College life can be expensive, and the term “college students” is often preceded with the word “broke.” Students often struggle with figuring out how to have enough spending money to have fun with simply a minimum-wage job. Below are some tips for college students to use to save money!
Many places have student discounts available for college students to use. Some examples near Saint Leo’s University Campus include The Cobb and Waffle House. These student discounts can save you lots of money if you continuously use them! If you simply ask the cashier of wherever you are (and make sure to have your student ID with you), over your four years, you can definitely save a lot of money.
Buy used textbooks – not new
Textbooks can be very expensive. They can go for around $100 to $200 each, and with each class you take usually requiring a textbook, it can easily add up. Knowing this, a great way to save some money is to buy used textbooks. As long as they’re in a readable condition, it is a more affordable option that is just as practical. You do not lose any information, and you can have some extra money to spend!
If you have a meal plan, use it
One mistake many students make is not taking advantage of their meal plan, especially if you have an unlimited plan. Using as many of your swipes as possible will save you lots of money! Making the most of your meal plan and going to the cafeteria instead of a restaurant can save tons of money. You’re already paying for your meal plan, so you might as well make the most of your money spent!
Try to do school activities instead of going out
Many school activities are either free or very affordable. They have carnivals, school trips, and lots of mini events that are both fun and easy to access! These events are also made to be easily affordable for college students. For example, they have trips to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando for less than $2 with- transportation included! These are much cheaper options compared to spending the money to drive to Tampa or other nearby cities for fun things to do. Take advantage of these while you can!
Make your own coffee instead of going to shops
Lots of college students drink coffee, especially when they have to stay up late to finish homework or projects. One mistake many make, however, is spending money going to expensive coffee shops instead of investing in a coffee machine. One cup of coffee at Starbucks is averaged around $3. So, if you got one cup every weekday for one school year, it would average roughly to $225. In contrast, you can buy a simple coffee machine for $40 (or one a bit nicer for $100). This will last you for a while, and it saves lots of money!
Don’t think of credit cards as “free money”
Many people say that they’ve made the mistake of thinking of credit cards as “free money” (especially in college) and maxing it out. This not only gives you debt at a young age but also ruins your credit before you’ve even had a chance to build it up! Having a credit card can be dangerous if you don’t use it right. If you do have one, make sure to use it sparingly and to pay it off as soon as you can - remember, it’s money that you will have to pay back!
Use generic brands instead of name brands
There are some name brands that are much higher quality than others and well worth the extra money. However, many generic brands are just as good as name brands and offer a cheaper price. Use this to your advantage and save some money! Some items (like paper towels) all seem generally the same, and it will save a good amount of money in the long run if you opt for generic brands instead.
Use the library printer – don’t buy your own
The library is there to help students with all types of studying, including providing computers with printers. This is incredibly useful and is there for students to use for free! As long as they are not overused, the library printers are available for all to use. If you e-mail yourself anything you need to be printed, you can just log on to the computers and print them from there. So, there is no need to spend the money buying a printer! With the money spent on the printer (as well as paying for ink and tons of paper), it is a cheaper option to simply make the walk to the library and use the resources they offer you.
Following all these tips, it may seem like you aren’t saving up much, but it adds up over time. Sticking to these tips, especially for the entirety of your college time, will help you save more than you realize.
Author bio: Kellie Dove is a senior marketing major at Saint Leo University. She says she once went skydiving, and her career interests are advertising, social media, and writing. Kellie served as a marketing intern at Saint Leo in the fall of 2018.