Every college student knows that money is tight while you’re in school. There are classes to focus on, and if you have a job chances are you can’t work as many hours as you would like to. But luckily there are ways that you can make the most of the little money you do have.
Try and get the best deal possible when paying for your textbooks. Let’s face it, textbooks are expensive, and it can be difficult to know where the best place to buy from is. Check every possible resource; the bookstore, amazon, chegg, ect. Figure out what each place is asking for and make a decision based on which one is the least expensive. This may vary, for one book amazon could be asking for more then the bookstore and vice versa. Buy used or rent as much as you can, it really can save you a lot of money.
Decide ahead of time how much money you are willing to spend. Every time you get a pay check, decide how much of it will be going to food, how much will go towards fun things, ect. Jot this down in a notebook or in a file on your computer and make sure you stick to it.
Take Note of What You’re Spending
Ask for receipts every time you make a purchase, so you know exactly what you did spend. Then take note of it in your “finance” notebook or internet file. This will help you see how much you are actually spending, so you know if you are on track or can figure out how you can spend less on items you may not need in the future.
Make the most of your time during the summer. Summer is the perfect time to save up money for the school year when you have less time to work. Try everything you can to get a summer job and then safe a big portion of the money that you make for the next two semesters.
As a freshmen you may not be able to have your car on campus, which can actually be good for your wallet. But even when you do have access to your car, try and save money on gas as often as you can. Do this by carpooling with friends and sharing the price of gas, or using public transportation as often as possible. The school has its own shuttle system which can take you to many places around the area, try and use this as often as possible.
Every Little Bit Helps
You may not think that the spare change you get on your coffee order is worth much of anything, but it certainly can be. Save it in a jar and eventually it will add up. After a while you can cash in that money at a place like coinstar and you have some new cash in your pocket that you wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Just remember when trying to save money in college, every little bit helps and there are many things you can do to make the most of whatever money you make, even if it’s not too much.