We all fit in the same mold of being a broke college student. But instead of lamenting your dire financial situation, find out ways how you can budget and save your hard earned money!
1. Start to Coupon
Couponing does require patience but it all works to your advantage in the long run. Check out your Sunday paper or Coupons.com and start to save on essentials like shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, etc. What is even better is using a coupon on a sale item so try to get yourself a rewards card for your local supermarket and drugstore.
2. Eat in
You do not realize it until you look at your bank statement of how much you spend on take out food, or any other quick bites. Instead of spending about $10 per meal, try to learn how to cook at home. You will also have a lot of leftovers to pick on.
3. Meal Prep
Once you start to meal prep, you will swear by it. There are tons of recipes on Pinterest to try and you will never have to worry about buying lunch.
4. Student ID Discounts
Take full advantage of your student ID! Depending on your school, you can use public transportation, such as the bus, for free. You can also get discounts at retailers such as J.Crew, Forever 21, and H&M. Check out this list of student ID discounts now!
5. Rent Your Textbooks
Never, ever buy new textbooks! You will only need the textbook for semester and then it will sit on your bookshelf for all eternity. If you try to sell it, you will only get a fraction of what you originally paid for it. Renting textbooks is a much cheaper option. Also, as a reminder, your college bookstore might hike up the prices so check out Amazon or Chegg first.
6. Cut out Cable
If you rent a house or apartment with a few students, try to avoid getting cable. We are fortunate to live in the day and age of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video!
7. Spring Break Alternatives
Instead of spending every dime you make at your part time job for a spring break trip, look at other options. You can spend the week hanging with friends who are not doing anything for spring break, catching up on sleep, or getting much needed me time. You do not always have to go on a exotic getaway for spring break.
8. Quit Your Vices
We all have vices like overeating or drinking, but quitting those vices will help you save money in the long run. And most importantly, it will benefit your health.
9.Go to the Library
This works to your advantage especially if you are an English Major. If you have to read a certain novel for class, instead of shelling out a few dollars, check out your library first and see if they have the book. This certainly a great way to save money!
10. Make Your Own Coffee
Your $2 morning cup of coffee adds up. A way to save money is by making your own coffee at home. You can make over a dozen cups of coffee by getting a $5 tin or bag of ground coffee. You can also make cold brew coffee as well at home! Check out the recipe here.
11. Buy Generic or Store Brand
The generic brand of food items, toiletries, etc is exactly the same as the name brand. Yes, generic brands do not come in any fancy packaging but would you rather spend 99 cents on store brand bread or nearly $3 for the name brand?
12. Live with Others
Renting an apartment or house with others is fun and stuff, but it is more fun when you are able to save money by splitting the bills with everyone and having everyone pitch in for groceries.
13. Take Advantage of Public Transportation or Walk to Places
If you have a car, you know how fast you go through gas. Instead of pouring all your money towards gas, try to use the bus or subway once in a while to save money. Also, if your destination is close enough, try walking. Not only are you saving money, but you are getting some exercise as well!
14. Create a Spreadsheet of All Your Expenses
Try to keep track of all your monthly expenses and bills. Therefore, you can see exactly how much you owe each money, and see if you have any extra money leftover. If you do, try to put a portion of it into your savings account, and use the rest for pocket money.
15. No Impulse Buys
It is extremely tempting to pull out your wallet when you are shopping in the store or online and see something you want to buy. But before making the final purchase, decide whether or not you really need the item and consider how much money you have. Chances are you don’t need it all.