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Balling on a Budget

Balling on a Budget.

Chatter Yak!

Whoever said the best things in life are free has obviously not had cheese curds, heard of video games or been clothes shopping.  Nowadays, everything costs money and sometimes it’s hard to decide what you’ve gotta pass on just so you can afford to do something else in the future.

Well, help is on the way.  I remember high school and college like they were yesterday (man I miss those days.)  Yes, I am jealous of you, but you’re cool so I am still going to help you.  The key to surviving your teens and early twenties is being thrifty!  Macklemore’s thrift shop is not only catchy and hilarious, it also has a lot of truth in it.  That’s $50 for a t-shirt?

So, here are the thrifty tips that worked for me back in the day.

1. Separate Wants and Needs!

Yes, there is a difference between what you want and what you need.  This is the first tip for a reason.  If you can be honest enough with yourself and separate wants from needs, your life will be a lot easier.

Now, don’t get all crazy and deprive yourself from all kinds of fun, just be reasonable about it.  We all need to hangout with our friends or go out on a date every once in a while, but you can apply this to leisure spending as well.  If you’re out to eat with that special someone, ask yourself, “Do I need the gigantic steak or will a burger work just as well?”

2.You’re a Student.  Take Advantage of it.

Whether you’re in high school or college, it is pretty common for locally owned businesses to have student specials.  The Internet is your best friend here.  If you like to eat or shop at a certain place, the next time you’re there, ask them, “Do you have any student specials?”  If you don’t ask, you might be spending more money than you have to.

Sometimes your student ID is an easy way to save big money.  Use that bad boy!

3. Learn How to Save

I’m not your dad, but you should have a job.  When you get a job, make sure you practice saving.  You would be amazed how many people have no savings to fall back on in case of an emergency.  Whether it’s $10 or $100 each paycheck, you can never go wrong with saving.  For most young people, saving is the hardest thing to accomplish because, well, you’re not making the big bucks (yet).  Either way, when you finally land that “big boy” job, you will probably have the option of saving for retirement.  In many cases you employers might each match the money you save in a 401k.  This is FREE money.  Take it.  First you need to know how to save.  Start practicing ASAP.

4. Eat With Your Friends

Guess what, your friends are probably in the same financial situation as you and they need to eat, too.  This means it would be beneficial for all of you to work together to save a little cash.  If you’re away at college, why not have a friend food night every week.  Everyone brings something to add to the meal and BOOM savings.

Eating with friends will also prevent you from the temptation of ordering out every night for dinner.  Yes, pizza and subs are delicious, but they are extremely overpriced.  Unless you are getting one of the super student deals mentioned before, you will always be much better off sharing meals and costs with you friends.

5. Go to Class!

Again, not your parent here, but if you’re in college, university or technical school, you probably paid tuition.  Every time you skip class you might as well have stacked up all of your tuition money and set it on fire.  You are spending money now so that you can get the job you want later.  You will need the information that is discussed in class and you will totally regret paying back student loans for classes you didn’t attend.  Trust me.

6. Gym Membership?

Working out is a really healthy habit and it doesn’t have to be really expensive either.  If you’re in high school, you should utilize your school’s weight room or gymnasium.  If you’re in college, you can hit up the rec.  There is absolutely no need to pay for a gym membership when you’ve basically paid for a rec center membership with a part of your tuition.

Working out is also scientifically proven to make people happier!  Be healthy, happy and keep your money.

What are some other ideas you have?

Without wax,

Bryce

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