College is expensive. Based on experience, I can tell you that saving money and making the right choices are two of the most important skills.
Here are 24 tips to make saving money a little easier:
1. Budget your money. What are your expenses? How much money do you make? Allocate your money into categories for your expenses, and what is left over can go into savings, an emergency fund, and/or miscellaneous.
2. Know the average prices of items so you can comparison shop.
3. Don’t make impulse purchases.
4. Save your change and keep cash on you.
5. Take a shopping list with you to the grocery store and stick to it.
6. Buy quality clothes so they last longer.
7. Be honest with your friends about your budget and when you can’t afford to do things.
8. Start looking well in advance for big purchases.
9. Dry your clothes on a dryer rack.
10. Ditch bottled water and get a Brita filter.
11. Use your local library’s services, especially to borrow books for English courses.
12. Make the most of your groceries before buying more.
13. Borrow or buy used textbooks. Do you know people who have taken the course? See if they are willing to let you buy or borrow their book. Or buy used college textbooks on sites like Amazon or Chegg.
14. Buy or rent an e-book. E-books are usually cheaper than the hardcopy.
15. Limit eating out. If you live on campus and pay for a partial or whole meal plan, use it.
16. Don’t shop hungry when you shop for anything. You are more likely to stop somewhere for food if you are hungry when you are out. Instead, carry a snack in your purse or backpack.
17. Know your expenses and what you can spend more for and what you can’t. It will help you budget your money.
18. Buy used if you have a large expense (if the item is still in good condition or quality).
19. Keep track of your checking and savings accounts to know how much money you have versus how much you are spending. Avoid overdraft fees.
20. Use coupons on items you buy. You will be surprised at how much money you save.
21. Always ask if there is a student discount.
22. Get an on-campus job.
23. Apply for scholarships.
24. Spend money on the right things. You may want to spend more money on something if it is a good investment and will save you in the long run.