Everyone knows the story of the struggling college kid who is living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Ramen noodles. The expense of food, drinks, social events and school activities does not have a positive effect on any college student’s wallet. Here are some tips on how to save money without sacrificing your social life.
- Don’t get a credit card if you can’t pay it off every month. Yes it may be a good idea to start a line of credit so you’re not in trouble when you try to make a major purchase or get a loan, but it’s important to be able to make full payments every month. Having credit card debt is much worse than having no credit line.
- Save on food! The amount you spend on food can make or break your bank account. Grocery shopping, even better with a store money-saving card and a few coupons, is one of the easiest ways to save money. Although it may be a hassle, especially in the cold weather, you’ll lower the average price of each meal. Avoid eating out or ordering for delivery: these both require tips and/or extra charges.
- Drink tap water! Water from your faucet is processed the same way bottled water is. If you’re not a fan of the taste, get a water filter. Bottled water is sold at a higher price per gallon than gasoline, and we’ve been complaining about those prices for years!
- Look for student discounts. Many stores, entertainment venues and restaurants will have student discounts. Yes, you may have to be there at a certain time or day, but for the money you’ll save, it’s worth it. Also, keep in mind that many schools host or provide tickets to free activities for their students! Keep your eyes open for announcements about these events.
- Buy used textbooks. By using online book stores, you can save hundreds per semester. Books are ridiculously priced, but it’s too hard to keep a good GPA without buying them. By searching for the best price online, you’ll know where you can save money. Don’t forget to sell them back at the end of the term!
If you can follow these guidelines and simply be smart with your money, you’ll find that you’re stretching a dollar way further than you knew you could.