Remember that money management is really about resource management. Also, know that money usually operates with us on at least two different levels. There is the practical dimension from which we make purchases. There is also the symbolic level. Money can buy us pleasure, friendships, or give us the feeling of power. We need to be careful not to let money substitute for emotional needs we need to address in other ways.
If money is a little tight, there are some easy things you can do every day to save and avoid the money crunch.
• Don’t eat fast food every day. Look into the meal plans offered by the school’s cafeteria. Buy quick, convenient things to make in your room like soup or Easy Mac.
• Use coupons for things you frequently buy; keep them in your car so that they are handy for the store, fast food or restaurants
• Rent a movie instead of going out to a theater
• Consolidate errands to cut down on extra gasoline expenses. When you do buy gas, do it in the middle of the week and at a gas station that has competition close by to get the lowest prices.
• Stock up at holiday and back-to-school sales for things you know you will need
• Use email for long distance communication instead of the phone. Consider a new cell phone plan or even switching companies if you can save money by doing so.
• Use a shopping list when at the store; do not deviate from your list whenever possible
• Keep your eye on the register when checking out at stores, purchases can easily be rung up wrong
One final note, as crazy as it may seem, because college is a time of money shortages, consider the idea of putting a little money away on a weekly basis. One dollar a week at the end of the year is still fifty-two dollars. Then do something extraordinarily nice for yourself or with someone else.
Saving is really a part of spending too. See if these brief money-managing tips might not help you achieve your goals and objectives in college. We often say, "If you manage your time, you manage your life. If you waste your time, you waste your life." With money, perhaps we are saying, "Manage it, don't let it manage you."
Now let’s move on to the fun stuff – enjoying yourself, making time for fun, and getting the most out of college life!
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