As I often am reminded by my bank account, college ain’t cheap. The cost of tuition, food, books, and housing can really add up fast. So, I have compiled a list of some habits of mine that help me both make and save money in college!
1. Create an Amazon Prime Wishlist
I cannot begin to emphasize enough how much I appreciate having an Amazon Prime Wishlist. I use my mom’s Amazon account, and a few months ago I decided to make a wishlist on her account called “Carol’s List”. Now, everytime I feel the sudden impulse to order stuff like charcoal toothpaste or colorful pens, I instead add these items to my wish list. So whenever a holiday roles around, or my grandparents want to send me something in the mail, my family knows exactly what to get me! This not only saves them time from having to go to a store to pick out something for me, but it also saves me from receiving a gift that I didn’t really want and having to spend my own money on the things I do.
2. Carry a Water Bottle at All Times
I won’t lie. It continues to shock me when I see people spending money on bottled water. Not only is environmentally unfriendly, but it is such a waste of money! Many places charge over $3 for bottled water that you could easily get for free at the dozens of refill stations across campus. Additionally, bringing your own water bottle to restaurants means you’ll be less likely to cave and spend extra money on fountain drinks. It also helps prevent having to awkwardly ask the Chipotle cashier for a water cup and having to then go fill it up knowing that all the employees are watching to make sure you don’t fill it up with lemonade.
3. Download Venmo
I know what you’re probably saying to yourself: Duh, everyone has Venmo. Yet, I have once again been surprised so far in college by how many people don’t have this money sharing app! Venmo essentially eliminates the dilemma of reminding your friends that they owe you money. Instead of having to contemplate how many days or even weeks you should wait to remind someone that they owe you money, instead, you can simply “request” the exact amount via venmo. Again, I know this is a pretty obvious money saving suggestion, but I personally still know people that owe me money but simply haven’t (and probably will never) get around to it because they don’t have Venmo.
4. Sell Your Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories on Poshmark
In a previous post, I wrote a more detailed story of my experience using Poshmark but I’ll just explain the major idea: Poshmark is an app that allows women (and men) to sell their unwanted or unused clothing, shoes, and accessories to others online. Poshmark does take a small percentage of the profit for each sale, but the overall experience is so user friendly and they make the shipping process so easy, that I doesn’t bother me one bit. In one month alone, I profited more than $130 on things that were just laying around unused or unworn. I would definitely encourage every college girl to download the app and upload pictures of their unwanted clothing! It’s such a simple yet lucrative way to make a some extra cash!
5. Track Your Spending Habits
I think it’s safe to say that most college students don’t track their spending habits. Instead, it’s usually more of an oh no I’m too scared to look at my bank account to see how much damage I did last month kind of thing. And I get it, budgeting is definitely not something fun. But what is fun is saving lots of money. By tracking my spending habits, I can see the things that I tend to spend way too much money on (food) so that I can be more aware the next time I am tempted to go pick up some Chick-fil-a. Being aware of how and where most of your money is being spent can really help in making more informed and wise purchasing decisions which will no doubt save you lots of money over time!