Here are five ways to actually try and save your money for the summertime, before you return back to college and for some reason are blissfully unaware as you open tabs at the bar on Saturdays and order Panera delivery every Sunday night because, oh my god, "you're desperate," that the money in your bank account is not infinite.
1. Stop buying lunch
This is something I was more guilty of in high school than I am now, but I know that it's tempting when I'm working my retail job downtown, surrounded by all of my favorite food places, to walk across the street on my break and get my go-to salad with craisins and mandarin oranges. For all of you who relate to these evil temptations of overpriced deli sandwiches and pre-packaged salads, save yourself the money (and save the earth from the unnecessary plastic) and spend an extra five minutes at home packing a lunch. It doesn't have to be extravagant, sometimes just a turkey sandwich gets the job done.
2. Delete all of your promotional emails as soon as you get them
This sounds dramatic, but if you are unable to have any self control when it comes to online sales and promotions, where the discounted prices are just at your fingertips, it is almost virtually impossible to ignore them. A trick I found that works for me especially when I find myself at a particularly financially-challenging time in my life is to delete these emails right away. Shopbop is having an extra 25% off of its already marked-down items? I don't care anymore. Nasty Gal is having a 60% off its new arrivals? They literally are always doing this, you can wait. It takes self control to commit to the instant removal of a toxic promotional email from your inbox (just like a toxic ex-boyfriend, haha), but doing so will actually be life-changing.
3. Learn how to wear your entire wardrobe
We all have that one shirt that we thought was cute when we ordered it, but we have never actually worn out of the house except for that one random time. If you liked that shirt when you first laid eyes on it, chances are you saw potential in it that you are not confident enough to execute in the current day. In a time of financial crisis with an inbox free of emails telling you to sell your soul to the latest Anthropologie sale, it's time to resurrect this neglected piece(s) of clothing and start brainstorming. I did this a ton this past semester and found myself getting super creative with my outfits and pieces rather than rewearing the same ones the same ol' ways. Even putting my favorite star-printed tank top over my other favorite white longsleeve from Zara was a whole new outfit and totally changed my life for the whole day I wore it. And that was only the beginning- think of all the ways you can wear a t-shirt dress, your boyfriend's plain white Hanes t-shirt, even that random Champion sweatshirt you bought from the men's section of Urban Outfitters sporadically last year.
4. Limit the city trips
Between Instagrammable rooftop happy hours and the endless shopping the streets have to offer, being in a city like New York makes it virtually impossible not to drop big bucks in a short period of time. Not to mention the travel fees, whether you take the train, waste gas driving and waste more money at a parking garage, or ride the subway once you get there. It's always fun to do a big city trip with your friends no matter which city it may be, but that does not mean that this has to occur every single weekend just because you think your own town is pretty boring. Make it a bigger deal to take the Metro North and do it once in awhile rather than spending thirty dollars on a round trip ticket all the time. This will make a huge difference, and this goes for any kind of trips that your state has to offer that you and your friends tend to embark on once the summertime frees up your schedule.
5. You don't have to drink at every single gathering
It can be tempting to want to bring a bottle of Rosé or whatever your drink of choice is to every social gathering, whether the gathering is Bachelorette Monday or an actual party. Same goes with being at a restaurant with your friends, the raspberry margarita just sounds so good, of course you have to spend the extra twelve bucks and get it. Because many college students are accustomed to constant access to alcohol, it's no surprise that they want to carry this habit of frequent consumption into the summer times especially when always catching up with high school friends you never get to see during the year and always wanting to do fun things with them. However, spending money on alcohol is not just more expensive while you're at home (unless you have one of those cool moms that buys you alcohol, which in this case I do not), but it's a sneaky expense in general due to the habit we have to always having it at school. We don't always think it's a big deal to buy another box of Franzia, but all of that wine and those White Claws, and not to mention the pitchers of margarita from your favorite low-scoring on the health inspection Mexican restaurant, will add up very quickly. Just like the city trips, save the alcohol buying for special occasions.