When you’re a college student, you try everything to save a buck (even if that means embarrassingly waiting in the Target line for the cashier to scan all of your coupons). But when it comes to differences between coupon clipping and actually saving money, it takes a bit of knowledge on the subject we call our bank account *cringes*. Here are the top 20 money saving hacks for college students.
1. Use LOZO.com
Speaking of coupon clipping, say hello to the best site ever for all of your coupon needs. LOZO lets you type in your grocery list and finds coupons for (most) of your items. It’s tried and true, people. It saved me around $9 (!) on my Walmart grocery bill. I then spent that money on Chipotle. No ra-grets.
2. Mint the app? More like mint chocolate chip ice cream…
I have a huge problem with using my debit card on food/clothes. I didn’t actually know I had this issue until I downloaded the Mint app and looked at the simple pie chart it provided for me. I now know that my stomach doesn’t always need to be a higher power over my brain.
3. Hey Macklemore…
Basically, thrift shopping is life. Why? Because you get unique clothes that no one else has… for 75% less than department stores! And even if you’re looking for name-brand, high quality items, the chain Plato’s Closet is one that isn’t talked about enough. They’re located in tons of cities and have name brand clothing that’s categorized by size, style, and color. It’s an OCD dream of mine, basically.
4. Girl, look at that body!
Stop paying for your gym membership at Planet Fitness right now and take advantage of the free one that your university has to offer. PLEASE. You’re already paying for a membership through your tuition, you might as well get the most out of it.
5. Spring break, anyone?
The site StudentUniverse.com is a LIFESAVER when it comes to finding great flight/hotel deals for college students. I truly can’t put into words how amazing this site is and how much money it could potentially save you.
When the annoying time of year rolls around where you have to buy textbooks, skip the book store line and head on over to Slugbooks.com. Simply type in the ISBN number or the title of the book, and Slugbooks compares the prices for you so YOU can choose the best deal for yourself. I love democratic states.
7. All of the school events
Most likely every school event that’s held consists of supplying some sort of food as incentive for going. Go to a bunch of school events and you’ll never be hungry (and you’ll get the chance to meet more people/branch out).
8. Apply for the scholarship.
Stop being stubborn and just apply for the scholarship. It’s absolutely insane how many thousands of dollars go to waste throughout the year because students feel as if they weren’t eligible or “smart” enough to apply for certain scholarships. Write the damn essay and thank me later.
Get your Rihanna on and find a part-time work-study position on campus. Half the time the jobs aren’t that demanding, so if you need some time to chill while you’re still on campus I’d suggest the library/office assistant. You earn money while doing simple tasks! There’s nothing better.
10. Snack on it.
Instead of spending countless dollars in the cafe, pack a lunch/snacks to eat throughout the day so you can binge on food you already have when you get back to your apartment. Plus, cafe food has a rep for being sub-par. Don’t waste your green on something that’s not very tasty.
11. Take turns.
If you live in an apartment/dorm with multiple other people, try designating certain days to have a meal together. If you all toss in ingredients you already have and eat that 2-3 days out of the week, you can save a ton of money instead of forking out another $10 for pizza daily.
12. Redbox it outttt!
Instead of spending money on renting movies at Redbox, try out the DVDs in the library when you need a chill night in. You save $3.99 per movie and they might even have a good selection.
13. Groupon your way into everything.
Looking for a fun night out to get off of campus? Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer fantastic deals for unique and different things to do in your area. I once scored a massage for half price. Relaxation + less spending = happy college student.
14. Take notes.
Sites like StudySoup and FlashNotes PAY YOU for taking quality notes. You just have to sit there and get an education. Money basically falls into your lap.
15. Stop buying coffee.
I am one of those people that NEED coffee to even function. I have a Keurig for my room so I don’t spend $15 a week on lattes that I don’t need. Even if you don’t want to spend the money for a single-serve brewing system, your cafeteria/dining hall most likely provides it for you. Sneak in a to-go mug and you’re on your way.
16. Breakin’ Free
Sites like Upwork.com offer short-term freelancing jobs for skills you excel in, and some of the jobs pay pretty well. I spent an afternoon writing a blog post for a company and ended up making around $25. For only a couple hours of my time and not that much work, it was a nice surprise to see that in my checking account!
17. Take advantage of the system.
Most companies/stores offer student discounts if you simply just ask. They usually are around 10-15% which is a pretty significant chunk of change.
18. Check your statements.
I know that most bank statements are online nowadays, but believe it or not the bank does make a mistake sometimes. Check your accounts early and often to avoid any mistakes from your end or the bank’s.
19. Piggy bank it up!
Keep your spare change in a cute mason jar or piggy bank (hello 2nd grade). When it’s full, you can wrap the coins and deposit the change for physical dolla billz. I once got $127 just from keeping a jar and you best believe I cried tears of joy… then went to Taco Bell.
20. Stick to a budget.
If you have a job/work-study position where you’re getting paid on schedule, start a budget and stick to it. Designate certain amounts of money to specific areas of your spending: gas, food, spending money, etc. It will truly help you handle your financial situation.
So whatever your financial situation is, these money-saving hacks will surely help any college student save some green. As long as you stay organized, persevere, and only cry over the greatness of Taco Bell once a week, these tips will be sure to assist in the money-saving area of your life.
Featured photo source: weheartit
Andrea is a freshman at Eastern Mennonite University where she is a dual major in Business Administration and Photography. Her hobbies include making music, running her photography business, laughing, and eating ice cream. She absolutely loves anything that has to do with coffee and blogging and is looking forward to her future articles on srTrends.