College is rough. Simply because… the majority of us have student loans, courses are forever getting harder, and we have no money. To solve this problem here is an easy and simple guide on how to make and save money in college. These tips will help you survive the never ending battle of loan payments and debt, plus learn to be frugal about your expenses!
Numero Uno. Get a Job.
Get a part-time job. Now, if this seems completely unattainable because you’re majoring in something extremely difficult or you’re taking a large class load then scroll down and read the section called ‘side-hustle’. Otherwise, get your butt in gear and get a part-time job! This small cash-flow will allow you to pay for small expenses like food or school supplies. Better yet, put some of that money towards your student loans!
Pay with Cash & Stash the Change.
Paying with cash will make you think twice about what you’re spending it on. Physically handing over that money is a lot harder mentally than simply swiping a card and thinking you’ll look at it later. Plus, when you pay with cash you’ll have spare change! Keep those coins in a small jar, I promise they’ll add up!
Stop Ordering Takeaway.
I like to use the word takeaway simply because I think it sounds better than takeout. But anywho… why the heck are you eating out so much?! Make your own food. Plus, when you make your own meals, they’ll probably be healthier! Here’s my College Girl’s Guide to Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget. Also, please stop buying coffee from the coffee shop every day. You can make your coffee in your dorm room and I promise it’ll be just as delicious! Read Why You Should be Making Coffee in College.
Make a Budget.
Honestly now, do you really think you can manage your money without a budget? Creating a budget will allow you to see where you’re spending money and where you shouldn’t be spending money. For a month, keep track of everything you’re spending. This includes food, clothes, rent, phone. EVERYTHING. Now categorize your expenses and recognize your habits. Do you order too much takeaway or maybe splurge on clothing too often? Take note of your “required” expenses like your rent, electricity, and phone bill. Also, read How to Pamper Yourself on a College Budget. Click on the image below to download this free Monthly Budget Planner PDF!
Do Free (or nearly free) Activities.
Spending $80 at the aquarium is not a free or nearly free activity. Spending $10 at the pumpkin patch is. Take note and learn from this! Need some more free or nearly free ideas?
- Have a picnic
- Go Hiking
- Go to the local pet shop and pet the puppies
- Host a girls night in – popcorn & movies
- Have a photoshoot with your friends (take each other’s pictures)
Say What? Side-hustling simply means making money in a non-traditional, inconsistent way. For example, you could… babysit, walk dogs, sell old textbooks, sell old clothing, sell anything that you don’t use, make a blog, write a book, develop an app, become a photographer, etc. Find something that you’re passionate about. This doesn’t necessarily need to align with your major or field of study. You could offer tutoring or music lessons, there are countless options!
You can find some really good deals if you’re willing to look for them! Shop the clearance rack, the dollar store, and thrift shops! Have a favorite store or brand that you just can’t pass up? Learn and know their sale cycles. Chances are, every year there will be the same 40% off deal at the same time as the year before! Also, check out the app HauteLook!
Use Coupons and Discounts.
Who doesn’t love a good discount?! If I might add, you’re a college student and you have a college ID. There are PLENTY of places that offer student discounts, hop on that bandwagon ASAP and save yourself some bucks! (Check out The Ultimate List of 35+ Student Discounts.) Free newspapers on campus also have coupons in them! Know there’s an expensive activity or trip coming up? Keep an eye on Groupon or Living Social, chances are you’ll be able to score a deal!
What are some of the ways that you save money?