Being both a college student and someone who really likes to save her money can be very hard when you're off at school. It is easy to start spending money and not even realize that your credit card bill is already at $100 and it's only the second week into the month. Though going out for food, getting a fresh iced coffee, and buying that cute sweater from Marshall's is always worth it... saving that money and thinking smarter when it comes to where it goes will only benefit you and your bank account in the long run!
1. Make sure to set a monthly budget
This can be hard because you see the money in your account and you think that it will last. Yet, each week goes by and it can really decrease rapidly. A strategy that works for me is to make sure to set a limit for myself of how much I can spend in that month. I also make sure to add in if I will be working at all in that month. My budget is sometimes more than other months depending on how much I work. I have personally seen this to benefit not only me but my bank account because by having the budget I tend to either spend to the limit that I have set out or I end up under budget. It can be hard starting off especially because everyone has different limits and different amounts of funding, but in the long run, there really isn't anyone who wouldn't benefit from this.
2. Make that iced coffee or iced tea at home
Coming from someone who has a serious addiction to both Dunkin and Starbucks, this is much easier said than done. It can be so easy to spend $15 in a week on that iced coffee or ice tea. Yet, it is much more affordable and earth-friendly to buy a reusable cup and make your yummy drink at home. Some people may say that they don't have the time, but if you're really in need of that cup of coffee you will definitely make time. If you're someone who likes it iced that makes it even easier because you make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge and then its all ready for you in the morning. By making your drink at home it also saves your money for other more expensive adventures. It may seem small but it will definitely make an impact in the long run.
3. Pack yourself snacks from home
Buying a snack or lunch when you're out and about on campus isn't always the cheapest deal. So rather than spend $5 on a salad or sandwich bring something from home and save a few bucks. Plus if you spend the money on groceries its a waste to not use up all the food you bought. This is also a much healthier alternative because at times your school might not have the healthiest options. Overall bringing your own food not only saves you money in the long run, but it often tends to be the better, healthier option!
4. Look for deals in your favorite stores before you pay too much
Something that I have learned from my mom is to always look for the deals and have a coupon for what you're buying. Often that item you want is not going to be the same price two weeks from now and you can get it for a much lower price. With that said, look out for coupons that can be used for the items that you're interested in. This can be used for not only clothing but for food too. Always look for coupons in your newspapers or online before you pay too much for that Easy Mac or popcorn!
5. Student deals are everywhere!!!
Student deals are everywhere and sometimes not even noticed. I know from my own experience that some credit companies have deals for good GPA and grades. This is where they will give you a certain amount of money each year based on good grades or a certain GPA. I personally have a Discover credit card and they will give you $20 each year while you're a student when you have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Another great tip is that certain food places will give you a discount if you show your student ID and even at movie theaters. Overall student deals are everywhere yet sometimes hidden. They're out there just have to look hard!