Saving money. Sounds like a great idea, but it’s always so much tougher to do in practice than theory. Well it doesn’t have to be, not if you get creative about it. There are plenty of ideas out there and college students seem to be coming up with new ways to put a little extra cash in their pockets every year. If you find your cash flow to be lacking significantly, here are a few ideas you may want to consider to improve your bottom line.
1.Sell Some Things
How much stuff do you really need and how much of it are you currently using at the moment? This can be particularly helpful when you’re moving out of your home and headed off to college as a freshman. Your parents probably don’t want to hang on to all of the stuff that’s cluttering your bedroom closets and garage. Chances are they’re just going to convert your old bedroom into a guest room or office anyway, so help them out. Sell off the things you’re going to leave behind and take the extra cash to school with you instead.
It might sound time-consuming, but seek out all of the local merchants and businesses that offer student discounts all around your school. Every campus from Northeastern University to USC has some possibilities. You may be surprised at what you can get a reduced price on by just showing your student ID. Sure you’ll probably get a few bucks off at the local pizza joint or coffee house, but you can also get those sweet discounts on everything from car insurance to museums to movie tickets.
3.Cut Back on Utilities
Living with roommates is certainly one of the best ways to cut costs on rent but there are other ways to reduce your monthly living expenses. Roommates can help split the expenses on cable, power, internet, and so on, but go one step further and get the lowest tier of those items where you can. Decline the premium or platinum package on the cable and go basic, choose the least expensive plan for your cell phone with less data, and while you can’t choose a package for keeping the lights on, switch them off when you don’t need them!
I mean everything. Scour Craigslist for anything you need for your dorm or apartment. Used furniture is a lot less expensive than buying anything new so if you’re going to need a desk, a bed, and a chair, check to see if anyone is selling them second-hand. This goes for other necessities like textbooks. There is no reason to buy those new, go to the local campus bookstore and see if you can find used copies at reduced prices. Some places even rent textbooks. Try the library as well.
5.Eat at Home
Buying food at the supermarket is a lot less expensive than picking up food at a local restaurant (even with the student discount). Reduce the amount of times you eat out and if you have roommates you may even be able to split the cost of groceries with them. That’s more money in your pocket!