For college students, finances are usually pretty tight. They have to cut on food costs and take advantage of every free-food opportunity. They get student loans to pay for their tuition, their books, and their housing. And, on top all of that, the best jobs out there for most college students are part-time with minimum wage. Luckily for you college students out there, there are ways to cut the costs and save money without having to eat out of the trash and sacrifice your social lives. To lend you a hand, here are 7 ways to save money while in college.
- When Buying Food, Buy in Bulk and Coupon
Most of the time, you can get a better deal when you buy more at once. It might save you $5 here and another $4 there, but over time that money adds up. Over the course of the year, you’ll find that you’ve saved more than $100 just on food. And don’t stop there. Look into couponing at the stores you usually shop at. There are a ton of couponing apps that you can download on your phone. From there, you simply find the items listed on the app that you were going to buy anyways and apply the coupon. Apps have made the idea of “extreme couponing” into something extremely easy.
- Get Good But Cheap Car Insurance
If you’re one of the lucky college students with a car, you also know how those expenses can add up quickly. To save on the car expenses, take better care of the car. If you take it in for its regular maintenance then you won’t have to worry about the expensive repairs that come from not caring for the car. You can also look around to find the cheapest car insurance that will still give you the coverage that you need.
- Keep Your Dates Cheap But Fun
All the best things in life are free. Especially when it comes to dating. If you’re a guy, don’t try to impress the girl with over-the-top expensive dates. Keep it cheap and free by taking her out to public things. Don’t feel the need to buy her dozens of drinks on the first night. Instead, suggest going out for a picnic or a bike ride. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save from cutting the costs on dates.
- Buy Your Books Online
If you’re buying your textbooks from your college, chances are the prices are a lot higher than what you would find online or from a second-hand seller. Check the prices online before buying a new book from the college. You could even look into the renting options that they have on most textbook sites. If you do decide to buy the textbook, make sure to sell it when you’re done. Sometimes you might think, “Oh, but what if I want to look back through my Chemistry book in a few years?” You won’t. Sell the book and get back some of your money so you can buy next year’s books.
- Don’t Spurge After the Paycheck
Once the money comes into the bank, you might feel the need to spend a little of it just to get your spirits high again. Rather than doing that, save the money for when you actually need it. You might look into the stock market and see how much you could afford to put into stocks. The stock market is like a savings account that will make you a lot more than what the bank pays you on interest. If you’re smart with stocks, you can end up making thousands off just a couple bucks. If the stock market is daunting, then keep the money in the bank. Make a financial plan to map out how much you should be spending each month. If you do, you’ll be able to resist the urge to splurge after the paycheck.
As a college student, you need to know that your finances will be tight. But you can also find a lot of ways to make some wiggle room for yourself. Save the money, pick up an extra shift or two, don’t buy expensive food and eat in rather than out. All the little money-saving tricks add up over time and, eventually, you might not be as broke as you thought.
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