As a college student, I understand the money struggle. It’s real, and it’s stressful. Whether you are putting yourself through college, or you work during summer’s and ration your spending money throughout the year, these tips will help you to save money, or at least spend less than you would. Without further ado, here are my money saving tips for college students.
- Familiarize yourself with places that offer student discounts. This is a pretty well known tip, but often times I find that people don’t use this tip as much as they could. I found this list of 100 stores that give student discounts to share with you. There are a bunch of places you can get student discounts; even if the store isn’t on this list, ask wherever you go, you never know until you ask! A couple of student discounts I take advantage of are through Spotify ($4.99/month) and at the movies!
- Make your coffee at home. I recently read an article on The Confused Millennial about what you could buy with the money you spend on coffee every day. You will save a significant amount of cash if you just make your coffee at home. I love the caramel macchiato from Starbs, so I buy some caramel sauce and vanilla syrup to make my own.
- Get water when you go out to eat! I don’t think I’m the only one that has noticed the ridiculous price of sodas at restaurants (like $2-3?!) That’s crazy, so as a rule of thumb, I always get water. If you’re really craving soda, by some from the store to drink at home (at my HEB, its $4.47 for a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper).
- Speaking of home, cook at home more often than you go out. Not only is cooking at home healthier (depending on what you make), it’s way cheaper. If you don’t know how to cook, create a recipe board on Pinterest. This literally saved me in college!
- Use coupons. I used to roll my eyes when my mom would ask me to cut coupons out of the newspaper. Do coupons really make a difference? YES. They do. Lucky for me, HEB has digital coupons, which I use all the time. The savings really do add up.
- Going out doesn’t have to be expensive, or cost any money at all. Go to a park. Go on a hike. Make a picnic. There are tons of things to do that don’t cost a penny. Also, check out your city’s website for a calendar of events (they’re usually all free, and actually sound fun.) I just found out my city has free yoga! Who woulda thunk?
- Take advantage of your school and apartment amenities. Why waste money on a gym membership when your school or apartment have gyms? Not only does my school have a recreation center, but they also offer group exercise classes, and for only $60 per semester, you can go to unlimited classes. My apartment complex (and my others) also has a gym, a clubhouse, and a pool.
- Shop at outlet malls. If you really need a new pair of shorts, or a shirt, try and go to an outlet mall rather than a regular shopping center or mall. You really do save money at outlets, just don’t buy more than you need because you’re feeling like you are getting a good deal.
- Make a budget. This varies from person to person, but creating a budget for yourself puts you in charge of your finances. You know exactly how much you have, and how much you can spend per week and month. This is really important, so you don’t end up spending all of your cash before the end of the semester.
- Start a change jar. Every penny counts, literally. Start putting your loose change in a jar, and watch it add up. You’d be surprised how much change can add up to.
These are some things I wish I would’ve known before coming to college. I hope they help you, and I hope you save some money so that you can handle your money better, and maybe save up for something special!
How do you save money?