6 Ways To Save At The Beginning of the Year

As college students, saving money is a top priority. But with mounting student debt, books to buy and eating decent food, it’s hard to keep some money in your bank account. Here are some tips on cutting back and saving money that you can use before the semester stress really hits you.


Buy a 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner

I know, I know… a 2-in-1? Isn't that against some kind of hair-care law? Trust me, I was a little skeptical and concerned for my locks when I decided to try the cheaper alternative, but after a little time, I don’t notice the difference. Try buying a 2-in-1 instead of the pricier separate bottles. Put some coconut or argan oil on your ends to lock in more moisture if you need it.


Buy Baking Soda Instead of Laundry Detergent

One of the most expensive things on my shopping list is always laundry detergent. Decent detergents can get up to $15 a bottle, and that's more than you should be spending. What people don’t realize is that baking soda is a cheaper and better way to wash your laundry. Not only is it budget friendly, it is actually better for your clothes because it doesn't have the harsh chemicals that detergents have. It even brightens your whites. Make the switch and save big!


Get your Notebooks and Other School Supplies at the Dollar Store

While Amazon and Walmart are a little more convenient, dollar stores are the best way to save money on notebooks, paper, pens and pencils. The quality may not be as good as a Five Star notebook, but if you’re using it for a only a couple semesters and you’re not spilling coffee and cereal on in everyday, they are in good enough shape to be worth the cheap-out.


Stop Paying the “Pink Tax”

If you really look at the differences between men and women’s products, you will notice usually the only difference is the color… and its usually pink. Don't fall for it.  When buying body care products like deodorant and razors, look at the products meant for men and consider buying those instead of the women’s product. There is unscented deodorant and blue razors that work just as well as the expensive women’s brand, but much cheaper. The same goes for soaps, shampoos, lotions and shaving creams. Don’t keep falling for the trap.


Cheaper Dorm Room Decor

Who doesn't want an adorable dorm room? That was definitely really important to me as a freshman, but now I wish I hadn't spent so much money trying to create the perfect space (that I didn't even spend that much time in, I might add). I was throwing my money around on everything I thought was cute, but I should have done more research. You can find adorable tapestries, rugs, and even bedding on Amazon for half the price of what you get at trendy retail stores. Check out H&M Home also! While some of their stuff is a little up there in price, they have awesome sales.


Utilize the Dining Halls

Another huge mistake I made while living in the dorms was spending money on food every weekend. I thought I had to buy millions of snacks and drinks to stay happy in my dorm room, but the reality was I was eating at the Dining Hall with friends way more than I was snacking in my room. If you really do want snacking your room, see if you can bring back pieces of fruit from the dining hall to keep in your dorm room. It’s cheaper and healthier! Use your meal swipes to stock up on drinks and snacks - try to get to late night and breakfast meal periods, even if you don’t eat late night or breakfast often. Take what you don’t eat back to your dorm.



*All images courtesy of unsplash.com