Managing meals while interning: Where did all my money go?

While interning, there is the added stress of worrying about what to
eat during your workday. Swipes are no longer an option, and
Eaglebucks can only take you so far. It is so easy to grab a coffee
and bagel on the way to work and then to get a sandwich for lunch in
between meetings. However, by the time you are on your commute home
you realize you somehow spent almost $20 during your nine to five
workday. How is that possible? Multiply that by how many days you work
a month, and you’ll want to faint at the total. I am guilty of such
behavior. Sometimes I am lazy, and I don’t feel like packing a lunch,
or I will be in a rush in the morning, so I skip breakfast at home and
make a pit stop at Starbucks before work. Unfortunately, my bank
account started to seriously be affected by my behavior, so I needed
to change up my routine.

It’s okay to treat yourself to that morning coffee you so look forward
to before work, but then it’s smart to pack a lunch to help balance
out your behavior. Or vice versa – pack breakfast so that you can
enjoy something different for lunch. Creating a budget for yourself is
also really smart. Figure out how much you can afford to spend on a
weekly basis, and then trim out those occasional coffees or pricey
gourmet salads to help make the cut. Bringing snacks to work is also
good because it’ll help curve your cravings in between meals, and
you’ll be able to avoid expensive vending machines. If you have a meal
plan, then I would recommend utilizing your Eaglebucks and Dining
Dollars at on campus stores to stock up on snacks or lunch options. By
doing so, you won’t be spending your own money, and you’ll be able to
responsibly use your meal plan money. Dining options around corporate
areas tend to hike up their prices because they know busy workers will
pay anything to quickly grab a bite in between work; however, don’t
get tricked! Check to see if discounts are given to local employees,
or see if there are lunch specials to save money. Lastly, utilize
daily deal websites to see if there are local eateries offering
discounts. By doing so, you can save a lot of money!

These slight changes in your routine will make a big difference in
your wallet. A coffee here and a bag of chips there can really add up,
so don’t get sucked into this bad habit! You can enjoy yourself while
also easing the tension on your bank account.

-B.

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