When you’re in college, money seems to fly out the window quicker than you ever imagined. If you don’t have someone financially supporting you, you probably have racked up some serious college debt. The average debt after college has steadily been on the rise and the current economic situation is certainly not helping to alleviate the problem. However, you can learn how to save money while in college so that you don’t graduate without a penny to your name.
While saving money for college students may seem like a behemoth to conquer, it can be done by implementing a few useful tips! There is financial aid for every student in the form of loans, scholarships and grants, or you could always pursue an education in the top ten highest paid bachelor degrees, but that may not be the right fit for every student. The best money saving tips are those that are practical and fairly easy to incorporate into everyday life. Here are our top tips to saving money:
10 Ways to Save Money
1. Open a savings account. First and foremost, it is important to open a free savings account so that you have a place to keep your savings. This is the best place to save money because you can track of all of your hard work and you’ll be less likely to tap into the funds.
2. Eat in. It is definitely tempting to eat out and grab a bite with friends multiple times a week, but if you eat at home you’ll be saving money on food and putting extra cash in your pocket. Cook your meals at home and you’ll save money, and likely even eat healthier while you’re at it!
3. Find cheap entertainment. Forget $12 movie tickets and expensive concerts! Instead, check the local newspaper and online city guides to find free concerts, discounted tickets and free events in your neighborhood. If there isn’t anything going on that interests you, consider renting a movie with a bunch of friends, having a picnic in the park or throwing your own cheap potluck dinner.
4. Trade in the paper cup for your own mug. Your morning trip to the local coffeehouse can put a serious dent in your wallet. Avoid the $3 latte and make your own coffee at home! Becoming your own personal barista may take a little more effort, but the savings will absolutely rack up.
5. Buy used clothes. Buying second hand clothing may seem foreign to you, but it could help save money, and you may even find a great outfit you never could have afforded brand new and at full price.
6. Lace up your walking shoes. When you you walk instead of driving, you are saving on gas or public transportation fees. Take advantage of walking or riding your bike or skateboard whenever something is in reasonable distance. You’ll even sneak in some extra exercise!
7. Wear your clothes more than once between washes. You can definitely wear jeans more than once between washes, and as long as your shirts and other clothing are relatively clean, you can wear those multiple times as well. This way, you’ll be saving your money instead of forking over all of your coins for the laundry mat, or using up expensive detergent and racking up the energy bill. However, it is recommended that you wear your undergarments just once between washes!
8. Buy used books. With the rising cost of college textbooks, it can be difficult to afford these necessary items. Given some of the prices of textbooks, you’d think they were covered in gold! If you shop online for discounted, used books or check out college bookstores, you can often find books at discounted, or even half-priced, rates. Be sure to do your research and make sure you are finding the best deal before you make your purchase.
9. Give up the booze. Drinking may be a part of the “college experience”, but it is a rather unhealthy and expensive habit to pick up. Alcohol is not cheap and if you drink often, you may find yourself spending a huge chunk of your budget on this unhealthy habit. The money adds up even quicker if you are going out for drinks where some beverages can be $10 or more! If you need to save money, cut down on the partying and your savings account (and body) will thank you!
10. Live without luxuries. You might just have to (gasp!) paint your own nails, ladies. For men, consider having your buddy buzz your head instead of going down to the barber shop and coughing up $10 or more. Unfortunately, if you’ve adopted a saving money plan, you will have to cut out unnecessary expenses. Someday when you can afford to get you hair done at a pricey salon, or get a massage, you can incorporate that back into your budget, but while you are attempting to save, they must be avoided.