If you are a college student, the struggle with your bank account is probably very real. Not to mention, most of us will probably be knee-deep in debt when we get out of school (it will all be worth it someday, right?) Even though this sounds a little troubling, there are still ways to be able to buy the things you want without crying every time you check your account balance :). The main idea is that every little thing counts! There are easy ways to save in every area that you spend. Even if it’s a dollar or two, it all adds up. You will never hear me say “Oh it’s okay, it’s only a few dollars more.” Those few dollars can come back to haunt you. Here are a few ways to cut down without sacrificing too much.
1)Coupons, coupons, coupons. Shopping is a beautiful thing. Everyone needs some retail therapy once in a while, even boys. When I get the urge, I never hit the mall without first checking for what stores have deals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cursed myself for buying something for full price and then see it go on sale the next week. If you have a smart phone, download apps like Shopular or GeoCoupon. They give you the coupons and deals for your favorite stores and local businesses.
2) Modify the starbucks. This is definitely my guilty pleasure, but it’s a killer. You shouldn’t be paying almost 5 dollars for coffee. Buying a coffee pot will save you money in the long run. If you absolutely can’t give it up, try having it once a week or even getting something cheaper. Instead of a Caramel Macchiato, try getting a small latte with a pump of caramel. Its cheaper and tastes almost exactly the same.
3) Outlets are your friend! Are you paying full price for brand name apparel? If you are, stop that nonsense! If you want good quality for a low price you should definitely check out outlet stores. I’m a fan of online outlets. For example, they have a Tom’s outlet where the shoes are $17 dollars instead of $60. Also check out places like Marshall’s and T.J Max. I especially like these places for athletic gear. You can find Nike and Adiddas apparel that’s usually $40 dollars or above for $20 or less.
4) You don’t have to go out to have fun with friends. It’s fun to dress up and go out once in a while, but buying drinks and food or going to movies can get super pricey. Make pizzas and watch movies with a group of people or play a ridiculous game. Or just blast music and have a dance party wherever you are. I usually find I have the most fun when I spend the least money
5) Sell your stuff. You probably have a TON of junk laying around that you aren’t aware of. Do some spring cleaning and find some things you can sell. Create an account on Amazon or E-bay or go to a place like Plato’s Closet where you can sell your new clothes that just sat in your closet for months.
6) Just Get Water. This has 2 benefits. Spending money on pop or drinks with food can make a $6 purchase into a $10 dollar purchase easily. Water is always free and a much healthier choice that can also cut down on major calories and sugar.
7) Wherever there is free food, stock up on it. College is full of events that offer you free food. Attend these events and get extra so you can save some for later. I have saved A LOT of money on snacks by doing this.
These are only a few things you can do to help and it’s definitely worth your time to browse the internet for a few extra saving tips. Saving money doesn’t have to be depressing, and you’ll feel a lot better in the long run when you find yourself being surprised that you can actually afford things. No more living on Ramen Noodles!