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Save money while paying for school…sounds like an oxymoron
Well, I’m here to tell you not only is it possible, but you’ll be amazed at the real savings you’ll see every month with small changes. Most of these suggestions take little to no time. Start with just a few of them that seem manageable, and then add more cost saving strategies as you see your bank account grow.
10 Ways to Bank Some Bucks
1.) Go through your cell phone bill, look for services you don’t use, and ditch them. Sit down and go through each item on your bill and see if there’s anything there that you don’t use. Then call your cell phone company and ask to have those services eliminated. Boom, you’re saving money.
2.) Swap books, music, and DVDs cheaply on the internet via services like PaperBackSwap.com.You can swap the books and CDs and DVDs you’ve grown bored with via the internet with others. The best part? You’ll get a flood of new books (or CDs or DVDs) to enjoy, mailed right to you – for free.
3.) Shop where they offer student discounts. There are so many places that offer discounts to students with a school ID.
4.) Cut back on the convenience foods – fast foods, microwave meals, and so on. An hour’s worth of preparation one weekend can give you a ton of cheap and handy meals that will end up saving you a lot of cash. Here’s an ad-on: brown bag your lunch for BIG savings.
5.) Try generic brands of items you buy regularly. You’ll likely discover the store brand is just as good as the name brand, and even better, your regular grocery bill will get smaller and smaller.
6.) Dig into your community calendar. There are often tons of free events going on in your town that you don’t even know about. You can often get free meals, free entertainment, and free stuff just by paying attention.
7.) Encourage your friends to do less expensive activities. Be the first one to suggest something free, like shooting hoops or tossing a Frisbee at a nearby park – that often gives you the power to steer the group towards things that are cheaper.
8.) Borrow for college and college only. It’s tempting to borrow the max, which is often way more than you need for school. Remember, you do have to pay it back.
9.) Don’t speed. Not only is it inefficient in terms of gasoline usage, it also can get you pulled over and cost you a bundle. It’s highly cost-efficient to just drive the speed limit, keep that gas in the tank, and keep the cops off your tail.
10.) Create a visual reminder of your debt. Basically, on a big piece of paper make a giant progress bar that starts with the amount of debt you have and ends with zero. Each time you pay down a little bit, fill in a little more of that progress bar. Keep this reminder in a place where you’ll see it often, and fill it in regularly. It keeps your eyes on the prize and leads you straight to debt freedom.
Eliminate a Bad Habit – Replace it With a Good Habit
However, before you tackle any changes in your budget, you need to do two things:
- Eliminate a bad habit
- Replace it with a good habit
Why is this significant? Here’s an example:
If your day starts with a trip to the convenience store for a coffee and snacks you have a routine. The stop is more than the coffee and snacks you buy; it’s how you kick start the day. It would be difficult (maybe even painful) to suddenly eliminate this ritual. But if you’re trying to rein in your spending, the $5/day or $100/month you’d save is a nice little chunk o’ change. Instead of stopping cold turkey and feeling deprived, create a new habit. Brew your favorite coffee at home, pour it in a personally chosen travel mug, and pack snacks you purchased in bulk over the weekend. Not only cheaper but probably a lot healthier.
Start with just three from the list and track your results. Before you know it “this little piggy will cry wee, wee, wee” all the way to your savings account.