If you’ve never experienced being a poor college student, then you’ve certainly heard of it! I guaruntee you’ve heard the rumors of ramen, mac & cheese, and cheap Nati-Light. It’s a struggle, honestly! I’m lucky enough to have loving parents who give me a bi-weekly allowance that gets me by, but I do know many who don’t and they’re really roughin’ it.
But, just because you follow this stereotype of being a poor college student doesn’t mean you can’t save money. There are always chances to be more frugal. Each dollar you don’t spend is a dollar saved, and trust me, those dollars add up quick.
Regardless, these are just a few ways I try to save and save.
Get An On Campus Job
I’ve had multiple jobs with my university, including working in the Office of Student Activities and Engagement, as well as being an Orientation Leader. Working on campus could not be logistically more simple. They work around your schedule, both classes and extra-curricular, and only have you working when you say you’re available. Although most universities have a cap on how many hours a week you can work (typically 10), it’s income you previously didn’t have.
Stop Purchasing Beer
Drinking is an expensive hobby! Purchasing a case every weekend really racks up the costs and it’s money you don’t need to spend. If you’re going through withdrawal, let’s be frank, I’m 90% sure you can just roll up to any party and drink their alcohol.. Just mooch off of other people. If that makes you uncomfortable, then be the designated driver. Everyone needs one of those. And if you can’t get yourself to stop drinking, then I suggest you follow this link. Get some help man.
Stop Purchasing Coffee
This is along the same lines of the beer; coffee’s freaking expensive. Why not brew your own? Buy a Keurig, but be sure to actually use it! That’s my issue, I have a Keurig but I never use it, which is entirely my loss. Keurig has some wacky flavors, but they’re just as good as your local shop. I think my dad and I did the math once and it came out to be about 65¢ per cup, as opposed to the $2.60 it would cost at Starbucks. That’s a buttload of money saved just by brewing your own cup of joe in the morning.
Work Over Breaks
Winter, Spring, Summer, whatever season it may be, this is where you’ll find me! Working maintenance for Dittmar Company (I also work leasing so if you need an apartment in Northern Virginia, hit me up 😉 ) Working over breaks is awesome because you don’t need to be focusing on anything else. When I’m home, I am working 40 hours a week and looking for overtime. I mean why not? Otherwise I’d be sitting on my ass playing Skyrim… I might as well be making money! If you really dread working, get a job with your friend. If I worked maintenance by myself, it’d be horrific, but because I work with my best friend, it makes work fun. I mean just look at the picture above, I’m aboutta’ drop the hottest album of 2015.
Ask for Money For Holidays
This one’s simple. Yes, I know it’s tacky to ask for money, but why should they waste money on something you’ll never use when the cold, hard cash will be put to a good cause. Just be sure to save it! Speaking of which…
Open A Savings Account
You have money, banks want your money, so give them your money! They’ll even pay you for your money. That’s what we call a savings rate. Yes, I know savings rates are in the can right now, but if you have low expectations, any amount gained is a bonus. Don’t expect much, but enjoy what you do get. Any bank in your area will allow you to open a savings account for free. They want your money! And you want to give it to them. Right?
The point is, get off your ass and work for it. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Any trip is possible, just put a little bit of effort in and soon enough you’ll find yourself lounging on a beach in the Caribbean, or backpacking through South East Asia, whatever floats your boat.
That’s all I’ve got! Am I forgetting anything? Do y’all have any tips on how to save money?