Ballin’ on a Budget Like a Boss: Your Guide to Saving $$$

Whether you’re spending money left and right, trying to be a smart shopper, or just completely stingy with cash, it’s a known fact that money makes the world go 'round. Money is a universal language, and is basically needed for anything and everything. As college students, money may not be as disposable as we’d like it to be. If you don’t come from a stinkin’ rich family, or don’t have space in your schedule for a job, it gets hard to spend the little that you have.

Here’s a couple of (slightly bizarre) tips and tricks to help you get some extra cash!

Use Your Status to Your Advantage

Being a college student can suck sometimes, but it comes with a couple of perks. Several stores are nice enough to offer student discounts, so take advantage of it while you can and see which stores offer them. If you don’t know which stores offer student discounts, do a little research before your next shopping spree. If you can’t find the store you’re looking for, it doesn’t hurt to ask—best case scenario, they have discounts for students and you can save some money.  UNiDAYS is a great example of a student discount resource. Don’t be afraid to look for student discounts, they’re meant to help!

 

Start Looking for Coupons

Coupons can become your best friend when you realize how they change the shopping game. Unfortunately, not every store has coupons so be sure to look around for places that do have them, and consider shopping there instead.  If you’re living off campus, or don’t have a meal plan, grocery shopping can put a dent on your wallet. If you can’t seem to spend less when buying food, coupons can be a helpful solution. Similar to student discounts, you’ll have to do some research to see which places offer the best bang for your buck. There are a couple of websites that find coupons based on your grocery list (like flipp.com), so look into how you can save money when it comes to buying groceries.

Look for Online Jobs (That Aren’t Sketchy)

Many college students get jobs to counterbalance how expensive life can be. However, not many people have the time or means to get a job. Surprisingly, not every job requires you to leave the comfort of your room. Some people get lucky and find online jobs. This isn’t the best way to get some cash, but desperate times call for desperate measures. This is a tricky subject because you can’t believe everything you see on the internet. If you’re really short on cash but you can’t physically work at a location, see if there are any online opportunities. Do not get scammed or tempted by frauds!!!  If you’re considering an online job, look into the company and the job to make sure that it’s not a scam.  Use commonsense when searching and listen to your gut. Don’t give personal information about yourself and your bank account until you’re 1000% sure it’s not a scam. Certain online jobs are school oriented, so you could get paid for making notes and study guides for classes you currently take (ex: StudySoup). 

Get Creative and Use Whatever is Around You

It’s surprising how creative you can be when you’re in need of money. If there’s something you’re good at and can use it as a service (like doing eyebrows, doing nails or styling hair), you could get the word out and try to create a mini-business for yourself. If you lack talent (which is totally okay because everyone has their strong points), try to find other ways to provide other services. Maybe you could provide laundry service in your building or try to tutor for money. If you live in a state has bottle refunds, start collecting recyclables and exchange them for its 5 or 10 cent refund. It might not sound like a lot to only get that much from one bottle or can, but if you regularly buy water bottles or drinks, they can stack up and you could make maybe $2-$5 for 20-100 bottles/cans. Some people dumpster dive to get refundable bottles, which is admirable. However, it might be better to stick with your own trash or neighbors/friends. Any creative idea that could get you some extra cash (and it’s not illegal) can help you to pocket a little extra cash.

These are just a few tips to help you find ways to save and earn extra money. If you still can’t manage to save money, try to sit down and budget properly and stick to a strict spending schedule. If you can, look for job opportunities on or near campus so it could fit your schedule better. Start saving little by little to see the long term effects of your decisions. It’s not rocket science, so have faith and a little self-control. You can do it!