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At this point, we all know the daunting feeling of logging into your Venmo to pay your friend back for a coffee or grocery store run and seeing the ungodly small number next to your name; that number being your balance. Money can be a very stressful topic for college students. With the burden of student debt along with the expenses of food, utilities, and social life, it is difficult to catch a break. While of course you can just say “spend less money”, that is much easier said than done. Here are five tips to help you from breaking the bank this semester. 

  1. Put 10% of your paycheck in your savings account

    1. If you have an on or off-campus job, make sure you aren’t throwing your check away as soon as it ends up in your bank account. As soon as you see the money, STOP. Try just putting 10% of your paycheck into your savings so you have a little money saved for later. While it may not seem like much now, this 10% will accumulate overtime and future you will thank yourself. 

  2. Borrow

    1. While people may automatically think that bargaining is the best way to shop without spending a lot of money, the best way to shop is to not shop at all. If you need anything that you know you won’t use more than once or twice, rely on your friends and family for things of their own. Not only will this save you money overtime, but it will keep you from accumulating clothes and utilities that you will only use once and will sit in the back of your drawer or closet. 

  3. Unsubscribe from companies

    1. When companies send you emails about their latest sales that are “such a good deal”.They are doing it so you will spend money on their products in the first place. It most likely isn’t that good of a deal anyway. It may seem like you are saving money in the moment, but the only one who is gaining anything is the marketing guy. Don’t let the companies tempt you with their emails in the first place and hit unsubscribe!

  4. Lean on alternative forms of self care

    1. We’ve all had those rough days where we think the one thing that will solve all of our problems is to go on a small shopping spree. Retail therapy is a blessing and a curse. Instead of looking to Amazon or Target, go explore a new place with your friends, reorganize your room, or even dabble with some new yoga poses. These will all fulfill your craving for newness without the expense of a dollar. 

      Lady holding several shopping bags in both of her hands
      Photo by freestocks from Unsplash

  5. Reward yourself!

    1. Now, I know the last four steps have been very difficult. They have taken a lot of willpower and determination. But after a little money has been saved, don’t forget to reward yourself when you deem appropriate. Make those purchases worthwhile, something that will last you a longtime in quality but doesn’t hurt the quantity of your bank account.

Hi! My name is Nicole and I am a junior at Denison! I am majoring in English Creative Writing, minoring in Communication, with a concentration in Narrative Journalism. Along with writing, I love documentaries, being outside, thrifting, and crafting!