Whether you’re saving for a vacation getaway, a new amp or summer Zumba classes, saving money as a college student is tough. 3 months have passed since we have all vowed to lose weight, save money, and get organized, but with summer vacation fast approaching, it looks like our willpower will be put to the test once again. If you have been unsuccessful with your New Year’s resolutions so far, now is the perfect time to break bad habits, (while not breaking the bank), in preparation for the much anticipated mini vacation. To get you started:1) Choose real food over fast food. A peanut butter sandwich is much healthier than Domino’s, and it costs less, too. Besides, fast food contains too much trans fat, which can increase your risk for heart disease, and sodium, which will lead to mega bloating and water retention. So go ahead and take a trip to the grocery store; I promise the economy will not decline (although your weight might) over your eating a granola bar instead of a Big Mac.
2) Instead of visiting your local AMC, watch movies online–or better yet, read books. Not only will you movie fans get to visit the bathroom without having to miss any entertaining moments, but you will also have no excuse to ask for extra butter on your overpriced popcorn. Meanwhile, needless to say, reading leads to better grammar, sharper vocabulary, and improved analytical thinking. After all, you only have one brain; use it or lose it.
3) Give up overpriced coffee in exchange for tea. A box of tea bags from the grocery store not only costs less than a trip to Starbucks, but tea also contains polyphenols. Polyphenols speed up metabolism, lower the risk of cancer and heart disease, and promote mental health by allowing you to generate more brain cells (much needed for math). The used tea bags can also be stored in the fridge overnight and placed over your zombie-like eyes for ten minutes in the morning to reduce the appearance of under eye circles.
4) Lastly, buy only what you absolutely cannot live without. Girls, this means you will have to wait until you purchase your 43rd pair of high heels. Guys, this means you will have to indulge less on Steam sales. Remember that self-restraint is a skill; And unless you practice it, you will never master it.
“You can’t always get what you want…” was my mom’s response to 8-year-old me whose only dream was to have instant noodles for breakfast. Later that day, she served me instant noodles with diced carrots: “…but you can always want what you get.” Kudos to Mama for caring for my eyes, as now it burns from too many academic write-a-thons. Much like life itself, a vacation is ultimately only as good, as fun, or as productive as you make it to be.
Kendra Minoza is currently a sophomore at Houston Community College, taking biology as a pre-pharmacy major. Additionally, she is the NSCS Star Status Coordinator at HCC. Kendra enjoys writing, public speaking, reading, drawing, and charcoal painting. Her love for tea and lack of “normal” hobbies (such as watching TV) has made people believe that she is “an old lady in disguise.”