As you may or may not know, corps members receive a living stipend to cover the cost of living expenses during their year of service. It can be challenging at times to make ends meet on a quite limited budget but our corps members can be counted upon to make the best out of any situation. We surveyed corps members here in Manchester, NH about ways they’ve found to make their stipends stretch the farthest, and below are some of the best tips and tricks we heard:
From Harvey Vincent, Bakersville Team Leader:
- Keep minimum funds in checking account
- Eat leftover
- Bring lunch on Friday
- Have coffee at home
- Utilize Manchester’s parks and libraries
- Turn off appliances and lights
- Utilize loan forbearance or deference
Grace Slobodzian, Parker-Varney Team Leader:
- Attend shows at the Palace Theater
- See movies at Regal Cinema 8–Only $3.50!
- Visit the SEE science Center
- Visit the Audubon Center
- Go hiking, biking, or fishing at local mountains and state parks
- Visit the Seacoast Science Center in Portsmouth
- Check out “America’s Stonehenge” in North Salem
- Watch bears on Segways at Clark’s Trading Post
- Visit the Currier Art Museum FREE on Saturdays from 10-12
Keith Medlock, Beech Street Team Member:
- Say spend every time you swipe your card or open your wallet-the verbal reminder will help to stop spending
Lily Taylor, Wilson Team Member:
- Take advantage of weekly meal deals–like 2$ taco Tuesday
Mollie Greenwood, Beech Street Team Member:
- Use bugdeting sites (mint.com) so you can see where you are spending your money. It guilted me into being more lunchtime money responsible…
- Get emails from mint.com to remind you how much you meant to save vs. how much you are actually spending.
Erika Swiger, Bakersville Team Member:
- Groupons. Use them.
- Use cash over cards
Will Ross, Bakersville Team Member:
- Apply for food stamps
- Check out local events in Manchester like open mics, trivia, karaoke
- Take advantage of the all you can eat buffets in Manchester
Ally Lynch, Parker-Varney Team Member:
- Prepare your meals for the week ahead of time so you spend less money out
Cady Hickman, Parker-Varney Team Member:
- Never go shopping for food on an empty stomach-you are more likely to buy more than you intended
- Check out the discount items at Market Basket (and other grocery stores) for bakery items, meat, vegetables, and dairy. When a product needs to be sold that day, grocery stores will mark down the prices-sometimes up to 75% off! Markdowns on essential food items happen at specific times depending on the store. Find out when your local grocery store puts out the discounted meat and dairy.
- Utilize websites like supercook.com–they can help you plan recipes based on what you already have. ALSO, bring your shopping list to the store and stick to what you need!
- Participate in CY “Go Gettahs”–these are events all around Manchester and New Hampshire that need volunteers. They are fun, they give you something to do in your spare time for free, and they are also great networking opportunities. Plus, some events can get you extra hours!
- Have potlucks and group meals with your fellow corps members–buying in bulk is always cheaper, and when everyone chips in for a meal you can have more food for less money!
A special thanks goes to Cady Hickman for interviewing corps members for their tips and tricks–Great Job Cady!