It’s almost the end of the year and I’m trying to stretch my funds to the max. I have a pretty good feeling that I’m not the only one running low on the dough at this time of year. It’s totally hard keeping the credit card spending down when there are spring break trips to take, shopping sprees to make, and most importantly, double cheeseburgers to eat. I get it. Whatever it is that you decided to blow your money on, now is the time to make a serious financial recovery (and don’t tell your parents).

Here’s the great thing about going through the drive through at fast food places: they always hook it up with oodles of napkins.  Don’t throw these napkins away, my dears, for they have a variety of uses and we are all about recycling. (Or should I say re-PSYCH-ling because we are so psyched about it.) Napkins clean up those darn coffee spills that end up in your lap while you’re rushing to class, and serve as a great substitute for tissues. If someone judges you for your napkin collection, they clearly have no idea how to save money the sassy way.

When you really need to make a purchase, check the local dollar store for any sweet finds. Soap and body wash are totally acceptable to buy on the cheap. I mean, it does end up going down the drain anyways. Q-tips on the other hand, NO. Unless you like cleaning your ears with toothpicks. In this case, it is okay to splurge, but make sure to still buy generic which will end up saving you a buck or two.

Another important personal care item to get on the cheap: toilet paper. It’s a nasty little necessity to purchase and when you think about it, you’re literally throwing your cash down the toilet. No fancy shmancy TP for me!

This next tip is always the hardest for me to follow – ordering water while out to eat. Drinks are expensive, especially at restaurants. Why not take advantage of drinking FREE water which is also better for your health? Hello, double bonus! If you still want to look fancy, you can ask for a lemon in your water. That way it looks like you actually wanted to drink it vs. being cheap (your secret is safe with me). The waitress/waiter might think you’re a tad annoying, but just make sure to leave a good tip (which would still cost less than buying a juice or pop).

If you live in a house, have a roommate yard sale once the snow melts. How cute is that? I’m incredibly lazy at the end of the year and would rather leave some stuff behind than have to haul it all out.  Why not make some money off your old stuff? Don’t waste money on buying store price tags – stick with the good old-fashioned masking tape to write prices on. Make sure your yard sale has a substantial amount of junk, though, and it can’t be too junky…otherwise, ordering that water with lemon would be totally pointless. No one is going to want your half-used bottle of dollar shampoo but someone might want some of your clothes that aren’t fitting for your big girl/boy career (for a good price).

If you have younger nieces or nephews that have birthdays coming up, dig through some of your little kid stuff and wrap it up (semi-used to new only). Little kids don’t care if something is in packaging and usually think it’s pretty cool to get something that was yours when you were little. To be fancy, buy a little something to go along with the recycled gift that’s new. And make sure the wrapping paper is especially rad.

See, it is possible to be awesome AND frugal at the same time. What did we learn today, boys and girls? Being fancy doesn’t always require loads of cash -it’s actually only a lemon slice away! Cheers!

Micki Kociemba

Micki Kociemba is a senior majoring in Graphic Design and Public Relations. She is from Melrose, MN a small town cluttered with cows and cornfields. Kociemba's opinions articles are a reflection of her quirky, silly, but always fabulous life which makes her our very own hot mess of the Hot Messages Column. She enjoys spending time with her pet guinea pig, painting, traveling, complaining, and of course spending money.

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