Going through college is complicated enough on its own. Doing it while you have to worry about how you’re going to pay rent, eat your next meal, or take care of that cell phone bill makes it even more stressful. Students hear about focusing on class and getting work done all the time, but it’s not easy when that elephant is in the room, and you can’t stop thinking about it.
That’s why it’s best to take the bull by the horns and plan. Whether you’re applying for school or are in the midst of another semester, take these tips and tricks to heart and apply them. They can and will help you save money now and later so you can actually focus on the homework at hand.
Print and Digital Coupons
Many grocery stores have coupons and coupon programs that you can use. There are also apps such as Ibotta that can help you not only save money now but can get money back later as well. For example, you can get cash back on various products on Ibotta and save it in an account. Once you reach $20 cash back, you can transfer it to a bank account or online money app such as PayPal. Being able to have those funds transferred when needed can be a big help.
Use Your Student ID
Discounts are available on everything from clothing to laptop and notebook computers for those with a valid student ID. For example, Apple, and Adobe offer reduced prices on tech, while hundreds of big brands like Madewell, Forever 21, and J.Crew give money off on clothing. Local restaurants and chains often give money off on meals, so be sure to ask before you order!
Buy in Bulk
If you or a family member has a membership to a place like Sam’s Club, then you can buy food and hygiene products in bulk, so you don’t have to make extra trips to get what you need. These bulk items are normally priced so they are less expensive than if you were to buy the same number of items one at a time. If you don’t have access to one of these stores, then keep an eye on when there are big sales and take advantage by buying as many as you can at that time.
Nothing is worse than spending a lot of time not finding something you need because it isn’t where you need it. As a result, you waste time looking and likely end up buying another one. Keeping the rooms in your place tidy and organized can help you not only keep track of what you have, it can help you determine when you need to buy more sooner so you can plan accordingly on the next trip.
Walk When Possible
Gas prices are inconsistent at best, and public transportation isn’t always available. If you find yourself in a position that you need to be relatively close somewhere, then take advantage and go for a walk. Not only will you save gas and funds from not going on public transportation, you will also increase your non-exercise activity thermogenesis. In other words, your health and wellness will benefit from it.
Buy Second-Hand Books
You have to have the textbook for many of your courses, but that doesn’t mean you’re forced to buy it brand new. There are online stores and sites like Amazon that sell many second-hand books. Find out which books you will need for your courses and try to find them at these sites and stores so you can save some cash. 10 Places to Buy Used Textbooks
Limit Dining Out
Going out to restaurants to eat can result in spending a lot of money very quickly. You could spend more for a drink in a restaurant than you would for a whole bottle of the same beverage in the grocery store. The time you save by eating out instead of preparing the food at home will be time spent trying to find other ways to make money because of what you spent. Commit to one day a week to eat out and have your other meals at home.
Here’s a bonus tip: limit the appetizers and order water to drink when you do go out. You could save as much as $10 by doing this alone, and you won’t consume as many calories.
Take Advantage of Amenities
Your school and other programs in the community may have amenities that students can take advantage of. It could be free items, discounts, services, or other things that make your life easier and better. Whatever they are, use them because someone else will anyway.
Always Look for Scholarships
Some scholarships renew automatically, and some don’t. There are also new programs and scholarships coming out all the time. Make sure you stay aware of what scholarships and grants come available so you can apply immediately. You may get declined, but that is the worst that will happen. If you get approved, more funds can help you move forward with peace of mind.