As a college student, I am always on the lookout to make or save some extra cash. Whether it is because you live paycheck to paycheck, or you need to make your student loan payment, money is always important to have. At the end of my freshman year, I sat down and looked at all my expenses and had an epiphany. I vowed to set goals for myself and spend less each month. These eight easy things help me save money as I go through college, and can help you too!
1. Set a limit on how much you go out: After classes you are exhausted. It’s so much easier to just go to the dining hall or drive thru to conveniently have food ready to eat. When I set a limit on how much I ate out a week, I caught myself saving a good chunk of cash.
2. NEVER go grocery shopping when you’re hungry: When you go to the supermarket to stock up on food, make sure you eat beforehand. The phrase “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” really plays into action in this case, and your checking account will pay for it.
3. Shop where there are student discounts: A lot of places offer a discount when you present a valid student ID. Many college students know this but don’t always take advantage of the savings. Always ask; The worst you can hear is no, and you might be surprised where you can save some money.
4. Check out DVDs from your school’s library: I didn’t find out until spring semester of my sophomore year that my college’s library had DVDs open to rent out- and you could rent up to five at a time. Don’t spend money on movies or pay for Netflix and Hulu when you can rent the DVD of your favorite show from your school.
5. Campus gym vs local gym: A lot of colleges have a gym on campus, and it’s not only open to athletes. Quit paying monthly fees for a gym membership, and go to the gym on campus for free. The equipment is just as good, and you can work in going during a break before your next class.
6. Scholarships: Check with your financial aid office and see if there are any scholarships that apply to you. Also, some companies offer scholarships for employees and their children, so ask your parents to check if their employers have this option. Lastly check out fastweb.com, a website that you can research scholarships based on you interests, hometown, college major, and other categories for free.
7. Go to events on campus: Attend campus events whether it be a guest speaker, a concert by the music department, or any other events. Chances are, you can get free food, t-shirts, or other awesome things out of going to them.
8. Get a job on campus: Apply for a work-study job or look into other on campus alternatives to make a little extra cash. They will work around you school schedule since college is why you’re there, and you don’t have to worry about spending money on gas or transportation, just walk from your dorm or go in after class.