In our last article, we dealt with the bigger issues of money management for the college student. Today’s tips may have less immediate impact but in the long run can mean the difference between graduating under a pile of debt or beginning your new life free from that burden. While there are hundreds of tips on the web, these are some of the more easy and available ways to save money.
Use public transportation, carpool or walk whenever possible. And if you can forgo a car, do so. The added expense of maintenance, insurance, registration and parking would use up a big chunk of your discretionary funds. Some campuses offer monthly, student discount passes for local transit systems.
Unless you have meals covered in your tuition, how you provide for your nutritional needs can be the difference between having extra spending money and not. Prepare as many meals in your room, as possible. Carry your next meal, snacks and water in a backpack. Buy the most nutrition for your buck and more natural foods. Shop the local farmer’s market, use coupons and buy in bulk.
Skip spring break and instead explore the surrounding communities. You may be quite surprised to find out how much fun the local spots can be.
Be a savvy date not a cheap date. Plan a picnic to secluded area nearby, cook dinner for your date. Attend campus concerts and events. Wait for the DVD to come out and plan a potluck movie night. Use a buy-one/get-one free coupon for a ‘real’ date.
Go for the cheap seats, when you go to a major event. Take advantage of college sporting events, festivals and other local entertainment opportunities. What you will remember most is more about the interactions with others than how close you were to the stage. Avoid buying the pricey souvenirs designed to draw your attention and loosen your wallet.
Stay healthy by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals and exercising. Self-discipline is more important now than it ever has been in your life – it’s all up to you. A healthy body costs less to maintain than trying to fix an unhealthy one.
Become a fan of resale and consignment shops. Some of the most original, useful things can be found during a Saturday garage sale excursion. Plan your shopping trips to avoid impulse spending and never buy anything that isn’t on sale. If it’s not discounted today it may be next week or try another store.
Cut your long distance phone bill by subscribing to a free VoIP service like Skype. Communicate via email or text message, whenever possible.