Nov 5, 2011

$$ Young Mullah $$

Let me begin this post by stating that this is definitely off topic from our normal posts, which are centered around fashion and personal style. However, I think it's important to know how to budget once you're in college because this is when you will being taking over expenses of your daily life. Those four (maybe 5 for some) years will fly by fast and you don't want to find yourself at the end of senior year not sure how to not blow your budget on shoes and handbags. So I guess I'm not going too far off the beaten path by writing about budget, I mean after all, it's that extra money that could add up to a pair of Louboutin's a few years down the road.
Also, I am not a financial expert by any means--just someone giving first hand tips to anyone interested.
Here is a quick list of ways you can spare some extra dough during those college years (or maybe even after):
I think the biggest portion of my budget goes to food and drink, so this is probably where most people want to cut corners. Let's start with the grocery store:
  • Make a list. #1 money saver, hands down. By going to the store, list-in-hand, you're going to know exactly what you need and will avoid wandering up and down isles, throwing food you don't need into your basket.
  • Now, to take the list a step further, check the store's website first. While putting together my grocery list, I head over to to see what kind of sales they have. This is a little tricky though, so USE DISCRETION. Obviously, you are not going to need every BOGO item, if it's a granola bar that's usually a part of your weekly list, go for it. You do not need to buy those 3-for-$10 candy bars, just because they are on sale.
  • Also, make sure to stock up on some frozen veggies--not only are you adding some vitamins to your diet, but you're going to make your food stretch further. For example, last night I made a box of couscous that cost me somewhere around $2. To that couscous, I added a can of chickpeas ($1.10) and half a bag of frozen green beans ($.99) that I had steamed beforehand. Putting all three of those items together into some kind of salad mixture landed me with a lot of food--enough for 2 more meals. And the total cost? About $4.09...way less than you would pay for 1 meal from a restaurant.
  • Transportation is also a big thing to consider when looking at your budget. In Orlando, we're a little behind in the times with public transportation, so everyone basically drives everywhere. Thankfully, UCF has set up a shuttle system from the nearby apartment complexes to campus. While many students still drive to campus several times a day, I try to use the shuttle as much as possible so I can save a little on gas. Try to find alternative methods than just driving to your campus, or at least try to set up a carpool system with friends and roommates.
  • The other budget blower for college kids? FUN. All those fun things we plan with our friends can really add up quite a bit. My piece of advice is to research when places have specials. Let me give you some examples of deals near UCF: Monday--Moes Monday!! $5 for a HUGE burrito and chips, get dinner wit yo friends. Tuesday--$6 movies at one of the nearby theaters, how can you say no to saving a few bucks at the movies?? Wednesday--college night at World of Beer, cheaper beer with your student I.D. Thursday--$1 Bowling, $1 for shoe rental and $1 per game; add some drinks in there and you've got a party! Friday--free beer at happy hour, free drinks til 12...I dare you to turn that down.
I hope at least someone out there founds these tips useful, share your's in the comment section!

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