As it stands I only have $115 dollars in my savings account scrounged together from birthday and Christmas money. As I said in this post I have never attempted to save a significant amount of money before, and I know it’s going to take a lot of discipline to save the $1,600 necessary to go to Thailand in January.
It’s going to take a lot of discipline, but it’s also going to take some strategies to cut down on spending and maybe even selling some things I don’t need. I also plan on paying off my credit card debt, so I can apply for a travel card. For the next 2 weeks I am planning on using these strategies to cut down on spending.
- Don’t buy any drinks other than water. I have a bit of a problem with spending my money on drinks. I buy drinks at Starbucks, Dutch Brothers, Jamba Juice, and every time I eat out I buy something to drink. I realized that these dollars spent add up after a while. I have also had some issues with dehydration lately. Drinking more water will be a great way to save money and be healthy.
- Pack lunch every day. I absolutely hate the lunches my school offers, and I usually end up getting lunch out of the vending machines which isn’t very satisfying, healthy, or cost-effective. Packing lunch is a good way to make cheap, healthy lunches.
- Reduce eating out to once every two weeks. I have a tendency to eat out way too often. In my defense my boyfriend and I work hard and by the time we get home we don’t really feel like cooking or cleaning up afterward, but I realized that it was getting out of control when I found out that I spent $80 one week on eating out.
- Shop around for the best prices on textbooks. Last Spring I rented my textbooks from the college bookstore which was a huge mistake. The bookstore marks their textbooks up a ton. It honestly should be criminal how much they charge. As any college student can tell you, buying textbooks is very expensive, and when you don’t know where to go for the best prices it can cost even more. This semester I’m going to shop around online for the best prices.
- Sell my old textbooks. Usually I rent my textbooks but I have a few I bought that I can get about $70 for total. I plan on putting all that money directly into savings.
- Sell my violin. A few years ago I bought a violin with the determination to learn how to play, and I never played it once. Now it just sits in my closet as I reminder of a goal never accomplished. Rather than just let it sit I’m going to sell it on craigslist to someone who will actually use it.
- Pay off my credit card debt. Last year I put a lot of my college expenses on my credit card, so when I receive financial aid I’m going to use that to pay off my debt. I’m only about $280 in debt, but that’s most of my $300 credit limit. Needless to say that utilization rate doesn’t reflect very well on my credit score.
I know these minor changes are just the tip of the iceberg, but in the long run minor changes can make a big impact. My goal is to make practical changes that won’t be too strenuous. On Friday Fund-day I want to be honest with my followers on where I’m at financially for their sake and my own. This is a no sugar-coating or secret-keeping zone. I wish you all luck on your saving and traveling!
- This image was found on pixabay.com and is being used under a Creative Commons license.