As a college student, I’m always trying to find new money saving tips, since I am also feeling the whole “I’m in college and I’m broke” stress.
The funny thing is, though, that once I started looking I found so many! On top of that, most of these tips also promote green-living, which is a double-bonus in my book!
None of us have much money in college, let’s be real, which is why finding good financial advice for college students is so important. The question is, then, how you can minimize debt. And the answer is through smart spending!
1. Pack your own lunch
I’ve written a whole post on this, you can read it here. By packing your own lunch you can be healthier, save time, and save money! If you are getting two lunches for $5 each (which is cheaper than most on-campus lunches, for the record), you will save $500 over the year just by packing your own lunch! And let’s be honest, many weeks we can spend a lot more than $10 a week. So $500 is really a minimum when it comes to savings!
2. Make coffee at home
Similar to the above. Why spend 2 bucks on a coffee if you can make the same one for about 25 cents at home? Plus, you can always make a giant batch of cold brew and make 5 days’ coffee in one go!
3. If you do buy coffee, bring a re-usable mug!
Many coffee shops will give you a discount if you get a drink with a re-usable mug! Generally around 10%, and I know Starbuck does and, here in Canada, so does Timmies! (Good ol’ Timmies.)
4. Invest in a capsule wardrobe
Look at the clothes you already have—which are versatile? Could you buy 2 or 3 more pieces and create a capsule wardrobe, selling the rest of your closet for some extra cash? Here are some tips I’ve gathered about updating your closet on a college budget!
5. Take advantage of your student health plan
They’re generally very good, actually! Connor’s wisdom teeth surgery is going to be almost completely covered with ours, for instance, and I have 3 sessions with a RMT for my jaw covered, as well, which I fully intend to use come exam season!
6. Rent a room, not an apartment
It can be very tempting to get one of those super cute studio apartments when you’re living on your own, but resist the temptation! Rent a room in a house, or split the rent for an apartment with some friends, it’ll cut your costs on rent and utilities, and you’ll have companionship! It’s a win-win!
7. Buy day-old bread from the bakery
If you buy bread at the bakery rather than the grocery store, go to the day-old section and it’ll be 50% off! It’s literally just a day old—there’s nothing else wrong with it at all. Totally worth it in my books!
8. Look for student discount days at grocery stores
Almost all of them have one. The store I go to gives 10% discounts to students on Tuesdays, which is wonderful! Look to see when discount days are around you!
9. Buy food in bulk
It’s generally a lot cheaper to buy a 3-lb bag of onions than just one, or a 5-lb bag of carrots than just 3 or 4. Making cookies? Buy the big bag of chocolate chips instead of the small one. They last forever, and it’s about half the price.
10. Do activities in group
Want to go rock climbing? Grab a passel of friends and all go together to get the group discount! Same goes for bowling, laser tag, etc. If you’re thinking of doing something fun, bring along a ton of friends and make it easier on your wallet!
11. Take out spending money in cash
Figure out exactly how much you can spend a week and take it out in cash. Only have $30 for groceries? Only bring $30 with you. It’s the most fool-proof plan to not over-spewing—make it physically impossible!
So there you have it! Those are my tips for saving money in college. What are some tips you have? Are there any creative ways you save?