Throughout your four years college, you hope to achieve many things; joining a new club, making new friends, trying new foods and gaining the college experience. While doing some of those things seems easy and like a no-brainer, it sometimes can be a lot harder than expected. Most schools require you to graduate with 120 hours of college classes and an internship. The internship is the “fun” part. You get to gain experiences, a new network and of course an added plus to your resume. Employers seek to their advantage that most undergraduates have to complete an internship, resulting in an “experience-based” opportunity otherwise known as not paid. The trick to budgeting an unpaid internship can be tedious, but with these tips, it’s easily achievable:
1. Pack Your Lunch
While this seems very high school, you could never guess how much money this can save you in the long run. While going to Chipotle or to get appetizers with the coworkers is fun occasionally, avoid doing it on a daily basis. Before you know it you’re spending $30-$50 per week on food. Check out TJ Maxx or Target for the cutest lunch bags, they don’t always have to be brown.
2. Make Coffee at Home
Starbucks, Saxbys, Tim Horton’s and Dunkin’ Donuts may have the best coffee but when you’re balling on a budget you have to invest in a Keurig and to go coffee mugs. Coffee prices add up very quickly, especially when you want to get fancy with the orders. Sometimes buying 10 k-cups is as expensive as one coffee from one of those shops. While it sometimes is okay to splurge this is an easy way to save funds.
3. Try Public Transposition
If you’re working in any major city we all know that paying for parking can be outrageous. Sometimes it can be $15 to park for one day. There are tons of ways to save money on this way, try carpooling with another intern or even better try public transportation. Trains, subways, and trolleys can be a life saver. Park farther away from the city and hop on the public transportation, put on some good tunes or read the newspaper on your way into work.
4. Focus on Clothing Necessities
Clothing can be the most expensive thing to buy and sometimes you’re buying cheap quality that isn’t going to last very long. When you go shopping try to find clothes that will be able to transition from work to an evening with friends. It is an easy way to help save money that way you’re not spending money on work and going out clothes.
5. Get a Side Job
It may be a lot, but remember that the internship is usually only for a summer or semester. If you don’t have tons of money saved get something that will help you support yourself here and there so you can splurge on lunch or coffee. Work a few hours after work or even on the weekends. Remember an internship can help you gain a network that could lead to the bigger picture, a job. Sometimes sucking it up and working two jobs is the best way to become financially stable.
By Sarah Newsad, CLDC Student Ambassador