Here are some tips we used when saving money to go sailing for a year and that we used once we were "out there" and had zero income.
(1) Cancel all magazine subscriptions. Cut your own hair. No manicures, hair dying, etc. Cancel memberships to gyms etc. You can always walk for exercise.
(2) Cancel your cable (may as well toss out the TV while you're at it
) You will save about $400 a year this way.
(3) Do not eat out... only on very special occasions if at all.
(4) Emply the following rule "If I buy something I need to get rid of the equivalent thing" So if you buy a pair a shoes, you commit to getting rid (garbage, charity, ebay) of a pair of shoes. It makes you think - so I REALLY need this pair of shoes?
(5) Only carry cash. Keep your credit cards at home in a drawer. That way, when you see that pair of shoes (or whatever) you have to want them enough to go home, get the credit card, and return to buy them. Or pay with cash on hand.
(6) Keep a monthly budget in cash. We figured out how much we needed to "live" each month while out sailing. I don't remember now, but let's say $600/ month. So on the first of the month we got $600 cash and put it in an envelope. We could only spend from that envelope. Makes you SEE the tangible money that goes out.
As for education -- I know this opinion makes me unpopular... but you can make good money without a degree.
FWIW I have a degree from a good school. But it has NO bearing on my career at all.
The KEY was internships/ apprenticeships/ mentoring. And working my butt off on the bottom for a while to make my way up.
I am in the TV business and it is a trade really. Yes, I write scripts mostly now that I am a WAHM (used to direct and produce more) - and you need some schooling to learn basic writing, but you do not need a degree. Most of the guys I work with (camera men, audio techs, lighting techs, editors, etc) make BIG BUCKS and never went to college. Some went to a technical school, but most learned by mentoring.
Unless you want to do soemthing like be a teacher, doctor, lawyer, CPA, etc -- there are often ways to get your foot in the door without a degree with many lines of work.