We've all heard the cliche about the broke college students. It's not till you get to college till you realize just how quickly your money could disappear. Now, as an officially broke college student, I've picked up a couple tips to make that $3.75 you have left in your checking account stretch until the end of the semester.
1. Use your meal plan
You have it for a reason, so use it. My first week of college I spent the majority of my time eating at the restaurants on campus rather than using my meal swipes. And in the end, it really wasn't worth it. Dining hall food can be unappealing at times, but in the long run, it'll save you so much money. Save eating out as a treat for yourself, rather than an everyday occurrence.
2. Rent your textbooks
I cannot stress this enough, if you have the option to, ALWAYS rent your textbooks. I waited till syllabus week to buy all of my textbooks and felt rushed by one certain professor to obtain the textbook, this led me to panic and ended up buying $200 worth of textbooks for a single class. Selling your textbooks is always an option, but you never get back the same amount you paid for it, so it's much safer to rent.
3. Take advantage of your school's night transportation options
At Rutgers, we have a bus system. After the buses stop running there's a service available that will transport you from campus to campus. Many universities have these available and it's a much cheaper option than an Uber. If Ubering is your only option, try to order it before the rates spike or take one with multiple people, so you can split the fare.
4. Keep food in your dorm
Dining halls close at certain times, and unless your school has an after-hours takeout option in your dining hall you could be stuck ordering out for dinner. Keep snacks or microwaveable food in your dorm so you won't have to order out, it's more convenient for you and will save you a couple bucks.
5. Invest in a reusable water bottle
I cannot stress enough my belief on how unnecessary it is for someone to pay for water. College campuses are filled with water fountains, invest in a reusable water bottle so you can fill it up throughout the day. You'll quickly notice how much money you're saving when you're no longer spending $2.00 on water twice or three times a day.
* * *
When it comes to saving money in college, you quickly pick up tips here and there. The most important of all being download Venmo and don't be that person that doesn't Venmo.