Every day across the country, a student runs out of monthly mobile data. With a part-time job and/or full-time school on the schedule, the young adult must make a crucial decision: purchase more data or be able to afford more fro-yo this weekend?
These financial decisions seem insignificant to parents (who shoulder essential family expenses). But student activity on weekends can be boiled down to just a few predictable expenses, i.e. shopping, going to the movies, driving around with friends. Yes, just driving. The rising cost of these relatively cheap pastimes make life difficult for students who aren’t able to directly outsource these costs to their parents’ credit card.
Our schools aren’t exactly making life easier, either. Data shows that in 31 states, local government spending on schools fell even after the recession ended from 2008-2014. Adjusted for inflation, students are still getting duped out of funding.
While counties divert money away from schools, families have had to scrape harder to find alternative methods of tutoring, and in some cases, having the students find jobs to make ends meet.
However, students are evolving when it comes to making money and having fun. In the age of information and technological innovation, parents are also finding new ways to save money and track their youngsters’ spending habits. We might be a bunch of online math tutors, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show you a few more budget hacks we’ve picked up as poor millennials:
Leave the car in the garage; Make biking fun again
Remember your bicycle? This faithful beast got you from point A to B before you became obsessed with getting your driver’s license. Opting for bike, public transportation, or walking can drastically cut your gas and vehicle maintenance expenses. Plus, you get more exercise.
Maybe it’s time to revisit the bike, feel the wind in your hair and relive the best memories from a simpler time before transmission problems.
When shopping for clothes, be late or early
Back-to-school shopping for the latest styles off the rack can be an expensive venture – possibly the largest chunk of your spending. You can save some money and still look fresh by shopping off-season, when garments are usually on sale. Start thinking of winter jackets in the summertime and anticipating warm-weather clothes when it’s freezing outside.
Track your spending smarter
How can you check an app for your Instagram followers but not your bank account? With personal finance apps like Mint, you can track, sort and manage your expenses as loosely or strictly as you prefer. Apps send you notifications if you’re running low on dough or spent too much on Chipotle for the month. Magic.
Movie theaters are money pits…
Just because you’re being budget-conscious doesn’t mean you can’t go out with friends – and spend some money while you’re at it. If you’re catching the latest film, there are a couple of ways to shave a few dollars off the sky-high ticket prices.
Instead of going straight to the theaters, head to a Costco or wholesale store that sells bulk movie tickets on the cheap. Split the cost amongst your pals, and pick up some cheap snacks while you’re there. Theater snacks inflation is almost as bad as college tuition, but that’s a whole other story.