Time Is Money When You’re A Full-Time Student

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McDonalds Dollar Menu, Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, United States of America

You won’t be lovin’ how much fast food can end up costing you.

I went into Boston the other day to run errands, riding the subway ten times back and forth from school. I picked up new textbooks from the college bookstore because I didn’t make time to order them on a used book site. I forgot to pack a lunch, so I ordered off the dollar menu and paid in nickels and dimes—I’d used all my quarters on the subway.

Over a hundred dollars in the hole later, and after years of my mother preaching it, I was finally convinced that time management is a money saver.

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Procrastinate Procrastinating (Yah, Figure That One Out)

Don’t wait until the last minute to do things. Even if procrastinating seems like a good idea at the time, it’s probably not. I find that high-stress situations usually result in impulse purchases (Reese’s and Red Bull make up at least 20% of my food bill during back-to-school and finals).

Waited until the last minute to write a paper? Now you may have to spend money getting it printed, instead of doing it for free from home. That lunch I forgot to pack? That’s extra cash I’m losing too (even meals from McDonald’s add up after a while).

Brainstorm

Consider how much time you have outside of your schoolwork and how you want to spend it—sleeping is not a good enough answer. Do you have just enough time for an internship? Look for one that’s paid. Are you worried about getting study time in? Start tutoring. Want more gym time? Get a license as a Pilates or boot camp instructor. I’m doing a paid internship along with this freelancing job—and I’m considering finding even more side work on the weekends.

Not only will I make money, but I’ll also avoid spending money by keeping busy and filling my time with free activities.

Make A Time Budget

Here at the SALT™ Blog, we gently pummel the concept of making a budget for your money into everyone’s heads. However, budgeting your time is also a big way to save. No matter how much money you have in the bank, if you don’t have time to sit down and write a check to pay your electric bill, it’s not getting paid.

Make a list of things to do for the week and how much time each takes. Think about where you’re going to run errands. If you bring your laundry to the Laundromat once a week and it’s right next to your grocery store, do them at the same time. Not only will it free up an hour to do something else (maybe you can tutor for a few bucks once a week), but it will also save you on the extra transportation expenses.

Got a tip for turning your time into money? Share it in the comments.

(Photo: Pranav Bhatt)

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