The cold, hard truth is that most internships these days are unpaid or paid very little. That’s why as an intern, it’s crucial to be smart with your money and only spend on things you need. Here are some tips that got me through my unpaid internship days:
Bring your lunch: An average lunch costs at least $10, and if you’re interning three days a week, that’s $30 down the drain. A good way to take care of lunch is to make a big dinner the night before and save some to pack for the next day. Sandwiches are another filling and affordable way to make sure you’re eating a lunch everyday – a trip to the grocery’s worth of supplies can last you weeks!
Drink your morning coffee at home: There’s really no need to stop at a café every morning for your coffee. Buy some coffee grounds for $5-7 and have a morning cup of joe without shelling out cash at the start of each day. Spending that early in the morning will only limit what you can buy for the rest of the day.
Ask if your company will help with transportation costs: In New York City, it’s typical that a company will help you out with transportation by giving you a Metrocard to cover your trips to and from site; if they’re extra generous they’ll cover the entire month (which costs about $105 for an unlimited pass). Outside of NY, I’ve heard of many places offering reimbursements for gas to and from the workplace.
Unsubscribe from shopping e-mails: This one’s definitely a personal tip 🙂 Ever since I opted out of e-mails from websites like Gilt Groupe and Fab.com I haven’t found myself shopping online at all, which, let’s be honest, is a downfall for many of us. Getting rid of opportunities like that helps more than you think. Out of sight, out of mind…and nowhere near my wallet!