Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Career > Her20s

Life Hacks for the Broke College Student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

It’s not a secret that college is expensive. And sometimes, with a heavy course load, sports or internships, you don’t have time to work. As a broke college student myself, I have scoured the internet and all social media platforms in order to find some clever ways to save my money. While it’s true money doesn’t buy happiness, we do live in a world where people pretend that is the case. Influencers are constantly pushing this mascara, that body suit, or this water bottle. It’s only human to be influenced by their posts and want to buy those things. If you’re like me and sometimes get caught up in trends, there are ways you can partake without breaking the bank.

1. Amazon Dupes

This obviously comes straight from TikTok. In every other video you scroll past, someone is suggesting a dupe for a rather expensive product. But they are a great resource. I have purchased several dupes of products that I would normally never be able to afford like Dior Lip Oils, Bene-tint Blush Oil and a Stanley cup.

2. Drugstore Makeup Brands

This is kind of similar to Amazon dupes. There are a lot of dupes for expensive products, especially cosmetic products, in drugstores that work just as well as the expensive stuff. Brands like E.L.F or Milani make some really quality makeup products for pretty cheap. It’s also more convenient to grab stuff here because drugstores are on every corner. Oftentimes, drugstore brands will have more variety within their products because they are cheaper to make. They usually have bigger shade ranges for foundation, as well as dozens of colors of eyeliner.

3. Look for Free Stuff

Before you buy something, look on Instagram, TikTok, or even just Google for any promo codes or coupons you can use. A lot of times, influencers will partner with brands and get their own specific promo code. I’ve used codes like this to get pictures printed and shipped to me completely free of charge. I’ve also gotten clothes, shoes, books, food and jewelry at a discounted rate just by simply searching the name of the company and finding promo codes. Even though it seems like common sense, this is a hack that a lot of people just don’t think of. So, the next time you’re online shopping, quickly search a couple apps to find at least one promo code. If you’re smart like me, you can use different emails to keep using these promo codes!

4. Plan Your OUtfits

This tip specifically applies to clothes. In my life, I have definitely bought an item of clothing only to realize I have nothing to wear it with. Then I’m forced to buy a few other things to wear it with and I just keep spending money. Before you impulse buy something, because it looks cute, try and visualize what clothes that are currently in your wardrobe you would wear it with. If you can’t think of an outfit that would work out, you probably shouldn’t buy it. You also shouldn’t buy something you’re only going to wear once. I have been guilty of this many a time. It’s really annoying too, because it’s always such a good outfit for that occasion, but it never seems to be appropriate for anything else.

5. Stop Caring About Trends

In this day and age, trends come in and out every single minute. One day something is super popular, and the next no one cares whether you have something or not. Even though I did say earlier I do sometimes get caught up in the trends, I do my best to think about what I actually want versus what everyone else is telling me I want. A lot of times, people buy things just to fit in with a trend, not because they actually like it. That is such a waste. You won’t be getting an award for fitting in and doing the same thing as everyone else. That’s boring. The things that stand out to others are the things that no one else has because they are unique and fit with your individual personality.

Delainey Muscato is a junior journalism major with philosophy and sociology minors. This year she is excited to be the brand deal manager, assistant events planner, and senior editor for the SBU chapter of Her Campus. In her weekly article for Her Campus, she usually writes about her personal experiences at college, as an intern, or just in life. Delainey is excited for her second year as a member of Her Campus and can’t wait to help new members be just as engaged in the club as her. Outside of Her Campus, Delainey is a very active journalist. She writes for a newspaper in Ellicottville, The Villager. These articles typically detail local events or highlight people in the area. She also just began writing for Tap into Greater Olean. This news site covers stories directly rooted in the Olean and Allegany area. This summer, Delainey spent five weeks studying abroad is Sorrento, Italy. In her free time, Delainey loves to spend time with her friends and family. She spends a lot of time reading on her porch at home. Delainey also loves to take her dog Nella on walks. Her favorite TV shows are The Office and Friends. Her favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. She also loves music and spends a lot of time discovering new music and perfecting her playlists. www.linkedin.com/in/delainey-muscato-b10134282