10 Ways To Live Your Best Life On A Budget In College

10 Ways To Live Your Best Life On A Budget In College

Balling on a budget is HARD, especially when you are in college!


Here are ten unique ways to get super cool free stuff, find good sales, save money, all while living your best life!

1. Download the Pocket Points app.

Chances are, you've already heard of this app. But if you haven't, here is the rundown: Pocket Points is an app geared toward college students. If you open the app, tap the button to earn points, and stay off your phone while in class on campus, while driving, or while studying off campus, you earn points for each minute you spend NOT using your cellphone. In college towns, such as Oxford, Mississippi, businesses accept Pocket Points that can get you discounts and occasionally free stuff. At a local gym, Pocket Points users can use the tanning beds for almost free! At participating restaurants, you can get a free appetizer or dessert.


Just about every chain store has some form of a student discount. At Best Buy, you can get a discount on laptops needed for school. At NastyGal, you can get almost 50% off your order! How awesome is that? There are SO many student discounts that we are not taking advantage of. Most stores, restaurants, and even clothing boutiques offer one form of discount whether it is 10 or 15% off, saving is saving.

3. Take advantage of the free stuff your college offers!

We spend thousands to attend these higher learning institutions. It is time for us to take advantage of the free services they so graciously offer. From free state-of-the-art gym access to downloading Microsoft Office for free, my university has so much to offer its students. Last semester, I paid $50 per month to go to a gym 10 minutes away from campus. This semester? I'm walking to the gym on campus (extra exercise!) and spending that $50 on something I really want- like frappucinos and cute shoes.

4. Participate in social media giveaways.

Yeah, I know it gets annoying constantly getting tagged in local boutique giveaways. Do I care? No. I'm getting free stuff, and you're just getting bothered. Once, I won a $150 gift certificate to a high end hair salon. Local stores do giveaways to get more interaction and more impressions on their social media pages, and they give away some awesome stuff, from jewelry to Yeti Coolers. Start tagging all your followers, and I guarantee you'll win something before too long.

5. Fill out surveys.

One of my favorites! Chickfila offers a survey on their receipts that you can fill out and get a free chicken sandwich. Free food is the best food, am I right? Lots of restaurants offer a similar deal, where you can go online, evaluate their service, and receive something for free.

6. Order from food apps.

Instead of calling ahead or ordering in store, download restaurant apps and order online! Often, restaurants would prefer customers to order online to prevent miscommunications. Restaurants offer really good deals when you order through their apps. Just last week, my family ordered pizza through the Pizza Hut app and got half-off all medium pizzas! College students spend so much on eating out, so let's start being conscious of the awesome deals that places offer.

7. Take advantage of other discount apps, also.

Target has an app, formerly called Cartwheel, that allowed customers to scan the barcode of each product they were purchasing and then scan at the checkout, and it also had app-exclusive sales. Another good discount app is Ibotta. Ibotta allows consumers to upload pictures of their grocery store receipts to get cash back for certain items purchased. There are also a multitude of coupon apps that creates a quick and easy way for users to find discounted items and good sales from their favorite stores.

8. Avoid buying textbooks from campus bookstores.

Usually, the official campus bookstore's prices are ridiculously inflated. If you're already a bargain shopper, then this will be easy for you. Use websites like Amazon and Chegg to search the ISBN number of the book you need and then rent or buy it in any condition at a price so much cheaper than what your bookstore offers. Always research your product before paying full price!

9. Get organized.

Create a budget for yourself each month and schedule your spending. You are less likely to buy unnecessary items if you have an allotted amount of money you are allowing yourself to spend. Instead of buying items on a whim, create a saving schedule, and purchase the item when you have enough money to buy it twice. The Save Twice, Buy Once is a great rule of thumb to go by when you're on a budget so that you don't drain your bank account on a spontaneous purchase.

10. Become a brand ambassador!

You probably haven't seen this in any other articles or websites about saving money- but it is an awesome and fun way to do so. You can almost always find a brand or company looking for people with decent Instagram followings to rep their items on your Insta page! Instagrammers who are in college are very appealing to upcoming brands because of our networkability and resources. We are tech savvy and have access to thousands of potential customers because of our age and the fact that we attend college. Usually, brand ambassadors represent a company's merchandise in exchange for free items or discounted items. This is a great way to get a free wardrobe!

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Bethel Church's Gay Conversion Program Is A Huge Problem And We're Not Talking Enough About It

Religion doesn't give us a right to purposefully abuse a community.


About a year ago, in May of 2018, Bethel Church in Redding, California came out publicly against a set of proposed laws which would make it illegal for a licensed mental health professional to perform 'conversion therapy' in order to change the sexual orientation or same-sex attractions of a person. The head pastor of the church asked for members of Bethel Church to act against the three bills (California AB 1779, AB 2943 and AB 2119), urging them to contact their congressmen and ask for them to prevent the laws from passing, all in order for them to continue their harmful ex-gay ministry.

