Hi 5, Tips to Make Ends Meet

Struggling to squeeze those few extra drops out of your budget? Worry not – here we come bearing grains of knowledge to your beach of doubt.

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Text Marcelo Goldmann

Save Those Receipts

Save your receipts for an average month and put those typing fingers to good use: list all your buys in a spreadsheet and find out what are the items you are spending the most money each month on. Once you have identified them, try finding ways to shrink them next month, perhaps by changing to a cheaper brand or by using a substitute. Also, if you see that you buy a certain thing many times, you might want to consider buying a larger pack.

Be On The Lookout For Sales

No, I don’t mean that cute pair of shoes you saw last week at 100 euros and they are now 94,99. I am talking about supermarket sales of products that are about to “expire”. Most people don’t know this: Expiration dates are bogus. YES, I know, crazy right? Expiration dates are mandatory by law but they are a funny thing, what they normally mean is: “we are putting this here to cover our butts”. This doesn’t mean expiration dates are completely fake or that products don’t expire. What it means is that you don’t have to be afraid of those 50% off steaks or that 30% off milk. Most of the time you will find the discounted products to be just fine – you just save yourself a few pennies. But naturally, you shouldn’t wait for too long to consume them. Smelling them beforehand doesn’t hurt either.

Leave The Plastic At Home

We’ve all been there: you’re getting ready for a venture downtown and you swear to spend only a small amount of money. Better yet, you say you won’t spend at all. The next morning you find your wallet filled to the brim with papers like a poet’s trash bin. The expression of horror on your face does remain for the rest of the month, even if you think it doesn’t. Try getting some cash and leaving those pesky cards at home. That way you won’t be tempted to overspend. Oh, and put a few bucks aside to get home safely, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Save For A Rainy Day

Now, before you get all smug and write me an angry letter with the word “DUH” in golden letters, I do realize this is a no brainer. But bear with me (rawr). Ten euros a month becomes 120 euros at the end of the year, which might not seem like much until you find yourself needing 120 euros to pay for a new attire. All this happened because you spoiled the clothes you were going to wear to an important gala, because you were porking out on pizza 2 hours before the party and you spilled some sauce on it, then tried to wash it but the hot water shrunk it and now you look like a depressed sausage. Not that it has ever happened to me…

University Food Is Life

If all else fails, at least you have university food, which at 2.60 euros for students, is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Published 30.3.2016 in 2/2016

Marcelo Goldmann

A doctoral student in chemical engineering at the University of Oulu. "Life is like a rubber duck, you gotta keep it afloat to see its splendor." Instagram: @sekultamies

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