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Burning Money

By Will from Holland

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Would you burn a hundred dollar bill right now? Do you know anyone that would?!

You may be burning that much money, or more...

Here's how:

We burn money buying everyday items—big or small—without thinking. We also burn money when we don't get value out of items we already have and don't use.

Here are some extra tips straight from college students on creative and easy ways to save—and make—some bucks regularly on everyday items:

  1. Drink bottled water? Never buy it one bottle at a time. Single bottles cost a dollar or more. 24 bottles at a discount house can cost six bucks. Savings: 18 bucks.
  2. Have friends who like bottled water, but aren't as careful with money as you are? Let them know they can buy bottles from you for a buck. Your cost? Twenty-five cents. Profit? Seventy-five cents per bottle. Bingo, you're an entrepreneur.
  3. Travel with your own coffee or tea. Why spend $1.75 or more for a cup of java at a bistro? Brew your own coffee. Put it in an insulated mug, and take it with you. Savings? About $1.25 per cup. Savings in a month (at five cups a week) 24 bucks.
  4. Like to eat out? Have friends in for snacks, and then head to a restaurant, but split entrees and desserts. And skip the after-dinner java or tea: do that back at your room. Save nearly fifty percent on each meal.
  5. Don't mind eating at oddball hours? Look for restaurants that give discounts for eating early or late. Save at least 25% on each meal. Hey, if you eat at oddball hours, and share entrees, you're really saving bucks!
  6. Skip vending machines: buy snacks in bulk, and stick them in your backpack. A bag of nuts can cost fifty cents in bulk, a buck at the machine. Savings in a month (at five snacks a week) 10 bucks.
  7. Need a haircut or clip? If the cut is simple, ask a friend to do it. Haircutting sessions are a great way to bond, believe it or not. If the cut is more complex, skip your normal hair salon and find the closest hair school. Most hair schools have their own salons, and they're not bad. Savings: at least fifty percent over a normal hair salon. How to find one: look up "cosmetology schools."
  8. Need a new outfit? Don't buy new. Campuses are surrounded by thrift shops and second-hand clothing stores, and sometimes you find first-rate items for twenty cents on the dollar. Big tip: look for a used shop in a fancy neighborhood. Second big tip: look on eBay for specific clothing items—or for any item.

Okay, which is it: burn money or find "free" money by being smart? You make the choice.

Be sure to let us know any of your money saving tips!

See you next month!

Cheers, Will.