There is this stigma that has existed for a long time now that basically lumps all college students as broke people that rely solely on ramen noodles to function. And as true as it may sound, it isn’t entirely accurate.
Today’s post, I decided to share with you guys a few secrets I have used that have helped me save money in college. I will be spilling a lot of deets here, so grab a pen and paper and let’s get talking.
How To Save Money In College
1.) Live off-campus, like seriously.
Living on campus is a way of telling your college to zap out every inch of your bank account to provide you with the most uncomfortable living situation. Sure you get to meet a lot of people and make quite a ton of friends, but the cost is definitely not worth it in the long term.
Right now, paying rent might sound like a burden, but trust me, in the long run, you save a lot of money.
How to make apartment living cheap
Share with a ton of friends.
Be sure you share your place with people you trust. You surely don’t want that one roommate who is consistently late on bills.
Living further from campus.
Sometimes living further from your campus vicinity can save you quite a few dollars per month. Therefore, look out for the cheaper options.
Sign your lease during deals.
Most apartments usually have great deals around move in season, so be sure to jump on it as soon as you find one.
Understand your utilities.
Make sure you’re well aware of utilities before signing leases. Utilities do add additional cost to your monthly bill. Therefore, I recommend looking out for apartments that include utility as part of your monthly rent.
Choose unfurnished apartments.
Furnished apartments cost a lot more money than unfurnished. Thus, find one that isn’t furnished. You could always check out local thrift stores for furniture.
Live with your parents if you still can.
I had a couple of friends who chose to commute by living with their parents. And it ended up saving them a ton of money.
2.) Don’t buy books from the bookstore
You’ve been told never to purchase books at the bookstore, and here’s the reason why; Bookstores are usually priced a lot higher than books online. So before you think of finding a book at the bookstore, be sure to research online retailers.
How to save money on books
Buy a digital copy.
You may not like this option especially if you prefer a hard copy. But digital books do save you a lot more.
Stick to rental options.
Renting tends to be a lot cheaper than buying, which can save you a couple of bucks in the long run. I would also recommend checking out thriftbooks.com which has a ton of cheaper options.
Resell old books.
There’s probably someone on your campus who might need an old book of yours, so instead of allowing it to accumulate dust on your shelf, sell it off and use the extra cash to repurchase your books.
Go to your school’s library.
Some campus libraries have free rental options for students who qualify. So be sure to check out your local library to see if you do.
- Buy older editions.
Some newer editions don’t differ from older editions. So skip the upgrade and save yourself some cash.
3.) Avoid eating out frequently
You might not be the perfect chef out there, but eating out on a consistent basis can affect your spending habit.
How to save money on food
Buy a cookbook.
If there’s a particular meal you love to order on a regular basis, try making a homemade version of it. I do post a couple of recipes HERE on my blog, so you could check it out if you’re interested.
Look for coupons.
Scan through your mailbox or online to find great coupons for your favorite restaurants.
Pick two days a week.
If you can’t adjust to the lifestyle of not eating out, try picking two days in a week to satisfy your cravings. Once you’ve adjusted, try reducing the number of times you eat out until you completely break off the habit.
4.) Don’t overspend on groceries
If you’re going to avoid eating out, then you should avoid overspending on groceries. Grocery stores are the definition of temptation, and if you aren’t good at resisting temptation, you might overspend.
How to save money on grocery shopping
Use the Ibotta App before you even head to the store.
This app has been a LIFESAVER for me because you can earn cash back just by shopping.
Set a budget
Walking into a grocery store without a budget can cause you to overspend. So plan before you leave.
Constantly ask yourself “Do I really need this?”.
Before you pick up that item or put it down on your grocery list, be sure to ask yourself if you REALLY need it. Because our minds often cause us to pick items we want and not necessarily need.
Coupons are everywhere, you just have to find them. Open your mailbox. I bet you probably have some laying in there. You could also use Groupon which is another great option.
Never go grocery shopping while hungry.
Just don’t. It will cause you to make purchases you shouldn’t be making.
Split your grocery costs if you have a roommate.
You might have a few items you share with your roommate on a consistent basis. Use that opportunity to cut down on your spending.
5.) Keep your coins
Remember that 1 cent coin you completely tossed away? Well, you might need to go pick it up. Coins might seem pretty irrelevant, but they add up later.
Get a cheap piggy bank, or use an old container you have and start saving them. By the end of the year, you would be surprised by how much you have saved up.
6.) Try opening a savings account.
There may come a time in college where you might receive some large checks in the mail. It could be in the form of a side job, refund check, side hustle, or even the lottery. Be sure to have a savings account ready for it.
7.) Use your student status to your advantage
Why spend 14 bucks on a movie ticket when you could pay 8 bucks with your student ID? Don’t be afraid to bring out your ID whenever you’re in public for a discount. You’d be surprised at the many opportunities you have as a student.
Car dealers, movie theaters, insurance companies, apartments, hotels, flights, and many organizations offer student discounts. Take advantage of it.
8.) Give up Starbucks
Like seriously. Get a Keurig and make your own coffee. It will save you a ton of dollars.
Related Post: Iced Coffee recipe
9.) Ditch your paid subscriptions
If you want to save money in college, you will have to let go of some paid subscriptions. If you have any subscription you haven’t used for at least two months, chances are, you probably don’t need it. Paid subscriptions are additional expenses, so cancel it.
How to save money on subscriptions
Try sharing subscription plans with friends.
If you love Netflix , find another person who loves it as much as you do, and split the cost. That way, you both save money.
Pill prescriptions discounts.
If you have pill prescriptions, try asking your local pharmacy for discounts. Many companies like GoodRx offer really great discounts on prescription pills. Thus, use it to your advantage.
I hope you guys found some of these tips helpful. Let me know in the comments some tips you currently use to save money in college
Till next time;