This semester, being the first time I’ve lived in a big city, has been especially hard for me to conserve money. There are, all of a sudden, ample shopping and eating options, which are all still very new to me. Due to this fact, I often times spend what little money I get at the beginning of the month, and spend the rest of my time being just as broke as I was to begin with. As I spend most of my time broke, however, I find that I’ve learned some pretty good money saving techniques. This, of course, excludes the national problem of our worsening economy, which could prompt us all to ask what steps can be taken to conserve money? Also, what sort of pressures does this apply to your day-to-day routine?
Firstly, I find that as a USF student we have some advantages on the average penniless passer-by. We, for the most part, have Flexi. So while this means that you have to eat at school, it can still keep cash in your pocket, as your meal plan is already paid for as part of tuition. When going out, stop at the cafeteria first, and pick up some food in a to go bag. If, however, you find that eating at the cafeteria everyday can get to be a little redundant, branch out a little bit. While it may be a bit of a walk for those of us living on main campus, Outtakes can provide you tasty alternatives to the drab food served at the Caf.
Next, if you find that you just can’t stop your shopping habit there are ways to satisfy it without emptying your wallet. As a school we happen to be lucky enough to be located directly next to the famous Haight-Ashbury district, which is just brimming with vintage and second hand finds. These clothes, while maybe not as fresh as you were looking for (most need a good wash before being worn), are just as good, if not more individual, than what could be bought at the average new clothes store, but for a considerably smaller price. Again, if second hand just isn’t for you, there’s always H and M or Forever 21, though, for both new and used shopping, make sure to limit yourself, as even cheap clothes tend to add up.
There is much to see and do in San Francisco, all within a reasonable budget, if you know where to look. As a final tip, maybe just go site seeing. We live in a beautiful city, and just looking at what it has to offer, such as the buildings and parks, is absolutely free.
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