We Don't Always Have To Be Broke College Students
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Politics and Activism

We Don't Always Have To Be Broke College Students

Yay, breaking stereotypes!

We Don't Always Have To Be Broke College Students

The spring semester of my senior year in high school, I decided to get a part-time job to save up for my own car. My mom and I shared her car on some days, but most days, I rode the bus after school back home. Yes, it was embarrassing - to say the least. I had high hopes of making all of this cash and buying my first car before college started. Yes, I ended up getting a pretty decent car (2007 Nissan Sentra) but I was far from rolling in the dough I had so painstakingly saved up all summer. In fact, it was practically nonexistent. This can be contributed to my lack of judgment when it comes to shopping at the mall or deciding whether I want to throw together a dinner at home versus spending $6 to $7 on fast food. It all adds up fast. With that being said, I had a car payment, car insurance, and gas to figure into the equation. I so many times looked at my bank account, kicking myself for buying Chick-fil-a three days in a row that week and a pair of new shoes, because I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills.

Fast forward two years: I now work part-time at the Nike outlet just 15 minutes from my house, I live only a 3 minute walk from my University campus, and I retired the Nissan for a 2013 Kia Optima. With these investments have only come more bills and it's taken me a very long time to get my priorities in check, but I like to think that I've gotten better at saving my money. No, that doesn't mean that I don't still look at my bank account from time to time and have a mini heart-attack over how much money I've spent on ridiculous things but there are simple ways to break the stereotype we've created for ourselves as college students.

Stop eating so much fast food

I know, I know. Chick-fil-a for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is quite possibly why God graced us with the chicken sandwich in the first place, but it's a bad habit. Not only is eating fast food unhealthy but it can cost you an upwards of $200 a month! Which brings me to my next penny - pincher...

Hold off on the Dunkin/Starbucks

I love a medium iced vanilla bean coffee with cream and sugar as much as the next person (obvious Dunkin addict over here) but buying coffee for $3 every single day can cost you $21 a week! Instead of buying your coffee, invest in a coffee maker and brew your own each morning. You'll still be able to take on the day like a boss, and it will cost you less.

Create a budget

And check it twice. I know this sounds super cliche but creating a budget is a surefire way to save money. By scoping out your bank account and determining how much money you spend monthly, you'll be able to pinpoint what exactly is causing your bank account to dwindle. You'll also be able to a lot yourself a set amount for necessities each month so the rest can go into savings! Necessities being bills, food, etc., not the cutest accessory to hit the market (that's what were saving for, right?!).


If you can! Like I said, I only live a short 3-minute walk from my University campus but I go to school with plenty of people that I work with so why not carpool to work?! Splitting the cost of gas makes filling up the tank a lot more affordable. Plus, jam sessions.

Lower the bill

If applicable. When I got my very first utility bill and my jaw hit the floor. I'm so sorry Mom for all of the expensive utility bills I've caused you in the past, I hope this isn't my karma! I've learned though, a great way to save some money over time is to lower the cost of your utilities. I can't stress enough to turn the lights off when you leave a room, unplug things when you aren't using them, take shorter showers, and utilize the fan instead of the AC. For you real savvy spenders out there: if you're cool with watching nothing but Netflix, you'll save a lot of money not paying for cable each month, also!

Take advantage of student discounts


There is a whole website dedicated to stores that give discounts to students. Have fun!

Set a goal

Incentive is the best motivation for saving money! So maybe you're saving up for a new car, or you'd love that new pair of shoes in the store window whose price alluded you. Whatever the reason may be, set a goal! The reward will be that much sweeter in the end.

Saving money in college can be hard but it doesn't have to be! It's absolutely okay to splurge every once in a while. Saving money first starts with managing your money and being responsible.

Happy saving!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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