This guest post comes from our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador Meredith Dawson from Northwestern University.
As a student on the quarter system, it’s hard to find encouragement to power through the never-ending streak of midterms. One thing that always gets me through snow blizzards, freezing temperatures, and tests for days is spring break; A week of rest and relaxation, zero schoolwork, and freedom. Last year I sprung for a road trip to Miami with my best friends. This year I was hoping for something low key, so I was ecstatic when a friend of mine invited me out to her ranch in Texas. The only problem was that after spending a quarter abroad in London (one of the MOST expensive cities, mind you) I currently am painfully low on funds. Normally I try to balance a handful of jobs and schoolwork, but my course load has been preventing me from working at my past jobs. Too proud to beg my mom for more money, I decided that there were things I could do that were minimal to increase my fund flow.
The first thing I looked at was re-evaluating my gym memberships. Fitness is really important to me, and my membership just expired at my old gym. Instead of re-enrolling, I shopped around other local gyms and found a handful of less expensive ones. Before you make a purchase or investment of some kind, always shop around to find the best deal. By switching to a less expensive gym, I saved $50 off the bat as well as $15 a month.
The next thing I did was rummage though my closet for anything I didn’t want, need, or was willing to part with. A local store in town trades cash for used clothes. I ended up finding a lot of things that I no longer wanted, but were able to sell. In addition to clearing up some much-needed space in my closet, I also made a few extra dollars in the process.
I started at the local YMCA, and so far it’s been great. It’s a stable check each week to add to the “Texas Fund”, but it’s only a few hours a week so I can still focus on school.
If there’s something you know you want, but right now isn’t a time when you can buy it, don’t be discouraged. There are simple things you can do to make an extra buck. Every dollar DOES add up! Make a plan; look at your daily expenses, limit your spending, and your relaxing spring break trip can definitely be within reach!