College is where you learn how to save a dollar. I am not kidding with you, I honestly learned and understood the value of a dollar. I wanted to save as much money as I could in college. You may here adults saying save money save money save money and it gets annoying, but they are right.
College is where you learn how to save a dollar. Click To Tweet
When you are in high school, your parents pay for most if not everything you need and want.
Here are some tips:
- Grocery Shop versus Eating Out – The three times I decided to grocery shop in college (follow what I say not do – lol) I saved so much money! I would make pot roast, tilapia, baked chicken, and pork chops; those were my top items. It felt so good to eat healthy and make my own food, and I would have LEFTOVERS. So people may feel that when you grocery shop you are spending hundreds of dollars and if you get fast food that is no more than $10. Think about it, if you spend around $10 on each meal for seven days (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), that is at least $210 a week which averages to about $840 a month. When you grocery shop, for just yourself, it is maybe $300 if you are spurlging. You will be saving about $540 a month if you grocery shop!
- Saving Refund Checks – Saving Refund Checks is valuable and that is a way to save money. A lot of college students love when refund checks come in the mail (or direct deposit). However, I have noticed many people using it irresponsibly. Weaves, new shoes, and a shopping spree are not priorities, so why are you spending your refund check on it?
- Coffee Maker – You may think this is a joke, but I promise you it is not a joke. Coffee (if you are anything like my college self) is your best friend. Your late study nights, projects, and work will all require coffee. I used to go to the Valero/Stripes Gas Station and get a cup of coffee, Starbucks was always an option, and I would continuously get coffee from the jobs I had. If you have your own coffee maker, it will save time and money, and let’s not forget how convenient it is.
- Credit Cards – They are not helpful. What is the point of having a credit card in college? I am 23, and I do not have a credit card. Now, if you are reading this and wondering how I am building my credit or assuming that I do not have any credit; let me ease your mind. I am building my credit THANKS to my Student Loans. So, you do not need a credit card to build your credit, that is not the only way. It is only entrapment. So, you do not need a credit card to build your credit, that is not the only way. Click To Tweet
- Costco or Sam’s Club – honestly you may want to look into getting a membership so you can buy in bulk or when your parent visit use their membership
- Housing (Pay Attention) – I know it ideal to live in your own apartments off campus, trust me I know campus Police are a buzz kill 75% of the time. Plus, it is insane how people can just walk into your room whenever they want (maintenance, etc). .I hated it in college. However, sometimes the cheapest thing is on campus living…not always! Only occasionally, because you need to take into consideration, you will end up paying it all back (student loans). I am not sure about other colleges, but mine had two different on-campus apartments. One apartment complex was extremely nice (high end), the rent was about $200 more. The other apartment complex was not as nice, and it did not have all of the amazing qualities as the other more expensive apartment. If you can afford the high end, by all means do it, but if you cannot afford it and you are trying to save money in college. Remember, you do not need all high end, it is ok.
- Utilize your Campus– You may be wondering what I mean by this, but most college campuses have a lot to offer! For example, you rarely need to go off campus, unless you just need to get off campus. You can buy food, rent movies, use the computer lab, get coffee, hang out with friends all on campus. That means saving gas! Whoot! Whoot! You will not need to purchase a gym membership because most universities now have amazing workout facilities. No lie, my college’s gym was fantastic, and the pool area was amazing! The campus has its own post office. Therefore, you can send mail, receive mail, buy stamps, and envelopes. Honestly, let’s just agree that campus is its own little town.
- Textbooks – DO NOT BUY YOUR BOOKS ON CAMPUS. Campus bookstores are great, but they are over priced. I went from spending thousands of dollars on textbooks from my campus bookstore to spending maybe $100 on Chegg. I love Chegg. I thank Chegg, and no this is not sponsored by Chegg. They are just the GOAT. Think smart and save money on textbooks. You may not find everything you need on Chegg because some classes have specific books that you buy ONLY from your campus bookstore, but that is ok. Look around and see if any friends have the book and are selling or would let you borrow it.
- Get a job – When you work it easy to get an income, and I just believe you should work in college, period. You can save your paychecks, and it is just healthy to have that income. I am not saying it has to be full-time and can be part-time, I recommend part-time (or a paid internship).
- Budget – look into budgeting. Set aside how much you’d like to save (you can save $10 a week or $10 a paycheck it all adds up. Set a price for grocery money, pampering yourself money, and whatever you mostly spend money on. It will be hard at first, but I promise it will get easier over time.