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The best ways to save money in college

Posted on 2/12/2016 2:59:01 PM by Jill Nawoyski

Everyone knows that college students are notorious for not having too much money. With student loans, 16 credits of classes and even extra activities, it can definitely be nearly impossible to have a full-time job. It’s completely understandable, but being in college doesn’t mean that you have to be broke. Here are some tips to follow to save some money to have for a rainy day while you’re in school.

saving money in jar1. Keep track of your spending: There are a variety of different ways to keep track of how much money that you’re spending, ranging from saving receipts to using different apps. I simply keep the receipts of the transactions that I spend on food, so that at the end of the month, I can see how much I spent. Turns out that last month I made a few too many Chipotle trips. Oops, spending money on eating at restaurants most definitely adds up.

2. Make lists: Personally, when I head to Target to grab some groceries and shampoo, I end up leaving with eight bags full of random things. Let’s be honest, when there’s a sale on shoes or you just remembered that you absolutely NEED a whole new set of make-up, spending money happens rather quickly. Recently, I’ve been making grocery lists with what I need, so I won’t be tempted to buy anything that I haven’t written down. This helps me to save money and also reassures me that I won’t buy any junk food that I don’t need to eat ... a total win-win.

3. You’re never too old for a piggy bank: Okay, it doesn’t have to be in the shape of a pig, but keeping a bank to store loose change in is always a good idea. I have a little ceramic jar on my desk in my room and at the end of the week, I place my change into it. I told myself that I can’t cash it in until the summer. If you save a little bit each week, you’ll have some spending money for the summer time. Cha-ching!

4. Cut down on extra expenses: If one thing is for sure, my coffee addiction might be helping me stay awake but it most definitely is not helping my bank account. Recently, I’ve been purchasing boxes of k-cups and making coffee in my room. As much as I love my skinny vanilla lattes, I know that making one myself will make me save money in the long run.

5. Buy things on sale: When I feel like I need a new outfit, pair of shoes or even something simple like school supplies, I always try to find them on sale. Buying something full price is definitely difficult when money is tight as a college student. Plus, finding a killer sale is always so much more exciting anyway, right?

Whether you’re saving a handful of change or cutting back on your weekly Starbucks trips, taking small steps is definitely the best way to start saving money. No amount of money is too small and everyone has to start somewhere! So, next time you’re absolutely craving Chipotle, remember that the chicken that you have in your apartment can be just as delicious with some seasonings and next time you just HAVE to buy that new dress, remember that the one on the sale rack will look just as nice on you. Happy saving!