One serious struggle in college, for many students, is money. Whether you’re struggling with student loans or simply supporting yourself through school, it’s hard figuring out how to save money and spend wisely. The best way to take control of your finances is, of course, a budget. By making one, you’ll be able to take on this responsibility and understand exactly where your money goes.
Want vs. Need
Budgeting always begins with the realization that most of what we tend to want isn’t necessarily what we actually need. One known method to beginning a budget is the 50-30-20 rule. How it goes is at the beginning of each week or month, put away 20% towards savings, use 50% for things you need like housing, transportation, insurance, food, etc. The remaining 30% is for your wants, like eating out, concerts, decor, gadgets, and pretty much anything else you want.
Give Up Plastic Bottles
Aside from plastic bottles being harmful to the environment, they can get expensive and pile on your already tight expenses. Buy a reusable water bottle instead and refill from the fountains around your school. Doing this will save you a significant amount over time – if a plastic bottle costs around $1.35, you would be able to save roughly $225 a year by using a reusable bottle!
To avoid spending extra money on food you don’t need and won’t eat, make a meal plan for the week you’ll stick to. This will also help you eat healthier and buy less junk. By planning your meals, you’ll be able to think of healthier snack and meal options to buy or make, saving you money and improving your health.
To save a significant amount of money, when you’re in need of new clothing, go to thrift stores! Not only is it fun to find cool clothes you wouldn’t see anywhere else, but the prices are obviously so much lower.
If you’re looking to make a little extra cash without using up all your precious time on a job, keep an eye out for jobs you can do from anywhere and are flexible. You can do anything from blogging to taking surveys to babysitting and even looking over essays.
Take The Bus
We know, it sounds kind of annoying, but hear us out. Having a car is extremely expensive. With insurance payments, gas, parking, and maintenance, it becomes much more profitable to opt for public transportation. It’ll allow you to save a lot more money over time. If you live close enough to campus, you can even bike ride or walk to classes.
Rent Or Buy Used Textbooks
Textbooks can be very pricey and add up real quick. It’s frustrating since you don’t need them once exams are over, so it feels like a pointless purchase essentially. To save you some serious cash, look for used textbooks instead, or rent them for the amount of time you need them.
Buy In Bulk
A lot of times, stores will have great deals if you buy items in bulk – take advantage of that! Buy things you always need in bulk, like pens or macaroni or even water. This will save you so much money in the long run!