College is one of the times where you are finally independent, and you are left on your own device. It is one of the times in your adult life when you are going to be on your own and working jobs to sustain yourself. However, because it is the time in your life where you are finally financially independent, you tend to overspend.
The thing to do is always live in broke mode and use all the things you have at your disposition to save money (student discounts are a lifesaver). As a college student, I would live on just ice coffee and instant noodles at times. However, as a college student, there are many ways with which you can save money.
So, without further ado, let’s learn some of the ways in which you can save money as a college student.
1. Thrift for clothes and books
Books are one of the most expensive things that you will have to buy as a student. You shouldn’t be buying these books at full price, and if there are second-hand books, you should buy them instead of brand new ones. If you are obligated to buy them, then the second hand is the way to go.
After you are done with these books, you can resell them and get part of your money back. If your professor is not as adamant about having a hardcover of the book, then there are other ways for you to get a book.
Check sites like sci-hub, b-ok, or even library genesis, where you will get the PDF of most books. You can find most books, academic papers, and journal articles on these sites. They aren’t legal sites, but they do the job, and as a college student, you got to do what you got to do to save money.
Even for clothes, you should hit up thrift stores before buying new clothes. This is not only good for the environment, but it also allows you to save money.
2. Have a side hustle or two
A good way to have extra money in college is by having a side hustle or two. College is the time for you in life to learn what you love doing, and by having several side hustles in college, you can learn what type of job you want to have when you end this stage of your life.
Most colleges allow their student to work up to 20 hours a week, and this will enable you to have a bit of extra cash that will come in handy down the road. Now you can have more jobs than just barista, server, or even line cook.
Some of the jobs you can have are:
- Student brand ambassador: you can work on behalf of a particular brand and promote their products to other students on your campus.
- Selling your lecture notes: If you are someone like me, you love taking handwritten lecturer notes, but would you believe that you can sell those? Yes, by the time the semester rolls around, many students will be searching for lecture notes and will pay good money to have those. You can sell these lecture notes to other students or other educational platforms.
- Virtual assistant: With the onset of the pandemic in 2020, most of us had to shift how we work, and more and more companies are shifting online. You can be a virtual assistant and work for someone remotely, which means that you can work for anyone around the globe. This mainly consists of scheduling, answering emails, and booking flights.
3. Take advantage of student discount
The greatest perfect of being a student is having a student ID, which gives you access to student discounts. Student discounts are very versatile and make you save money on many things. You can have discounts on a plethora of things like cultural institutions, retail stores, and even restaurants.
You can get big reductions on tech products from companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, Apple. They also give you significant discounts on electronic devices, books, and other school supplies. By using these discounts wisely, you can save a lot of money.
4. Eat out less
College is the time in your life where you will have the most fun, especially at college parties. As college students, we tend to spend a lot of money on fast food and alcohol because any broke student runs on fast food, coffee, and alcohol. However, most people are broke in college, and everyone will have to chip in to buy alcohol.
Who doesn’t crave McDonald’s when they are blackout drunk or stoned? But you should try to eat out less as this can create a real dent in your bank account. If you add up all the money you spent on fast food in a month, this will rack up pretty quickly.
If you have money, you can always go to a grocery store and buy shelf-stable items that will last for a while and that you can have within a college dorm. Cooking yourself will increase your culinary skills, but it will also save you money in the long run. Cooking will also make you more popular with your friends and roommates.
Apart from rent and utility bills, grocery and going out is usually someone’s most significant monthly expenditure. This is why you should be smarter when it comes to spending your money on food. Learning to cook in college will also help you later on in life.
5. Take care of your possession
As a college student, your laptop will be your best friend, and you will be using it all the time. Be it to do research, write papers or even watch movies. One good tip to not waste a huge sum of money is to look and take care of your electronic devices properly.
Rather than getting a phone as soon as it has a scratch or crack is not an excellent way to use it. Make it last longer and use it until you can’t use it anymore. If you really want to buy a new phone, then sell the old one and don’t have it just lying around.
By keeping your possession in good shape, you don’t have to spend money needlessly buying new items. You are not only saving money, but you are also being environmentally friendly by not generating more waste than necessary.
If your phone has a broken screen, then replace the screen rather than buy a new phone. If your jacket has holes, then either patch it up or make more holes in it and make it look like an aesthetic choice. If the cost to repair something outweighs the cost of buying a new one, only then should you buy it.
Sound off in the comments section below and tell us if you want to read about more ways how to save money as a college student.