It’s no secret that being in college can be tough on your bank account. For some, it may be your first time on your own, and that means your first time paying bills! For others, it may just mean you want to establish a better routine of saving your money and budgeting yourself. Whether you need to save for rent, utilities, textbooks, or even just get into a better habit of saving in general, then here are some tips and tricks on ways to save money that you should know.
1. Ride your bike or walk more so you don’t spend too much on gas
One of the best things about going to college is that most of the time, everything you may need or places you need to go are fairly close to where you live. College campuses can be daunting, but once you get your way around you’ll realize that not only is it easier, or faster to walk or ride your bike somewhere but it’s cheaper too! This is one of the easiest ways to save money during your college years so take advantage of the fact that everything is so conveniently close to you!
2. Uber pool when you go out to split the fare
Now realistically we know you can’t walk everywhere, and sometimes it’s raining or you’re wearing those new heels you just got! So whatever the case may be, when it comes to having to get a ride, try and use uber’s pool feature so that you split the fare with people who may be going to the same place or on the way to where you’re headed! This is an easy and convenient way to cut back on your spending and make sure you get to where you need to be.
3. Shop at the farmers market or your local market for cheaper prices
Not only are farmers markets filled with great local vendors and food for you to try, but most of it is usually cheaper than what you would find in a store! You can get great deals on fresh produce that will not only help keep your fruit and vegetable intake on point, but you’ll also be spending half the price! So check out your city or university’s local farmers market for one of the best ways to save money.
4. Make coffee at home
Ah, coffee, the only thing keeping most college students alive. We know this liquid gold is what you need the most to get you to that 8am. But chances are, your coffee shop habit is what’s costing you more than you realize. All those 4 dollar drinks add up, so consider making coffee at home as one of the ways to save money that you may not have thought of before!
5. Try and practice the “never spend a 5 dollar bill” rule
If you haven’t heard of this trick before than try it out now! Get into the habit of telling yourself that you’ll never spend a 5 dollar bill if you have one. Every time you have a 5 dollar bill to use, put it aside, in the bank, or even a coin jar and watch as they slowly accumulate! You’ll be surprised when that jar is filled up and you suddenly have all those 5’s waiting for you.
6. Look into who offers college discounts
Thankfully, most businesses are aware that money is tight with college students, and that’s why you should take advantage of those who offer student discounts! More often than not, popular coffee shops, restaurants, stores, and even online services will give you some type of discount as long as you’re able to prove that you’re a student. So do your research because this is one of the greatest ways to save money without even trying!
7. Don’t buy books until you know you need them
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… wait to buy your textbooks! Yes, I know that the syllabus says “required” text. And honestly, your professor may even say this to you. But one of the best ways to save money is to check with them before you purchase that expensive book and make sure it’s absolutely necessary. Check with the library to see if they keep the book in stock for students to use, or even ask one of your classmates if you two can split the cost and share the book when you need. Not only will you have a study buddy, but you’ll save money too!
8. Make automatic savings payments
If you have a bank account, chances are your bank offers automatic payments that you can set up. An easy way to know you’re always saving something is to just do it automatically. If you have a job in which you’re steadily given a paycheck at the same time every month, then consider setting up an automatic transfer to you’re savings account for a certain amount as often as you’d like. This is one of the most simple ways to save money because you hardly have to think about it, and even when you don’t remember it’s happening, money is being saved.
9. Don’t pay for cable
For real, it’s a waste of money. Everything’s on Netflix these days anyway, so just don’t do it.