Post-Secondary Education, Money and Me! Some ideas to help students look after money – Part 3

Part 3: Tips to stretch your Dollars

By the Association of Saskatchewan Home Economists

There are many ways to achieve this in all areas of spending such as food, entertainment, clothing, etc. Following are some tips to assist you whenever you need or want to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your dollars:

  1. Use cash as much as possible. This helps you use your credit card less and also helps you think more carefully about controlling your spending. 
  2. List your needs and wants. Writing them in two columns makes it easier to identify unneeded items. Keep asking yourself if this expense is necessary or if you can downsize the amount to spend on a purchase.
  3. Check with your telecommunications provider to determine the best plan to meet your needs. Perhaps you do not need all the options.
  4. Do not share your PIN or lend out your credit card. Guard you card and consider having a low limit on the tap feature.
  5. Record all your purchases and spending on a little note pad or your phone.
  6. Check weekly grocery flyers for specials. Choose foods that are in season to help lower food costs. Try not to shop when hungry or in a big rush. 
  7. The most nutritious items in a store are usually displayed around the outer walls of the store.
  8. Preparing meals and eating at home is a super way of getting the most from your food dollars. Usually home prepared meals are more nutritious than fast food meals. Pack your lunches. Eating out occasionally can be planned for.
  9. Have the ability to say “No” and stick to it.
  10. Consider linking with a friend to plan and prepare meals to do for a few days. It can be fun plus you get different recipes and food ideas.
  11. Make coffee/tea at home and lug it rather than always buying the beverage. Thermal containers can be purchased and reused, saving you money and also helping the environment.
  12. When going out to eat, have one item instead of more than one. Consider the specials. Before you go out for the evening consider eating at home so you are not buying as many snacks and bar foods.
  13. If ordering food from a takeout establishment, you can save some money if you pick the food up on the way home rather than having it delivered. Even if you pick the food up yourself, it is more costly to eat in this manner than if you made the food at home. Consider this a special treat and not a regular practice.
  14. Look for opportunities to be social that don’t cost money.

Never be afraid to ask for help from professional sources!

Part 3 of a 4 part series:

Part 1: Financially, what does your academic year look like?

Part 2: How to be your own Financial Manager and How am I doing?

Part 3: Tips to stretch your dollars

Part 4: Be Your Own “Accountant”

Home Economists and Educators Linda Ashley and Millie Reynolds are the chief compilers of information collected from professional financial institutions, high school and university students, ASHE Board of Directors and computer sources.