If finding a job seems a little daunting, never fear – there are various ways to save a little money here and there in order to get the most out of your collegiate and post-collegiate years.
Eat out less. This is a simple one that many people tend to overlook. Even if you eat “budget,” opting for $5 fast food meals instead of a $10-plus restaurant, those $5 meals will add up. If, hypothetically, you eat a $5 meal twice a day for a month, that’ll be $300!
So, instead of buying lunch, pack one. A simple sandwich is always good, or you can heat up leftovers and take that with you.
Instead of going out, you can always try having a “rotation” with friends. Have a friend cook dinner for a few of you once or twice a week, and you can repay the favor on other days. Not only is it easier to cook for two or more people, you also save money, time and energy.
Don’t drive. Gas prices nowadays are a wallet drain. If possible, just walk, bike or take the bus. Besides saving on gas, you’ll also save on parking and help the environment.
Find deals. No, you don’t have to clip coupons like a middle-aged parent to save money. Just be smart, look around at your options and make a good choice. Don’t just go in and buy whatever’s right in front of you. This applies to everything: groceries, movies, clothes, supplies and, as every college student knows all too well, textbooks.
For groceries and supplies, check for savings when you go to the store. Most stores offer discounts if you have a membership card, and don’t be afraid of store-brand items – they’re practically the same product, only without the name recognition. As for textbooks or movies and entertainment, look online. Amazon.com and half.com usually have great deals, potentially cutting your spending in half (just don’t forget to factor in shipping costs).
College students tend to complain about their lack of money, only to go out and spend lavishly. Just be smart - saving a little gives you extra money and also helps shape you into a responsible adult.