I am proud to introduce my first contributor to my website, no other than my only daughter – Samantha. Take it away Sam!
Hello! My name is Sam, the daughter of this blogger’s site! I am currently finishing my 3rd year of my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) at the University of Alberta.
Deciding to move to another province was a tough decision for me – but I am so glad that I did because I definitely learned how to become more independent. Over the past three years being away from home, I have learned a few tips and tricks here and there when it comes to saving my money!
Down below I will share two of my top tips based on my own personal experience and discuss their relevancy in my life as a university student.
Tip #1: Meal Prep
I would say my biggest tip would be to MEAL PREP!! I know many of you have probably heard this term a lot, but honestly I don’t think I would have survived my university days if I did not do this on a weekly basis. Not only has it saved me a lot of money, there are also many other benefits tied to it!
First of all, it has decreased my stress in deciding what to eat throughout the week. In addition, you are able to customize your meals to your liking and this has been a way for me to ensure that I am eating enough vegetables. (unfortunately, at 20 years old I still struggle with this haha!)
I set aside at least one day dedicated to preparing for the week ahead and mine happen to be on Sundays which I like to call my “Sunday Resets”. There are many meal prep recipes you can find online and you could even plan which meals you are going to make for the whole month!
A typical meal that you would buy can cost anywhere from $10-$15 but by meal prepping, each meal that you make would only cost a few dollars at most! The difference is HUGE especially if you look at it in the long-term!
If you really want to be organized, you can also create a folder where you store some of your favorite meal prep recipes so you will always have something to refer to! What is great about meal prepping is that you know exactly what ingredients you need to buy and in turn, can decrease your chances of overspending on groceries and also your overall food wastage.
Of course, I still miss home-cooked meals by my parents, but this has definitely been a game-changer for me when it comes to being efficient with my time and saving money!!
Tip #2: Budgeting
My second tip would be to create your own budget spreadsheet! I know it may seem pretty obvious but it is surprising to me that many of my friends do not even have their own way of tracking their expenses.
Creating a spreadsheet not only allows you to track your saving goals, it also gives you a visualization of how much money you are actually spending on certain categories (ex. money, clothing, entertainment).
While I was reviewing my spreadsheet for the month of February 2020, I was shocked to find out how much money I was spending at coffee shops alone!!! This made me re-evaluate my budget and in March 2020, I was able to decrease my spending on coffee by a significant amount!
Sometimes you just need that visualization in order to create the necessary change!
If you do not know how to create your own budget spreadsheet, I suggest doing a search online as many sites offer free templates you can download and use. What is great about these templates is that they are highly customizable!
I took inspiration from several templates online and decided to create my own that would tailor to my specific needs. I would say that the toughest part for me would be making sure to update my budget spreadsheet often but if you hold yourself accountable, this can be a very practical tool you can use – no matter if you are college, university student or not!
My Final Thoughts
I hope you learned even a little something from the tips I have shared! I truly enjoyed writing this blog post and I want to thank my Dad for allowing me to post this on his blog! Best wishes and stay safe everyone.