shopping? This is a big one, and has helped me the most in transitioning from living off daddy’s paycheck, to having to buy my own groceries and fill my own gas tank. A lot of what you need can be bought for much cheaper than you are spending, if you just do some investigating. The dollar store is your friend, along with TJ Maxx. Tuesday Morning, Plato’s Closet, and Goodwill are just a few great places to bargain shop. Say no to Hollister, say yes to secondhand stores.
Use coupons. If you can’t find something at a thrift store, try looking for coupons. A lot of the time when I need to go shopping, I’ll Google coupon codes for that store and usually I can find something. Craft stores have a lot of sales; last month, Hobby Lobby had a 40% off coupon for any full priced item.
Cook real food. What? Real food? Like… on a stove? Do those still exist? Yes, they do, and they are very easy to use! You don’t have to be a professional chef to prepare a home cooked meal. Instead of going out to eat or stopping by McDonald’s on the way home (yeah, there’s the dollar menu, but those dollars add up!), make some spaghetti or a chicken strip salad. And steer clear from TV dinners; they are almost just as expensive as drive thru meals, when you can just as easily make a sandwich.
Sell your stuff. Hey, remember that one dress you wore that one time for that one party that’s hanging in the back of your closet? Or what about those jeans that are 2 sizes too small and are supposed to be your motivation to eventually some day hit the treadmill? Make some money off stuff you already have! Craigslist is probably your best bet, but sometimes there are Facebook groups and iPhone apps for selling stuff, too.
Prioritize. I cannot stand it when people walking around with an iPhone 5 and a Chanel bag complain about being broke. Sit down and make a list of things you need and things you want, and figure out what you can afford. You don’t have to have a degree in finance to budget your money. A gas of tank is more important than Modern Warfare. Be smart and you will be more at ease when your phone bill arrives in the mail.