12 Ways to Save Money as a College Student
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12 Ways to Save Money as a College Student

Help me, I'm Poor

12 Ways to Save Money as a College Student

We have all heard the phrase, "broke college student." There is definitely some truth to that statement (I don't know any rich college students), but there are ways to ensure you are spending your money wisely. Here are 12 easy ways to save money as a college student:

1. Get a Part-Time Job

Now, I understand this isn't an option for everyone while they are in college, but if you feel that you can make the time between your classes and your studies, do it! Even just working a couple of hours one or two days a week can:

1. give you a much-needed break from your school work

2. give you work experience to put on your future resume as well as supervisors to use as references, and

3. ensure that you always have some sort of money coming into your bank account.

I have worked through all four years of college and I can honestly say getting a part-time job is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

2. Stop spending money on things you don't need

Take it from the girl who has about 500 shirts in her closet right now and only wears about 10 of them at most on a regular basis. When you want to buy something, stop for a minute and ask yourself, "Do I really need this? Will I use it more than once? Could this money go to something else that I need more than this?" Trust me, you don't need that cute black tank top that looks exactly like all of your other black tank tops.

3. Don't use credit cards for everything

I do have a credit card. The only thing it gets used for are big purchases that are necessary, but I can't afford at that point in time (unexpected car repairs for example). I also carry it with me everywhere in case of emergency, but I am not swiping my credit card for every little thing that I want. That black tank top that I want is not a reason to swipe my credit card. Unless absolutely necessary, go by the general rule that if you can't afford it without the credit card, you don't need it.

4. Make sure you actually pay off your credit card purchases

Make those payments on time every single month until you pay it off. All missing payments will do for you is cost you more money in late charges and lower your credit score. Also, making more than the minimum payment is always a good thing when you can afford to.

5. Sell the clothes you don't wear

Anything that I haven't worn in the last year gets listed online to be sold. It's a good way to clean out your closet and make some extra cash at the same time. I suggested Vinted.com.

6. Create a budget and stick to it

I have an excel spreadsheet set up for every single month of the year. Before a new month starts, I set up what I expect to earn and spend in that month. The top of my spreadsheet is my expected income for the month, underneath that I create a section for my monthly bills, and the section underneath that is "other" spending (food, clothes, concert tickets, etc.). As the month goes on, I keep track of all my spending on the exact same spreadsheet and make sure I don't go over any of my set budgets. It takes discipline, but it works. If you're not exactly sure how to create a budget of your own, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that can show you how.

7. Use coupons...but don't spend extra money just because you have a coupon

The contact solution that I use every single day costs me around $15. When I find a coupon for $3 off, I definitely use it! But when a clothing store gives me a coupon for $10 off if I spend $50 and I don't have the budget to spend $40, I'm not doing it! Just because it's a good deal, doesn't mean it's a good deal for you. If your financial situation can't handle it, don't do it!

8. Don't buy a $5 coffee before class every single morning

If you buy that $5 coffee every single day over the course of the entire semester, well...you do the math. That's a lot of money that you could be saving. We all splurge every once in a while, but doing it every single day is basically throwing your money away. You will survive without it.

9. Don't be afraid of off-brands or discount stores

You will find a lot of stuff in discount stores that are the same quality as the brand names for a fraction of the price.

10. Don't buy all of your textbooks in the bookstore

Amazon and Chegg will be your best friends. They both allow you the options to either buy or rent your textbooks and in my experience, books are always cheaper on these sites than they are in the campus bookstore. I only buy textbooks in the bookstore if I either can't find them online or if I need an access code (buying brand new is the only way you can guarantee a working access code).

11. Sell your textbooks when you are done with them

I have seriously made hundreds of dollars just by listing my old textbooks that I don't need anymore on Amazon. Do it immediately after the semester is over and you're more likely to find someone who needs it for the next semester.

12. Download Ibotta

Ibotta is an app that gives you cash back for items that you buy. You can use it for everything from clothes at a clothing store to everyday items you buy at the grocery store. If you shop online then all you have to do is go into the app and search the store you want to shop at. It will take you straight to the website to shop through the app. If you shop in-store, just scan your receipt from your phone. If you're going to buy these things anyway, you might as well get a few dollars back for them.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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