There is a huge difference between being broke in general and being broke in college. It's one thing if you live at home and you don't have money because your parents pay the bills and they have food for you to eat. College, on the other hand, is a whole different story. Being broke in college means you can't do your laundry (for those in a dorm), you have to skip meals, and you basically are stuck in your apartment/dorm and can't go out.
Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me save my money!
1. Do not go out to eat.
Okay, you heard me. You read this first tip and you probably already want to exit out of this article. But seriously, do not eat out whatsoever. If you do, maybe allow yourself a limit. Eat out once every two weeks or once every month. Another trick is to set yourself an allowance for how much money you can eat out with a month. Even if it's $20 a month, that's better than eating out five times a week. The biggest and best tip is to go grocery shopping. Load up on food that will last long. Don't be that college student that lives off chips. Buy pasta! Pasta is so cheap, Walmart sells a 3 pound box of pasta for about $5.
2. Stop partying every night!
This one is important. So many of my friends blow through their money or their allowance because they go out multiple times a week. First, you have to pay cover, then you pay for Ubers, and then you pay for food or alcohol. It all adds up and it is not pretty. Don't give in to peer pressure! If you want to stay in, then stay in! Limit yourself to how many times you go out. Maybe one a week or twice a week!
3. Do not buy textbooks from the school bookstore.
This tip is essential to saving your bank account. I search around before I have to buy my textbooks. I've found textbooks off of other websites for a much cheaper price. Do not ever buy a brand new textbook unless you have too! Either buy used or rent! I use websites like Amazon or Chegg and they work perfectly. I bought four textbooks this semester off of both Chegg and Amazon and they were all about $20-40 cheaper! Everyone is always too lazy to do the research but it pays off!
4. Don't buy bottled water.
This isn't a big tip but $4-5 dollars here and there really adds up. You should definitely invest in a reusable water bottle! If you're worried about drinking tap water or "dirty" water, buy a water filter! Those last a long time and provide water that's even cleaner than the ones you'd get from any bottled water pack.
5. Shop for steals.
This may seem like a lot of work but it definitely helps your piggy bank. I am selective about where I shop. I go to Target for somethings, Walmart for others, and Publix for some. If I want snacks, I try to go to Publix because they're often having BOGO deals or cheaper deals, such as two for $5. You save more money also buying the generic brand of things. Don't pay an extra $3 for something that is basically the same thing. Look around for nearby stores or markets that offer better prices. For example, in Tallahassee, there's Lucky's Market which definitely gives Whole Food's a run for its money and is just as great!
These are some great tips and tricks that will help you save your money! Nobody wants to struggle as a broke college student!