Today, Bethel Church is under scrutiny for the role out of their ex-gay conversion initiative, CHANGED. The website of the initiative movement claims that any change is possible through Jesus, and encourages those who identify as LGBTQ+ to abandon the "pain, rejection, and despair," of being LGBTQ+. (CHANGED website). This movement is not the first, but just the next in a long line of organizations claiming to provide change for those who identify as LGBTQ+, despite this being an impossibility. Ex-gay programs, in actuality, only serve to push those who go through them farther away from the love of God.

Conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ people has been proven not only to be completely ineffective but has also been found to cause intense mental issues and in many cases, a strong correlation to suicide. Those who have gone through ex-gay therapy programs such as Exodus International or Focus on the Family's Love Won Out have admitted that even after successfully completing the program they had not experienced a change in their same-sex attraction. The founder of Exodus International even claimed that by his estimation, 99.9% of those who had gone through his organization's therapy had not experienced any change in their orientation. Exodus International was considered intensely controversial, and their methods considered by most, if not all, mental health professionals to be incredibly damaging. Those who come out of conversion therapy experience intense feelings of depression and often experience a lack of self-worth.

As a Christian, I grieve every single time someone claiming to believe what I do comes out and condemns the LGBT community. It hurts to see one community I am a member of being hateful towards another community I am just as proud to be a part of. This news stung a little harder because I for a long time have loved Bethel Church's worship band. Their songs have spoken to me in ways I cannot fully describe, helping to bring me closer to the God I believe in. A God who I can say for certain would never advocate for something as damaging and destructive as conversion therapy. The same Jesus who Bethel's songs worship is the same Jesus who calls us to love everyone. Bethel Church is not following this call, and it is important that we speak out against conversion therapy, and not allow our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to carry out such a harmful program.

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To The Military Girlfriend Going Through Her First Deployment

You can do it.


Seven months ago, I had one of the hardest goodbyes in my life. I said goodbye to the person I love the most in this world. I had to wait patiently for the next year to go by before I could hug my best friend again. And it is hard.

But it is worth it. I'll take every second of it if it means that my best friend comes home safe. I'll relive all the lonely moments if it means we no longer have to be at a distance. I would do it all over again just for him.

I never imagined that I would be a military girlfriend, but I'm so glad that I am. I have learned so much about myself through this journey, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.

At the start of this journey, we knew that this would go one of two ways: we would either grow stronger or this would be the end. We weren't planning on making this the end, but we knew that a deployment can push a couple to their limit.

And it has been rough. It's tough continuing your life without your best friend physically by your side. It's hard coordinating busy schedules from opposite ends of the world, just to have time to Skype for a few minutes. It's scary not being able to talk to them at all times and fearing what might happen. And it's even harder when you aren't a point of contact.

But through it all, we've both learned a lot, not just about each other but about ourselves. Spending so much time apart helped us realize our goals in life and how much we are willing to compromise in order to make our relationship work.

I'm not going to lie, it is very hard. It is emotionally and mentally heavy. Even with a community, it is hard, but without one, as I have had, it feels almost impossible. Deployment loneliness is such an extreme.

But it is through that difficult time that you learn some of the best lessons. You learn who your friends are. You learn how much your families support you and your partner. You learn about who you really are. And those lessons are some that I wouldn't trade for the world.

I've watched myself grow into a different person because of this, and it has made me so much better. While I always was alone, I learned how to enjoy my company more. I discovered some new interests that I never realized I had. I worked and studied harder to get my mind off of the loneliness. I have bettered myself because of this.

Not only have I grown as a person, but my relationship has also grown as well. We've stuck it out through the hard times because we know how much we love each other. When one of us falls short, the other will easily forgive because we know how small those mistakes are. Our trust has grown because we've had no other choice. We've started making plans for our future because we know we want one together. We've simultaneously grown individually and as a couple, realizing our strengths and weaknesses, our goals for ourselves and each other, and we've allowed a tough situation to better us.

When I looked online for some advice on how to endure such a difficult, exhausting life experience, I found very little help. So I'm writing this article for all the girls like me out there. All the ones who are saying goodbye to their whole world for a while. The girls who might not have a community like most military wives do. The girls who are too old, yet too young for their circumstance. The girls who are surrounded with love, but still feel alone without their partner. The girls just like me.

Take this time to figure out who you are. Life is constantly changing, and so are you, my dear. It can be a hard journey, but it is so rewarding. Take this time alone to dive deep and really uncover who you are, what you want and everything else about yourself. It is not selfish to put yourself first, especially in tough, stressful situations.

If you don't have a community, build one yourself. I've made some of my closest friends during this time, and I've grown closer to others that I never imagined.

Discover. Travel, take up a new hobby, take a few different classes. Really put yourself out there and try something new. Really spend this time on yourself.

But lastly, be supportive and loving. Just as this is a very hard situation for you, it's even worse for them. Always be there to support your partner, no matter how hard the times get. You'll never get back this time, use it to your advantage. Just because they aren't physically present, that doesn't mean that they are absent. Grow closer with them, tell them everything, good and bad, and always, always, remind them how much you love them.

It's defining moments like these that lead up to the best stages of your life.

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