With expenses like food, alcohol, and other college expenses, it is inevitable that you will be blowing money left and right as a student. There are ways to limit this amount of money though, and it’s a lot easier than you think.
Here are 11 tips to help you save money this semester. Hopefully they will help you out and leave you with some extra cash when the end of the semester rolls around.
1. Don’t Buy Your Textbooks
Buying textbooks is way too expensive, even if you buy them used. Rent your books instead. It is a much cheaper option, and saves students an average of 85% per year on books.
2. Stop Eating Out
It is okay to eat at restaurants occasionally, but making a habit of it can put a strain on your health and your wallet. Learn to cook a few meals, and get use to eating Ramen Noodles. Cooking is not near as hard as you would think, especially with sites like RecipeZarr, Allrecipes, and Myrecipes. All of these have sections for quick and easy recipes to get you started.
3. Bike, Walk, or Use Public Transportation
Hopefully, you live close enough to campus that you are able to walk, bike, or ride the bus to your classes. All three of these are great alternatives to driving your car and wasting precious gas. If you live really far from campus, you should carpool with a neighbor if you can. These things are not only great for your wallet, but for the environment as well.
4. Stop Buying Drinks at the Bar
Drinks from Bars are way overpriced, so you should try to avoid them at all cost. Many people like to drink a little bit before heading to the bars. This is a way to get around paying for expensive drinks, while still having a great time. Just make sure you have a designated driver or take a cab to and from the bar.
5. Cut Back on Drinking
Heavy drinking can be the biggest black hole you throw your money into, so cut back on it. If you can’t imagine limiting your alcohol intake, at least consider buying cheaper beer. Some cheap favorites include Pabst Blue Ribbon, Ketstone Light, and Natural Light.
6. Don’s Use Credit Cards
You should only use credit cards for major purchases that are absolutely necessary, like textbooks and tuition. For everything else, you should be using cash. So don’t buy that new iphone until you have the cash saved up for it.
7. Don’t Spend Money on Campus
The prices on college campuses are usually very high. Try finding better prices at other stores instead. Food prices on campus are also spiked up a bit. So if you can, avoid buying food when you are on campus, unless you have a meal plan.
8. Bum Your Neighbors Wi-fi
Chances are, you have college students living around you, and most of these students will have a connection to the internet. The great thing about this is, there is a chance many of them don’t secure their wi-fi connection. This is where you get lucky. If you have a couple neighbors with open wi-fi connections, then you can probably get away with mooching off their Internet connection. If this is the case, there is no need to continue paying for your own internet.
9. Cancel Your Cable Subscription
As technology and the internet continue their rapid growth, cable television is becoming increasingly obsolete. Meaning there is no need to pay for cable television. Instead, use your neighbors wi-fi to watch your favorite shows online with sites like hulu and netflix.
10. Let Your Hair Grow
Spend $20 bucks on a haircut? No way. If you can stand it, let your hair grow for the whole semester and use that $20 for something more useful. Alternatively, if you trust your friends with scissors, have one of them cut it for free.
11. Use Coupons
You know those pieces of paper you receive in the mail that go straight into the trash? Those are coupons. Use them to find great deals on things like food. You’ll be surprised by the money you save just by using coupons. Never go to the store without a few coupons.
It’s That Simple
These are 11 easy steps that you can put into action right now, and it’s a lot easier than you think! Combine these 11 ways to save money with budgeting basics, and watch your savings account grow.
What about you? What do you do to save money as a college student? Please share below. I love to find out new ways to save money!