You may think that you will very rarely have to spend money while away at school because of the endless resources provided by your university. However, swiping your plastic card suddenly becomes more of a necessity! You can do some serious damage your bank account when you continually withdraw without a deposit. However, there are some easy ways to avoid that!
Rent your textbooks. In most cases, you will only ever use a textbooks once. If you are still interested in buying, try a website like Chegg that sells them for a cheaper price than the university bookstores. Also, keep your textbooks in good condition, as you can sell them afterwards.
2. Find something you like at the dining hall
Although it may not be your favorite place to eat, that unlimited meal plan can be your lifesaver. Find something you like there to avoid opting to eat out. Of course, grabbing lunch at a restaurant on campus. However, those $8 meals start to add up.
3. Take advantage of public transportation
Along with the stress of finding a parking spot, gas money adds onto that. Avoid the parking tickets and empty bank account by opting to take the bus or carpool on your way into campus.
4. Student discounts are your best friends
Why pay full price when there are businesses that'll cut you some slack for being a student? There are various apps, such as Uconnection, to help you find places in your area that have special deals going on.
5. Clean out your closet
There are many second hand stores that take in used clothes and give you money. If you can't see yourself wear something ever again, ditch it for cash!
6. Make your own coffee
Only get Starbucks for emergencies! You will save so much money if you get a coffee pot. If you have a Keurig, purchase a reusable k-cup. A large can of coffee costs way less than buying packs and packs of k-cups. They are simple to use and easy on the wallet.
7. Buy in bulk
You'll be surprised by how many razors, bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and q-tips you'll go through. Buying your toiletries in bulk can save money and late night trips to Walmart.
8. Tide Pods aren't needed
Just buying laundry detergent will ensure that you don't need to make every load of laundry the same size to not waste detergent. Also, you get more detergent for a lower price.
Grocery shopping for your apartment can ring up a higher price than you're expecting. Cutting coupons can be done while binge watching Netflix and save you some bucks.
10. Learn to love cheap alcohol
You don't need the best stuff to get you drunk. Settling for a cheap handle and using that money you saved for a good mixer is the better way to go. Or, just wait for your complementary cans of Busch from Frats on the weekends.
11. Plan your weekends ahead of time
Having everything figured out before hand gives you an opportunity to foresee what your bank account will look like after and sway your decision to continue to spend money. There are also many things to do on or off campus that don't require money. You could go hiking, go to the beach, or play some pickup soccer. Not everything you do has to come with a price tag.
12. Skip the late night fast food runs
Believe me, I understand Wendy's appeal on your way home from the a late night at the library. But getting a 4 for $4 3 times a week will not only drain your bank account. But also let the freshman 15 have the upper hand. Stock up on granola bars, Easy Mac, and ramen noodles for nights like these. You'll fill your belly for cheaper.
13. Appetizers can be a filling meal
Just because something is listed as an appetizer, doesn't mean it can't fill you up! If something on that list catches your eye, consider spending $6 on boneless wings as opposed to $11 on a burger you may not even finish. This can also help fight back against the evil freshman 15!
14. Who needs cable when you have the Internet?
Ditch your cable bill for Netflix or Hulu instead! Both have a large variety of movies and TV shows to keep your mind busy!
15. Pamper yourself
Keeping up with your hair and nails is hard enough when you don't have your favorite salon from home a couple minutes down the road. This gives you the opportunity to learn how to do some of these thing yourself. Painting your own nails, doing your own face masks, drawing your own foot bath, and waxing your own eyebrows will save you tons of money. Plus, doing this is a good excuse for a girl's wine night!
16. Store brands aren't terrible
Brand name food and toiletries sometimes can be more than $3 than store brands. Just imagine how much money you could save by buying Wegmans brand cereal and Equate floss!
17. Donate plasma
When in a pinch, there are some ways to earn some money without getting a job. Donating plasma may be the way. You are not only helping the people that rely on plasma donations for treatment of a disease, but you literally get money for sitting in a chair for a little bit. Sounds like a great gig to me!
18. Volunteer for a medical study
If needles aren't your thing, you could always take part in a study. But of course, always ensure your safety first before agreeing to take part.
19. Consider a part-time job
It may not be your first choice, but it does mean having cash coming into your bank account instead of always coming out. There are multiple places on and off campus to find employment at. And because you are a student, they will be flexible about hours and understanding of the needed study time.
20. Save up during the summer
Use that time you're sitting at home during the summer and make it into time to make money, The more you save during the summer, the less you have to worry about money during the semester.