University is a time when most students don’t have much extra money to spare. You may not have time to work during the school year, or you may have a part-time job to cover living expenses like bills and rent. Either way, most of us don’t have a lot of extra money for purchases that aren’t necessities. If you’re in this situation, the tips I’ve included below may help you save money in a few small ways.
1. Download apps affiliated with your favourite stores
Whether you’re looking to save money at a trendy clothing store or one night when you’re really craving McDonald’s, most stores offer phone apps that include special offers and sometimes rewards programs. It may not seem like you’re saving much at first, but over time using these apps can save a significant amount of money!
2. Utilize your student discount
You may be surprised by how many places offer a discount for students. For example, a lot of grocery stores offer 10% off on Tuesdays if you present a valid student ID card. Planning your weekly grocery trip around this incentive can help you save a few dollars each week, which will become noticeable in the long run.
3. Use a credit card with cash back or some other points system.
Using a credit card can be dangerous if you don’t have the money to pay it off, but if you get the right card and pay it off on a regular basis it can offer great rewards. For instance, my RBC credit card is free of monthly or yearly charges because I am a student, and I receive 1 point for every $1 spent. I’ve switched to making all my purchases with this card so I can get the maximum points, which are redeemable for various gift cards such as gas cards, restaurants, Amazon, and – my favourite – Sephora!
4. Download the ‘Honey’ web extension
This online app installs in your web browser and scans your cart when you are checking out of online stores. When I am checking out of anywhere online (Amazon, H&M, Walmart, etc.) Honey will test various coupon codes and typically finds one for 10-20% off. This app has saved me money countless times; it always feels good to find a coupon code and Honey does it for you!
Even with all of these tricks, I still struggle to save money sometimes. Life is expensive and I still get tempted by the newest sweater or purse I see while shopping. Despite this, I have found success in saving a few dollars here and there by using the methods described above. They’re free and don’t take much time, so you should try them too!