Saving Money as a Remote Student

You’ve probably gotten tired of hearing this, but this semester is a little different for everyone. Some people are on campus, some are living at home, and some are living on their own (or with friends!) for the first time. If you’re part of that third group, you’re probably more responsible for your living costs than you were before, so it’s great practice for the ~adult world~ and post-grad plans.

  1. 1. Tip #1: Only order food for special occasions

    In a pandemic, you shouldn’t be going to sit-down restaurants anyway, but even ordering off of Door Dash or any delivery service is going to add up. Take this time to figure out food basics you can buy from a grocery store, and try to order takeout sparingly. Especially if you’re living with friends, try out at-home recipes to strengthen your cooking skills and make meals fun!

  2. 2. Tip #2: Thrift

    If it’s your first time in an apartment, chances are you’ll have to buy some furniture. Desks, bed frames, and storage can really add up if you’re not careful. Check out local thrift stores or Craigslist to see if there’s anything in good condition. Amazon also has a great selection but can be more expensive for similar quality products. Goodwill is also a great place to find dishes—  most are donated because a few pieces broke and they can’t be sold as a full set anymore. If you only need plates and bowls for 1-2 people, it’ll definitely work. There are also other amazing finds at thrift stores—  end tables, kitchen storage, and more! I found a huge mirror for only $20 a few weeks ago that would have definitely been over $100 in a normal store. 

  3. 3. Tip #3: Get a grocery store card

    My friends know about my love for Kroger (so many deals! fuel points!) but it’s actually a lifesaver. I pay with my own credit card, but I use my parent’s card number to take advantage of coupons and deals. If you’re near a store that has similar deals or rewards-based programs, become a member or open a credit card to save! Some of this is easier said than done, but if you’re able to, you’ll end up saving a few dollars a month, which will add up over the year. Kroger also has a fuel rewards program, where you can get cheaper gas depending on how much you spend in the store. If you’re driving long distances between campus and home, it’s really helpful!

Looking at my spending this first month in an apartment, there are definitely costs I didn’t think about when making a budget. It’s been a bit of a learning curve, but now I can look at my spending habits and see what costs are necessary and where I can cut back. Using tips like these can help you save money will still having fun!