College living expenses can sometimes feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back. Between having to study for exams, writing papers AND affording to eat that week, it’s no wonder students often feel stretched beyond their means. While we can offer tips and tricks to make the college part easier, we’re sharing with you some ways to handle the expenses of being a student.
1. Opt for a night in!
Being of drinking age in college can get expensive. There’s always a reason to go out on a Friday night and drinks aren’t cheap. Factor in Ubers and the drunk munchies and your wallet will start screaming. Instead of another night on the town, invite your friends over for a game or movie night. Someone brings the liquor, someone brings the chasers. Order up a couple pizzas and you’re set for a fun night that won’t break the bank.
2. Take advantage of the student recreational center.
Having a gym membership can be a major college living expense. Save yourself some money by getting your sweat on at the rec center on campus instead. Most tuitions actually cover membership to the rec center so you might be paying twice for access to gym equipment. My rec center in college actually offered work out classes like yoga, spin, and zumba that I didn’t need to overpay for outside of campus. You’re already paying for it; you might as well take advantage of it.
3. Use that student discount proudly!
Food and clothing are essential college living expenses. Luckily, there are a plethora of restaurants and stores that offer student discounts. UNiDAYS is an app that will even show you which ones. By making an account with your student email, you can save money at places like ASOS, Pink and Adidas. UNiDAYS can even save you some cash on your groceries by offering discounts at places like Costco or Publix. However, you don’t need an app for this tip. There’s no shame in simply asking if a place offers a student discount!
4. Sign up for Spotify Premium for Students
In the long-discussed battle between Apple Music and Spotify, Spotify wins every college student’s heart. For just $4.99 a month, students have access to Spotify Premium. You can download songs, enjoy your playlists ad-free and skip whatever songs aren’t your vibe. If that’s not enough, Spotify even offers free Hulu AND Showtime memberships to students through their account. Create an account, verify you’re a student and voila, all the music and movie access of your dreams.
5. Get thrifty with it.
A great way to save a bit on your college living expenses is to buy second-hand items. Decorate your apartment with a used table you got from Craigslist. Find the perfect costume for that party from a thrift store.
This is especially true for books; those things can really cause a havoc if you’re paying full price for new ones. Check out Amazon, eBay and ThriftBooks for your books before you even think about the student store. If you’re feeling extra thrifty, always check to see if the book is online as a PDF!
6. Meal plan!
This totally seems like something stay-at-home moms do, and for good reason! By planning your meals, you can save a lot of money. Since you have a prepared list of ingredients, you won’t be throwing random things in your cart at the store jacking up your final price. Additionally, you won’t be so tempted to order food or go out to eat if you already know what’s on the menu.