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Student Savings! When to Save and Where to Spend

By Samantha Roman (@SamiPeach)

For everything from the daily essentials to where you should invest your hard earned cash. The trick is, if you know where to shop, you can save valuable dollars that will help you pay off your student debt in no time at all.  

Hair, Makeup, Beauty: SAVE

A lot of drugstore makeup is available for under $20. A good way to save an extra few dollars is to buy the item when it goes on sale. Instead of shuffling through ads in the newspaper, you can find all your flyers at your fingertips using Reebee. The app allows you to sort by location and customize your settings to only receive flyers that appeal to you. You can visit the app store and download Reebee, which is available for iOS 7.0.

If you absolutely can’t live without your high end make up brands, avoid the shipping costs if you can. Tip: Whenever there is a new product launch on websites such as TooFaced.com, the shipping fees are non-existent. This strategy is on purpose to get you to try an item for less hassle so that you warm up to the idea of becoming a regular customer.

And there is nothing wrong with being a regular customer, as long as the store you are purchasing from has a loyalty program that is worth signing up for. Sephora.com is known for their hair and beauty deals, offering three levels of membership in their beauty loyalty program. Becoming a ‘Beauty Insider’ is absolutely free. All you have to do is sign up online or in-store. You’ll be entitled to a free birthday gift and the rewards increase from there. Become a VIB member or VIB Rouge, and you’ll have access to seasonal savings that are exclusive to Sephora.

Not picky about the shampoo you use or just want to try something without paying for it? You should join BzzAgent.com. This is a legitimate free sample service that picks participants fairly depending on their interest and need. For example, if you express that you have an interest in wine tasting, the site will invite you to review a particular wine and give you a $25 gift card that you can redeem in-store. If you admit you enjoy a certain brand but are already satisfied, the invitation will likely go to someone who cited that are open minded about changing their current brand in order to try something new. 

A Professional Wardrobe: SPEND

Consider yourself a walking, talking resume. The way you present yourself is how you want the world to perceive you. During your downtime, you can wear those cheeky graphic tees, but if you are looking for a job, it doesn’t hurt to polish your image. Express Clothing is known for taking your professional wardrobe to the next level without busting the budget. The best deal to lookout for is the ‘buy one, get one 50% off’ promotions. You will still spend a little more than a major department store, but the quality will last you upwards of two years depending on how you take care of it.

Food and Groceries: SAVE

The quickest way to save on groceries is to create a meal plan. If you decide early on what you will be eating for the next week, you eliminate the amount of trips you make to the grocery store. And how often do we throw another chocolate bar in our basket because we see it on our way to the cash register? Those little savings do add up.

Credits: Getty Images 

Bedding, Design, Function: SPEND

This heading might have you a little confused at first. Surely every daytime television show wants to show you ways to decorate your apartment on a budget. And there is nothing wrong with that! But if are having issues (back problems, for instance) you should invest in a proper mattress. Ask yourself, “do I wake up several times a night?” Your quality of sleep is partly affected by where you fall asleep. So spend a little more for a good quality mattress and your health should improve. 

Design and function are the perfect marriage. Spend more on an entertainment unit that is customizable to your specific needs rather than a cheap piece of furniture that will fall apart in a few months. Also, if you can get away with tucking more bulky items seamlessly by adjusting the height of your shelves, why wouldn’t you? You’ll save space and money in the long run because you have all your items properly stored and cared for.

And finally, for some hard and fast lessons, if you can’t think of three solid reasons of why you need something, then you can probably hold off on purchasing it for the time being.