I’ve never really liked the Holiday season. Don’t get me wrong, I love the “Holiday” part. It’s just that usually around this time of year I realize how much I’ve actually spent during the semester. I finally have a moment to look through my bank statements and realize that “oh my god, I spent how much on shawarma?!” While you may not like it, the holiday break is the perfect time to find out what you’re spending and how to cut back on those shawarma binges (if you’re like me) so they don’t continue into next semester. Here are some quick tips on how to cut your money woes:
Brown bag it. It’s so easy to head into Metro or stop by Salad King (once it finally opens), but shelling out cash for food comes with a hefty pricetag. Packing your own lunch is bottom-line cheaper and often much healthier. This also applies to coffee. No more Starbucks if you’re on a budget!
Get that student ID out. It can be a chore to pull it out and most times you just plain forget, but make sure to flash your student ID to get discounts. You can get cheaper tickets, from Raptors to movie tickets, from the Member Services Office. At the Hard Rock Cafe, there’s a Ryerson menu for $15 if you flash that OneCard. Use it to your advantage.
Get a spreadsheet going. It may sound lame and tedious but monitoring where your money is going will help in the long run. Keeping track of receipts can pinpoint where you spend the most moolah. I can bet it’s food and quick purchases at your local Shoppers. While you may not care right now, at least you’ll know where you can pinch your pennies when the going gets tough.
Be aware. Keeping an eye on your bank account all the time is really the best way to save money. Pay off credit cards right away and don’t let interest fees and debt accumulate because you weren’t paying attention. If you do find yourself in a tight spot, make sure you speak to a Student Financial Assistance Advisor on campus or at your bank.