I know it’s been like .2 seconds since last I posted, but you’re not sick of me yet, right?  I’m covering approximately 12 billion topics in the next seven days.  Fasten those proverbial seatbelts.

How the balls do you save money when you’re in college?  The legitimate suggestions I’ve received have been along the lines of “find a sugar daddy” or “you know, strippers make bank.”  True, very true.  Valid points.  And while I’d be kind of ok with getting down to undies and pasties, I just can’t do the full nude thing.  As far as sugar daddies are concerned, I’m dating a PhD student who’s going to be a professor.  I am so not on the track to a one-way ticket to Sugardaddyville.

So, where are all the honeys makin’ money?  I would very much appreciate it if you would throw your hands up at me and give me some pointers.  I’ll throw back at you what I’ve learned so far:

& Set a budget for the week.  Put aside a specific amount for groceries, or buy groceries before buying anything else.  It helps me to take a finite amount out of the ATM and remember that this is the cash I have for the day/3 days/week.  A $4 latte suddenly doesn’t seem so harmless.

& Have ideas about what you want to save for, and think of those things when you transfer money to your savings account/hide it under your mattress.  I want to be able to afford my lovely apartment, maybe buy some furniture, and get my passport before the end of December.  Visions of fancy living and jetsetting dance in my head whenever I click that “transfer funds” button!  How exciting!

& If you’re not someone who can just window shop, don’t go shopping.  I’ve gotten very good at deciding what I need, will wear, and absolutely love.  If it’s not at least two of those, I put it back on the rack.  And relatedly…

& If you’re jonesing for new clothes and accessories, host a clothes swap with your friends.  I just walked out of one with an entire shopping bag stuffed to the brim with stuff that I know I’ll wear, all for free.  And when there are leftover clothes no one wants, you can donate them and pat yourself on the back.

& Credit cards aren’t like the points on Whose Line Is It Anyway: the points do matter.  You don’t need a credit lecture from me, because you’re a big girl, but please remember that debt follows you.  Don’t fall into unsavory habits, and try to only spend what you have or will have in the very near future.  My rule of thumb is to only spend what I have right now and maybe, maaaybe one paycheck in advance, but that tends to get me into hot water and I’m a basketcase so then I freak out and avoid it for another six months.

& My favorite tip: know thy local bars, and know thy happy hour.  Drink the specials, order the specials, pay at least 50% less than normal menu price.  But always, always tip well.  Be cheap with your order, but be generous with your tip, because the people you’re tipping have savings goals too!

What do you independent women do to save money?