Being a college student, I know how expensive school can be and how important it is to save money. However, I also know how much students like to spend money. Here are some things I’ve found that have helped me spend my paychecks wiser and maybe they’ll help you as well.
1) Use the Student Super-Saver religiously. It’s free and you’re on campus all the time. There’s no reason not to have one.
2) Goodwill is a student’s best friend. I’m not one to shop regularly at Goodwill. It’s not that I have a problem with consignments, but I think that the smell of consignments grosses me out more than anything. If you’re like me, suck it up. Find something cute and go home and wash it. By that time, I promise it will smell normal. If Goodwill still doesn’t seem appealing, try Ross. It’s not as cheap as Goodwill, but you can find cute, brand new clothes for a good price! And of course, these places are not limited to just clothes. When I moved into my new house, I found dishes galore, which helped out A LOT. Pssh. Who needs Wal-Mart?
3) Lay off the specialty coffee. My mother is a store manager at Starbucks, so needless to say that at one point in time I was spoiled on non-fat Venti White Mochas and Carmel Macchiatos. Lucky for my mother, (since she was paying for it) she was transferred to a store in Rifle, so I couldn’t get Starbucks any time I was “in the neighborhood” like I used to. (Believe me, I tried. It’s expensive.) It was hard, but consequently, I had to cut back. I still live off of coffee, but instead of $5 for a drink, it costs me $8 to buy my own 33 ounce tub of coffee, which lasts me… a long time. It also only costs about $3.50 for vanilla creamer and $2.50 for a five pound bag of sugar. You can of course, go without creamer and sugar…if you want your coffee to taste like crap. Regardless, it will never be Starbucks, but for about $14, I can have a decent tasting cup of coffee every day for a long time as opposed to three White Mochas from Starbucks. I am quite proud of this feat…..but did I mention that my mom transfers back to a store in Grand Junction in less than a week? Uh-oh. Here we go again.
4) Get rid of nasty habits. Cigarettes are one of them. I’ve never smoked in my life, so this isn’t really from personal experience, but I know of several people who have taken this advice. I can’t even image how hard it would be to quit (especially if you’re doing it cold turkey) but I know that cigarettes are expensive, and if you smoke a pack each day, I can totally understand how you have absolutely no money. Just think how much money you’d be saving if you kicked that habit. But I’m not just singling out smokers. Throwing parties every night (or even every weekend) isn’t good for your wallet either, even if you’re buying the cheap stuff.
5) Find cheaper ways to entertain yourself. What’s the use of having a big screen TV when you don’t have cable? It’s called Netflix or Red Box. I know many college students that utilize these resources already. My roommates and I don’t pay for cable because we’re never home enough to watch it. It’s not worth the money at all. Not to mention, there’s nothing but mindless crap like Jersey Shore on it anyway. At least with Netflix, you can watch a movie at your leisure and it costs considerably less. Most people rent Red Box on the nights they actually plan to watch a movie, therefore only costing them $1.
Check back within the week for five more ways to save money.