5 Ways to Save Money While You're In College

We all know the stereotype, “all college students are broke,” and frankly, it's probably true.  However, it's not a problem that is ONLY faced by college students. A lot of people have trouble saving the money they’ve earned, so I’ve compiled some useful tips that might help you save a little bit of money so you make sure you can pay your bills!

1.) Keep half the paycheck

We can all agree that working part-time doesn’t rake in the cash we all want, so how can we spend money, without spending all our money?  One way is to keep half the paycheck you get. If you get a $100 paycheck, put $50 in the bank immediately, and you still have $50 to spend on whatever you want. This can include your morning coffee, going out with friends, or whatever you need from week to week.  However, you are still saving half of the paycheck for later.

2.) Cook food at home

If you know you are going out on Friday night, you might not want to spend $20 on dinner every other day of the week, so the solution? Cook meals at home!  We all know that groceries can get expensive, however, it won’t be that expensive if you are splitting it with your roommates. In addition, you’ll save a lot more money cooking your own meals and eating leftovers than you will buying dinner at a different (or the same, if we’re being honest here) restaurant most days of the week.

3.) Keep a swear jar

It sounds kind of silly, but if you commit to putting a dollar in the jar every time you swear, you’ll probably save a good amount of money.  In the grand scheme of things, a dollar isn’t a huge deal, however, after a week or two, $20 is much more significant. And after a few more weeks, $40 is way more significant.  It's never going to be a get rich quick method, however, if you have a spending problem (and a swearing problem) it can help you save that money for things you really need to pay (Like bills--those are important).  You could also make a jar for things other than swearing of course, but make it reasonable. What’s something you do all the time? Use it to save money!

4.) Walk whenever you can

Transportation can get expensive!  All of those Ubers and Lyfts get you to your destination, but if it's in walking distance, you’re paying money for no reason.  Everyone’s idea of walking distance is different, however, if it’s less than 5-10 minutes away, you can probably walk there (barring any safety concerns).  By walking, you will save the $5-10 for the ride. Not only that, but you will also get some (light) exercise in!

5.) Create a budget plan

Creating a budget can help you see how much you are spending. I don’t know about you, but when I’m buying things with a credit or debit card, I don’t always keep track of what I’m spending.  Creating a spreadsheet of information surrounding your purchases can help you budget better. If you see how much you’re spending, you’re more likely to resist splurging on things you don’t necessarily need.  If you know how much you bring in per month, you can use that and factor in your bills to determine how much disposable income you have to spend on other things you don’t necessarily need. Knowing how much you have to spend is an important part of saving money.

BONUS TIP: Coupon

Couponing isn’t something everyone takes advantage of, but if you’re able to take advantage of sales and promotions, it will help you save a lot of money.  There are a ton of stores that provide student discounts, grocery stores that have coupons, and plenty of places that have huge sales. There is no reason to pay full price when there are ways of saving money!  Also, don’t spend more money on brand name products when store brand products are typically the same thing--Two bonus tips in one!