As a college student, you are always looking for ways to save money. Whether it is through delving into scholarship and loan sites and/or interviewing for part-time jobs to help pay for tuition, saving money is as much about managing it.
According to the White House:
“Because of the high costs of college, about two-thirds of graduates take out loans with an average student debt of over $23,000.”
Many of you feel the White House statistic personally and it hits hard. What are some ways you can stretch a dollar and prevent your savings account from being further traumatized? Here you go….
- Join a free club or intramural sport. Frisbee, anyone?
- Stock up on healthy snack bars and fruit and instead of hitting up vending machines.
- Buy clothing that doesn’t require dry cleaning.
- Open a free savings or checking account. Students may receive additional perks like a small balance required to keep the account active.
- If you’re of legal age, drink the cheap stuff if you must or buy in bulk.
- Don’t go for extended warranties on your electronic devices.
- Forget paying for cable and watch TV online instead.
- Drive home with friends who live near you for the holidays and split the gas.
- Stay in touch with family and friends by using a free phone service like Skype or Facebook’s free video calling.
- Get an inexpensive haircut at a nearby cosmetology school.
- Grocery shop when you are not hungry—trust me, you’ll save money.
- Search for stylish clothes at consignment shops or thrift stores. Plato’s Closet is a great place for up-to-date fashions and brand names.
- Eat breakfast—oatmeal is filling and delicious.
- Be creative with dating locations—cook up a romantic dinner at your place or take her on a beach picnic.
- Put your loose change in a container and watch it grow.
- Roll your own coins and save instead of using coin-counting machines that usually charge fees.
- If you’re not great at balancing your checkbook, get overdraft protection. You’ll eliminate quickly accumulating bank charges if you overdraw your account.
- Shop student specials when purchasing electronics like your computer. Apple and Dell typically have college student discounts.
- Use your state’s tax-free savings week and buy school supplies then.
- Check out online freebies like food items or even movie or game rentals.
- Speaking of movies, stream them on your computer or make sure your comp has a DVD/CD player.
- Instead of a stereo, use your computer, grab a set of speakers, and listen to your music library.
- Research which sites offer reduced costs on ink cartridges for your printers.
- Try recycled cartridges which are greener and they should save you some money.
- Use the free checks your bank offers you and only reorder when you are getting low.
- Save big on bottled water expenses by buying a reusable container and filling it up yourself.
- If you don’t like drinking tap water, get a filter and you’ll still save money when you don’t have to purchase bottled water.
- Instead of buying your daily cup of Jo at DD, invest in a coffee maker that brews directly into to-go containers.
- If you are on a traditional campus and can get away with not having a car there, do so. Bike or skateboard around and save a lot of money on gas.
- Look into a student travel discount card such as STA Travel.
- Stay put on Spring Break and get caught up on sleep and relaxing.
- Do your holiday shopping early and a little at a time.
- Get take-out instead of eating out. You won’t have to pay a gratuity.
- If you want to go out to see a movie, see if the theater offers student discounts for certain showings.
- If you feel like shopping, go for a run instead. By the time you’re done with your run, you may feel happy and the shopping impulse may have passed.
- College women, do your own nails instead of weekly manicures and/or pedicures. Invest in a good set of tools and some juicy nail colors and have a manicure party with your friends.
If you try some of these tips, you may find that it is easier than you once thought to save. You may also notice that all of the little expenses quickly add up and by cutting back you can protect your hard earned cash.