College students are notoriously broke and living on ramen noodles. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some ways to save money while you’re in college:
1. Create a budget for yourself
Money can dwindle away so easily. By knowing exactly how much money you have coming in and setting that number against your expenses, you will be much more aware of where your money is going...and how to save it.
2. Be smart about your living expenses
If you’re out of the dorms, plan to find an apartment and split the rent with roommates. Speaking of apartment hunting, do you really need to move into that new apartment building with all of the bells and whistles? If you’re on a budget, choose an apartment option that is safe and won’t break the bank. Work out a plan to split food and utilities with your roommates.
3. Don’t pay full prices for your books
College bookstores are convenient, but pricey. Textbooks can get incredibly expensive and make a huge dent in your budget. Resolve to buy used books when possible. To take it one step further, see if you’re able to rent your books for your classes. This alone can save you tens if not hundreds of dollars. Finally, if you do buy your books, don’t forget to sell them back. Who doesn’t love to get cash back? Again, while your college bookstores are on campus, you will get more money back by going through an online source. Marathon books offers used books, book rentals and is also a great book buyback resource.
4. Find a job
If you can fit it into your busy class schedule, a part-time job is a great way to bring in some extra income and give you some more flexibility with your spending. Waiting tables or working on campus can give you much appreciated money in your pocket.
5. Don’t eat out all the time
You’re busy, we get it. We also get that parents are not there to cook your meals. However, eating out every night gets expensive and not to mention, can be unhealthy. Teach yourself how to cook and make it a point to cook your meals at least a few times a week. You can even make it a fun event where your friends come over and help!
With the right mindset and know-how, it’s possible to make it through college without always being broke. Furthermore, creating good financial habits can help you stay financially fit for the rest of your life.