As a college student being broke is a common thing, along with student fees, forgotten student assignments, while juggling either part-time a job, social life, or internships. For me, I would get paid weekly by my job and noticed that half of my paycheck would go towards food, either towards groceries or take out. Take out out has become such a constant in my life because it is easy to pick up the phone and order, then to pick up a chopping knife. I used to love cooking, but it has now become a nuisance and time consuming for myself. My overall estimate spending on buying outside food a month would be $400-500 dollars, a week would be $100, and a day is $20.
I almost cried when I saw my bank statement, it helped me realize I need to control my erratic spending. I decided to make a challenge to myself, to spend only $20 a week for the upcoming week. My plane was simple only to spend less than five dollars a day, until the following paycheck.
For the upcoming days I:
- Deleted all take out apps like Uber Eats, Dominoes, and Seamless on my phone
- Made sure all bills were paid ahead of time, and the remaining funds would be in saving account
- Left 10 dollars physically for an emergency
I had to “survive” the main three days Monday-Wednesday, since Thursday I had my day off and decided how much to spend depending on my schedule. If I had an all day schedule the most I would spend is 10 dollars for breakfast and lunch. $3 dollars for a bagel and cream cheese at Starbucks or the same price at Dunkin Donuts for oatmeal. For lunch, I would get a deal at Subway for the $3 sandwich of the day, but prices would differ depending on the city. If I had a day where I was done by 5, I would only focus on eating breakfast and maybe a snack of a banana or chips, which all together would cost $5 or $6 dollars until I get home and eat. Another option I did which was bringing my own lunch, but I didn’t do that often since I don’t have time to meal preparation the day before.
Overall it definitely taught me how to save and there are cheaper and simple food I could easily buy instead of buying a $15 lunch and then more for the day. I now don’t spend as much outside like I used to. But, I want to continue on working bringing my own food.