I’ve never fully felt the effects of a broke college kid until my parents decided to cut back on my discrentionary spending because I was going through it too fast. The repercussions came really quickly when I realized I had some major budgetary decisions to make. Money is something that we all use day to day. Some of us think about it more than others. Personally, my bankroll was something I thought about occasionally, but never really realized how exactly I was spending my money until I realized I was running low. So I began thinking of some small ways to save money from my weekly routines, hoping that I would eventually create a new budget for myself in hopes that I could simultaneously spend and save! Here are a few tips to craft a student-friendly budget:
- Stock Up, Spend Less: Instead of going to Starbucks every day after class with my sorority sisters, I now buy the Starbucks VIA 6 packs from the grocery store for only $6.00 instead of spending $4.00 on just ONE drink. I can make a bomb Iced Vanilla Latte!
- Broaden Your Social Horizons: With the weekend coming up, everyone wants to stock up on food and beverages for their party, but instead, let your place have a rest for the weekend and hit up some parties on The Hill at CU Boulder or wherever the hot spot is near your campus.
- Take Advantage of Public Transit: Most students find themselves at the grocery store about once a week. Instead of driving your car just 2 blocks down the street and using gas that currently costs $4.33 a gallon, go to the nearest bus stop and use a few cents to get a ride down the street! It’s a lot easier than it looks, trust me!
- Use Coupons: Pick up the daily newspaper or coupon book the next time you're on campus and start “coupon cutting” to get all those deals and savings the next time your going out for lunch, dinner or taking a quick trip to the grocery store for your weekly shopping trip. It all adds up!
- Dine In & Dig Around for Daily Deals: Instead of going out to lunch or dinner with your friends, invite them over and order a pizza or see what restaurants are having deals for the week. Restaurants understand the budgetary constraints college students face so they institute great deals to draw in more traffic. Taking advantage of these deals will help you keep your pockets full and your wallet padded.
Everyone has different weekly routines, but lets not kid ourselves; there’s no such thing as a free lunch. These 5 tips above can save me about $20.00 a week, which can add up in the long run. Learning how to budget yourself in college will prove to be a great skill to take along wherever you go in life. So instead of continuing to feel broke, start keeping a budget of the things you buy, so that you can start to eliminate the unnecessary weekly costs and save yourself some money!