Money doesn’t grow on trees. Whether you’re from a rich or a poor family, the truth of the matter is you’ll need money for a number of things. But you don’t have to be rich in surviving college. Check out these 8 tips and tricks that can help you save some money and use them for more important stuff.
1. Commute or Ride a Bike
One of the downsides of having your own car is that you need to constantly shell out money for gas, oil and maintenance. It might seem like a smart idea to have your own vehicle to drive around, but your wheels wouldn’t bring you anywhere if you don’t have money to spare for fuel. Why not go environment-friendly and use a bike to go around your area or to your school? There are also a number of ride-sharing apps available for you to use. You can also try using the public transportation. Try to research the best commute routes towards your school, and sooner or later, you’ll be able to save up more money that you’ll supposedly need for your car.
2. Get Discounts Using Your Student ID
Usually, stores and restaurants around universities offer student discounts to help them gain more clients. If you want to save extra when visiting your favorite establishment around campus, ask if they offer student discounts and always have your student ID ready as proof. Whether it’s 5%, 10%, 15% or 20%, a discount is still a saving.
3. Prepare Your Own Meals
With lots of restaurants around your campus serving good food at reasonable rates, it might be tempting to just go out and buy food from them and not worry yourself about cooking. But if you sum up the amount of money you spend for restaurant meals versus money spent on food that you prepare for yourself, you’ll realize that you’re spending more on takeouts and eat-outs. Plan your meals for the week and save more money by running to the grocery store once a week. Stock up on ingredients for what you plan to cook and cook just about enough meals for yourself. If you share a room with a few people, you can also share the expenses and cook meals that are good enough for your whole group.
4. Skip Expensive Spring Break & Summer Trips
You might think, “What’s college without enjoying spring and summer break? There are many ways to enjoy your vacation time. Yes, going on a trip might sound exciting and it might be something you’re looking forward to. But if you don’t have the budget to spare for the trip, you might want to just skip it altogether. But if you really want to make your spring or summer break a meaningful experience, why not try volunteering or applying for a summer job? This way you get to maximize your time outside school, plus earn some money and experience.
5. Say No to Impulse Buying
You go to a store and you suddenly see something that you want to buy. Before giving in to the urge, you might want to first think if it’s something you actually need, or if it’s something that you’ll eventually lose interest in and forget. It can even be just a fad you want to follow. If this is the case, you’d best not spend money on it. A good practice when going to the store is to prepare a list of what you need to buy, and then stick to that list. Also, only bring enough money to cover what you have on your list. This way you don’t get easily tempted in buying things that are not really important.
6. Become a Resident Advisor
If you have been a resident of your school dorm for more than a year, you probably know a lot about the ins and outs in your campus and about dorm living. If this is the case, why not make use of your knowhow and become a resident advisor? This way, you get to earn some discounts on housing costs and some additional perks.
7. Buy Second Hand or Older Versions of Textbooks
Brand new books are normally pricey. But if you’re not too meticulous about how pristine your school books should look like, you might want to consider buying second hand books. Another option is buying older versions of the books prescribed to you. Sometimes, when new book versions are released, they sell older versions for a cheaper price. Another good practice is to take care of the books you are using and consider selling them to other students coming in to your college level.
8. Use Phone Apps to Earn Rewards
There are various apps available online offering extra discounts in exchange for some activities. Some ride-sharing apps, credit card apps, and phone inactivity apps offer a number of discount coupons that you can use for discounts at selected stores, restaurants or entertainment centers.