A wise man by the name of Benjamin Franklin once said that “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Being a college student calls for saving as much money as possible. Between tuition, textbooks, rent, and other living expenses, the cost of college is staggering. However, here are the 10 best ways for students to save money in college.
1. Use coupons when possible.
Couponing can seem lame, but when done correctly, it can save you a ton of money. Coupons usually come in the mail or paper every week. Many store loyalty cards allow you to add coupons electronically to easily save money. There are apps such as Ibotta and Checkout 51 that offer cashback for uploading shopping receipts.
2. Put extra money into savings.
Budget your money and if money extra money comes in that you did not account for, add it to your savings or emergency fund. It may be tempting to spend it, but it is important to save just in case something comes up. Emergencies happen when you least expect them, and you need the extra money for these things.
3. Get a part-time job.
While your schedule may be crazy as is, having a part-time job, even if it is just in the evening or on the weekends, can help you bring in some extra money. Your bills do not disappear just because you are in college. Having money coming in, even if it is just a few extra dollars, can help you be independent and not have to rely on your family.
4. Cash in loose change.
Most people have loose change sitting around. Collect your change in a jar and have your roommates do the same. You can all join together to put the money towards rent, groceries, or a fun night in. It may take a little while, but saving up loose change can add up to a lot of money if you let it accumulate and can be put towards necessities. This is one of the easiest of these best ways for students to save money.
5. Pay attention to how you spend your money.
Do you only buy what you need, or are you an impulse buyer? If you are an impulse shopper, try to cut back on this or buy things you absolutely need and will definitely use. Buying an item that only costs a few dollars may not seem like a lot, but if you do it on a regular basis, it can add up. Resisting the temptation can help you save a lot of money.
6. Cut down on your bills.
Utility bills and other bills can seem astronomical. Use less water by taking shorter showers and turning the sink off when you are brushing your teeth. Turn off lights when they are not in use, which will help save on electricity and the need to buy light bulbs. Taking little steps to reduce these costs can help you save money on these expenses.
7. Pay for things using cash.
It can be tempting to use your plastic for everything. However, it can be difficult to keep track of your expenses, even if you have online banking or statements online. Paying with cash will help you manage your money and allow you to physically see how much money you are spending. Once you run out of cash, do not allow yourself to keep shopping.
8. Do not be ashamed to shop at thrift stores.
Thrift stores often get a bad rep as being “second class” and dirty. However, this could not be further than the truth. Most thrift stores have a policy where they check to make sure any items that are donated are high quality and clean. Shopping at thrift stores allows you to get the clothes and books you need at a lower price. These are just some of the best ways for students to save money.
9. Ask for gift cards for birthdays and holidays.
When people ask what you want for your birthday holidays, it can be tempting to rattle off a list of physical items or share your Amazon wish list. However, it would be better to ask them for gift cards to your favorite store or restaurant. Prepaid gift cards such as Visa and MasterCard gift cards are also great ideas since they can be used where these cards are accepted, giving you options.
10. Cut down on eating out.
Eating out is nice every once in a while, but eating out every day is expensive, even at fast food places. To help lower these costs, buy groceries and make your lunch. If you do eat out, ask for a box to take home leftovers that you can use as a second meal. Many college campuses have a public area that has a microwave for you to heat up leftovers.
Are these the best ways for students to save money in college? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.