Lily Esposito

Skidmore in New Zealand

1 Month Left of School and 0 Dollars Left In the Bank

It’s that time of the semester– things are starting to wind down and you want to go all out for the last few weekends but when you peep into your online bank account app the number is not as high as you’d hoped for. Where did the money go!! What was it spent on!! Probably food… and gas… and the three meat pies you ate in one sitting last week.

Now I’m a saver down to the core. Last semester I ONLY spent money on gas, which was honestly a bummer. Being abroad, I learned when to spend and when to save, so for this week we’re going to talk about budgeting!

1. Try some local adventures via public transit! “Adventures” don’t have to be a three hour road trip to an expensive lodge. Use some cheap public transit to try new things nearby. I took a $2.50 (NZD) city bus for an hour outside Christchurch and found a beautiful hike, plus some animals!

2. Save money on food and eat at university club events!! Food is where most of my money goes, so pocket that extra cash by going to your school’s clubs. Hella clubs have free food at their events. This past week my pals and I had a delicious dinner with the garden club, making woodfired pizzas from the veggies in the garden. Yummy and FREE!

3. The “popular” stuff sometimes isn’t worth it… and you just need to accept that. In New Zealand, the big outdoorsy thing is the Great Walks. These are 3-5 day hikes in beautiful places, complete with an established paths and serviced huts. Of course I want to do some of these Great Walks, but the price to get to the location and do the walk is upward of $100. Instead, rent a car with some pals and visit a cheaper hut for a weekend. Most cars are $15 a day and huts can be $5. Now you’re getting out of town for $40!

4. Find the cheap goods. One of my pals likes the $2 (NZD) sticky rice served at a spot on campus. Another chum always goes for the $5 (NZD) falafel on Wednesdays. I walk a little bit extra to go to the super savers grocery store instead of the regular one. When it’s time for new clothes, buy from thrift stores for cool, recycled getups. And like I said before, public transit rocks so use it. There are tips and tricks all over, you just have to find them.

Here’s a cute pic of me because I don’t have a photo for this paragraph.


So live your best life! Keep a budget and write down all your spendings! Make the most of your experience and try not to stress about money too much. Take it from someone who knows!

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