The thing that I have done to conserve money during this semester was to not spend money. I know this sounds too simple or maybe not simple enough. My goal was to only buy things I felt I ABSOLUTELY needed. Also, if I didn’t spend a lot of money for a given period of time I would reward myself by buying maybe a shirt or something.
Because I had Flexi I didn’t have to spend money on meals, select toiletries, and even some food, like soup, Roman noodles, and a few times Pop-tarts. Some people say this is still spending money, but I see it as the money isn’t coming directly out of my bank account. And that is the money I am mostly concerned about. The fact that I was able to save money by buying things on campus with Flexi really helped.
The hard part was not buying things in San Francisco, especially clothes. What I did to avoid this was I didn’t go down to Haight or Downtown, after being here for a couple of months. If I did told myself I would only spend the cash I had in my wallet. That’s another thing that I did, I carried only a certain amount of cash on me and told myself that I could only spend that money. I calculated how much money I had and how much I needed to save and allotted a certain amount of money I could spend a week. When it came down to it though, there were some weeks I didn’t spend any money.
It became harder during times when I needed things that I didn’t already have. Like for Halloween I needed a costume, so I knew I’d be spending more money in that short period of time than I otherwise would. Leading up to Halloween I made sure not to spend a lot of money on unnecessary things and to set aside a certain amount that would go towards my costume.
This method generally worked for me. There were times when I felt like I didn’t have to spend money so I wouldn’t. Setting aside a certain amount a week as like my own personal saving so that I could by some treats for myself helped me. I also didn’t take money out of the ATM if I didn’t need it because I tend to spend cause more than I use my debit card.
It was easy to not spend money because some of my friends were in the same situation so we knew that we couldn’t go out and spend money all the time. My obvious, yet complicated tip is to not spend money on unnecessary things, but always treat yourself if you have the means to and if you earned it.
If only we learn to spend ONLY on what we deserve, we won’t have the humungous credit card debts that’s destroying a lot of families.
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