Spring break will be here before you know it and suddenly your friends will be hopping flights to the ultimate party destination. Will you be with them? If you don’t plan your finances carefully you may be stuck on campus but there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re able to have a little fun in the sun as well. Here are a few things to consider.
10. STOP PROCRASTINATING
Do you really want to travel? If so, you really need to make up your mind and save some money. Open a separate checking or savings account and call it your travel fund. Make a note of how much you’ll need for your airline reservation, hotel room, and food for the trip and then determine how much you’ll need to put away each week to reach your goal. Deposit a little money each week and then leave it alone – no matter what.
9. BUY A GUIDEBOOK
Sure, some people think that buying a guidebook will make your trip less fun or spontaneous but nothing could be further from the truth. A guidebook, on the other hand, will give you a good idea of what restaurants and attractions are in the area and how much they cost. This is important information you can use to plan your budget.
8. GO GROCERY SHOPPING
The grocery store is the place where your mom and dad used to buy the food that showed up in your refrigerator every week at home. Believe it or not, buying food there usually costs a lot less than eating out or buying fast food. Buy some bread, peanut butter and jelly, tuna, or lunch meat and cheese and make your own lunches or snacks throughout the day. When you’re on campus you’ll find having this food on hand will allow you to save money for your trip and when you’re traveling you’ll be able to save money for use at area attractions or for your evening meal.
7. LOOK FOR PACKAGE DEALS
In New York City you could easily spend over a hundred dollars on admission prices to the Empire State Building and other local museums and attractions. Many large cities, on the other hand, sell packages that give you access to several museums and attractions at free or significantly discounted rates. Ask the concierge at your New York City hotel, or the hotel in your spring break destination, whether or not these are available.
6. GO OUT FOR LUNCH
You may be tempted to splurge on a night out at a five-star restaurant with your friends but evening reservations in high-end eateries can cost a lot of money. Those same venues may be open for lunch, though, and if you make a reservation your group could possibly have the same high-quality meal for a fraction of the price. And you can use that money on other attractions later on in the day.
5. BUY USED BOOKS
College freshman, for some reason, think all of their books need to be brand new in order to be effective but nothing could be further from the truth. Buy used books and, if possible, look for them online. You’ll get better prices online than you will for the used books at the campus bookstore. You can automatically bank the money you’ve saved for spring break. Sell your books back at the end of the semester (or list them online yourself). You’ll need the cash for your trip and/or for new books next semester.
4. USE CASH INSTEAD OF CREDIT
Always use cash instead of a credit card when making purchases. Know what your limit is each week and stick to it. Your credit card should be used for emergencies only. The less credit card debt you have the easier it will be for you to save up for your spring break vacation.
3. GET A PART-TIME JOB
Working while going to college full-time can be difficult but thousands of students do it and you don’t need to be the exception. There are plenty of jobs right on your own college campus and may understand your demanding class schedules and study needs. A part time job in the college bookstore, dining room, or library will help you to sock away a little extra money for spring break.
2. DON’T DO AS YOUR FRIENDS DO
Just because your friends go out to the local club at your spring break destination and spend $100 on drinks doesn’t mean you need to do the same thing. You don’t need to go on every outing together, eat in all the same restaurants, or shop in the same stores. Live within your own budget and let your friends live within theirs. Your trip will be happier if you don’t run out of cash half way through.
1. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR STUDENT ID
You may want to forget that you’re a college student while away on spring break but carrying your student ID can actually be very advantageous. A lot of museums, restaurants, and attractions will give discounts not only to senior citizens but to students as well. They recognize your hard work and dedication and realize you’re probably traveling on a budget as well.
Take some time to plan your trip, budget your finances, and cut back on unnecessary expenditures during the months before your trip and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll have saved by the time you leave. Travel safely and enjoy your spring break!