We’ve all heard someone say, or said ourselves, in some way, shape or form: “I have no money! I’m such a broke college student.” It doesn’t exactly take rocket science to figure out why so many students have this problem. College is expensive. While tuition is thousands of dollars, it doesn’t take into account how much money is spent on textbooks, supplies for your room and even gas money for people who have cars.
But time and time again, scores of students carelessly spend money on so many things, such as excess food that you never get around to eating and have to throw away, or that nice dress you only wore once that cost $60. Money down the drain. There are so many ways that college students waste money and don’t even know it. Here are some ways students can save money and make their college spending a little smarter.
1. Make a weekly budget plan.
This may seem like extra homework, but it will benefit you in the long run. Figure out how much money you usually make. Make sure that you give yourself a cap on how much to spend on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Not only do you save money by making a budget plan and paying close attention to how much money you have, you learn organization skills, which you will need if you hope to survive as an adult.
2. Take advantage of online school deals
Places like Amazon.com have special deals for college students, such as free trials for Amazon Prime, which includes free express shipping on many items as well as access to Amazon music and video, where you can see shows and movies that you may have thought about buying DVDs for.
Other places such as Best Buy and movie theaters offer students exclusive deals which could save you dozens of dollars. Lots of fast-food places, such as Papa John’s and Domino’s, also have general deals that anyone can take advantage of. Side tip: Sign up for as many places that offer discounts as possible. You would be surprised how much money can be saved.
3. Buy supplies in bulk.
Efficiency is a big thing in college, and having the ability to buy food, drinks and room supplies in large quantities is a definite plus. Don’t just buy one bottle of water, buy a whole 24-pack of water bottles.
Sometimes you have a craving for chips at the vending machine, but trust me, you’re better off buying an entire box full of those chips at a much lower price as opposed to simply just buying one bag of chips at a time.
4. Start thinking of long-term goals.
For those who have jobs, whether on campus or not, it’s hard to resist the temptation of buying stuff immediately with the money you received. Instead, consider saving some of that money for something you really want in the future. This move will make things so much easier for you.
Take some money out of every paycheck and save it for a rainy day. You could use some of that money to put towards a car, or even rent money for a place to live in once you graduate. Having a place to save some of that money will be a big help toward your post-graduation life.
Junior journalism major
Printed in the 04/13/16 issue.