The current state of the economy has most, if not all, people feeling the need to find ways to save money. I am sure many of my fellow students can relate to the fact that I always have to save money, regardless of the state of the economy. Since saving money is always in the back of my mind, I have not felt like the current state of the economy has affected the way I live in a major way. However, it has caused me to cut back even more when it comes to entertainment and unnecessary purchases. I have done this in four major ways that are very simple. I incorporate these things into my daily life, and I think most students are capable of doing the same if they are looking for ways to save money.
1. EAT IN: I live on-campus, so I rely on my meal plan even more heavily than I normally would. I rarely go out to eat, because I prefer to use up the money on my meal plan that is prepaid for, rather than spend more money on restaurant food. If I know I will be going out to eat, I buy some fruit or another light snack on-campus to eat before I go out, then I order a small meal wherever I go.
2. GET CREATIVE: When it comes to entertainment, there are a countless number of things to do in San Francisco. Even better, there are a countless number of free things to do. I keep my eyes and ears open for free concerts, free festivals, and other free events going on during the weekend. There is also one day a month when all the museums in the city are free to the public. Plus, there are so many beautiful sights to see in the city; you can walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, spend time in Golden Gate Park, or spend time walking around a part of the city you have never been to before. If you try, it is easy to find something fun to do that will not cost you anything.
3. SHOP SMART: I am always tempted to go shopping downtown, but it is not realistic to spend a ton of money on new clothes right now. Instead, I walk the few blocks from school to Haight Street and browse the thrift stores there. You can find a lot of cool, unique, and good quality items there for a fraction of the price it would cost you in a department store.
4. SPARE THE AIR: The buses in the city can get you anywhere you need to go. Instead of relying on my car or a cab to get me from one place to another, I use the buses. As students, we have a bus pass included in our tuition, so it is wise to take advantage of this. Plus, by taking the bus, we are helping the environment by having one less car on the road.
These four suggestions may not work for everybody, but I think everyone can do at least one of these things if they are looking for ways to save money. As students at the University of San Francisco we are a lucky and privileged group of people, and when you put it into perspective, cutting back on shopping sprees or nights out is not a very big sacrifice.
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