This means that, even when it comes to going shopping, you have to be smarter than the others, even though this action has become commonplace out of habit. Yet this can represent a substantial budget when we do not pay attention to it.
The mechanics of prudence quickly take hold of a student, because he is solicited by many needs as well as by many desires. If it is absolutely necessary to get close to the absolute zero concerning seconds, it is also necessary to think about reducing the number of its necessities.
Some people have the unfortunate idea of mixing up a desire and a need. However, the difference is quite clear: a need is by definition necessary to you, while a want is superfluous. Not that you don’t sometimes have to follow your desires, but the more you follow them, the more you will be fooled.
Going shopping for clothes, is it a need or a desire? It’s complicated because it’s usually both: we all need to dress ourselves, but rather than buying something that would simply fit us, we can be reassured by a brand or worse the desire to own a more classy or fashionable item, with the risk of melting a budget.
There is one exception: you will absolutely avoid going to an important interview in jeans and sneakers. However, professional outfits can be found in some stores at affordable prices. There, don’t hesitate to take the time to look for them.
Where you should really try to be careful is when you are shopping for food. The choices are so vast that you find yourself solicited by many brands for a single type of product. Selecting the cheapest or no-name (unbranded) products is already a reflex to have, and some people have it by force of circumstance.
Another trick is to go shopping on a full stomach. Why is that? Because hunger will pull you down more easily when your stomach is empty and you will be more inclined to buy and therefore spend more.
Generally speaking, you should shorten as much as possible the time you spend shopping, food or not, to limit the number of opportunities to spend more than you need to.
Making a shopping list can also be interesting:
- First of all, there’s the purely pragmatic aspect of knowing what you’re looking for between the shelves,
- you avoid wasting time going back to buy something you haven’t bought previously (a new opportunity usually to buy even more),
- you must really stick to your list, that is to say that it is better to plan a long list beforehand, even if it means realizing in the field that you don’t need certain products, rather than going there at the drop of a hat, because you would then be over-solicited by products that you would never have thought of!
As far as discount vouchers are concerned, either they correspond to what you really need, or there is only one sensible thing left to do to avoid being tempted: give them to your loved ones to preserve both your network and your purse.
Racing against mobile
By the way, I am vehemently opposed to the misuse of mobile phones, because some students spend more on their mobiles than on their food, which seems to me to be an aberration: you have to know how to define your priorities and a need must always be a priority in the face of a desire. You have to find the right balance without being distracted by extremes.
Ideally, the remote social life can be done over the Internet, which can reduce your bill, which nowadays is essentially a flat rate. If you absolutely have to communicate with your loved one, you must know how to judge the importance of your communication.
Note that if you absolutely want to reach someone on their mobile, using your fixed phone will not cost you anything, as some access providers offer free calls to mobiles. That’s money you can use to feed yourself (healthily).
Finally, if you have an acquaintance who can go shopping for you, don’t hesitate to use his or her services because you’ll find yourself in two different situations: not only will this person tend to scrupulously respect your shopping list and your maximum budget, but above all, you’ll save between half an hour and an hour of your time.