Woodward here. After the immense success of my 6 Incredible Packing Hacks article in December, my so-called “editor” insisted I follow it up with another expose that will both make your lives easier and help you save some valuable dollars.
After years of meticulous research (and being a broke student!), Martha knows all too well I have more than a few handy tips and tricks up my sleeve. She has even stole a few of these from yours truly over the past few months. Yet she still refuses to let me publish my scrupulously researched and diligently written piece on the blatant favoritism employers tend to have for people named John! The mind really does boogle!!
If you’d like to check out how guys with the name John succeed at work and are more likely to rise to the top, you can find out more on my blog later this month. For now I once again have to play the cheery, pea-brained blogger and present to you this article on the best life hacks. Yes, you heard me correctly… mere LIFE HACKS!
Therefore, without further ado, I painfully present the 10 best life hacks for interns on a budget.
1. Stop eating out
If you want to squander your hard earned money on eating out every night then by all means be my guest, but you are burning a hole in your pocket. I save an abundance of cash by simply doing a weekly grocery shop.
2. Find Your Nearest Dollar Store
One of the first things you should do when you move to a new area is find your nearest dollar store (I’m quite the frugal guy when I need to be!). This way you can stock up on all of the toiletries and cleaning products you need at super cheap prices and still have enough money in the bank for happy hour.
3. Take Advantage of Happy Hour
Let’s face it, you’re an intern that wants to meet new people, so naturally you are going to socialize during your internship. Just make sure you take advantage of happy hour. It’s the best way to be social on a budget, while still taking the time to expand you network. However…
4. Never Start A Bar Tab
In fact, don’t even bring your card with you. Bring the exact amount of money you intend on spending (including taxi fare!) and you won’t be tempted to spend beyond your means.
5. Looking For Live Music?
Don’t pay for live music, do your research and find places that offer live music for free! There’s copious amounts of places that have some incredible undiscovered talent just waiting for you to see. Follow local venues on social media to be kept in the loop about live events in your area.
6. Stop Wasting Money On Soda
Stop buying soda and energy drinks. Not only are they bad for you, they’re also bad for your bank balance! It’s much cheaper and healthier to drink water. If you want some flavor, why not add some lemon or lime for an extra health kick.
7. Avoid The Middle Shelf
When you are grocery shopping always avoid picking up items from the middle shelves. The middle selves are the ones that are both at eye level and are easy to reach, so all of the brand name items are displayed here. Less expensive brands, such as store name products, tend to be displayed on the lower or upper shelves and are usually much cheaper.
In reality, store brand products often taste very similar to (if not exactly like) the more well known brand name. In fact, in many cases it will be the brand name that produces the store brand alternative, so you are getting the exact same food for a fraction of the price.
8. Use Your Discounts
You’re a student, which means many stores (both on and offline) will offer you student discounts. Carry your ID with you at all times and take advantage of all the discounts you are entitled to.
Websites like Unidays (www.myunidays.com) make it really simple to claim your discount on international brands online. All you have to do is verify that you are a student with your university email and hey presto… you’ll have a discount on everything from Apple to Urban Outfitters!
9. Sell Stuff
Strapped for cash? Have a look around your apartment, dorm or even your room at home and see how much stuff you don’t use anymore. If you haven’t used/worn it in over a year, it’s time for you part ways.
Don’t just throw out your unwanted/unused items though. Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so why not take to Apps like Depop.com to sell your stuff and make some extra cash. Depop couldn’t be easy to use. Simply take a snap on your phone, post it to your profile and boom… you’re in business.
10. Use Social Media And Email
Last but certainly not least, you can use social media and email alerts to get discounts from your favorite stores. Many brands offer an exclusive discount when you like their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram and Twitter, so be smart and use it.
You can also sign up to their email to be the first to find out about any special promotions/discounts or giveaways they may have. Of course you may have to put up one or two emails you don’t want, but if you can save some money, it’s all good!
I hope these life hacks will let you make the most of your time interning here in D.C. It took many months of meticulous research to perfect these, so I am sure they will come handy. However, I am eager for you to read my REAL journalism here on The WISHington Post so don’t hesitate to exercise your right to send our editor your comments. Enjoy your discounts and healthier bank accounts!