10 Money Saving Tricks for College Students
College Life |  Source: Mawsaow

10 Money Saving Tricks for College Students

Money makes a college student holla!

Everyone knows budgeting is challenging, especially for college students. Seriously, it feels like there is never enough money for anything! Here are some money saving tips, especially for those of you in college. If you save on these essentials, you can splurge on some other more fun items!

1. Utilize All Aspects of Transportation
There are so many ways to get around campus, including bike rentals, walking, and utilizing your schools shuttle system. Bike rentals are common among campuses and are usually free. A short walk or shuttle ride can take you around the campus and to class.

2. Have a Small Meal Plan
Many colleges require you to have a meal plan. These plans give you a certain amount of meals weekly. The key to keeping payments low is to have one of the smaller meal plans. If you have a small amount of meals per week, you'll most likely use them. It's much cheaper to buy food at the store than it is to eat at the student union daily.

3. Eat at Home
Eating in is your best friend. While eating out is easier and might seem affordable at the moment, it's actually not. Three dollar meals from McDonald's can add up quickly. By making your own meals, you can create a budget to spend at the grocery store weekly and make meals accordingly.

4. Buy Your Textbooks Online
The college bookstore is not your BFF. There's plenty of places you can buy your books for half the price, such as Amazon. You can also talk with your professor to see if you can buy an older edition of the textbook or ask him after class if the text is even mandatory.

5. Sell Your Textbooks
Text books in good condition will sell for a lot. At the end of the semester, list all your books online or sell to classmates. There's thousands of websites where you can sell your used books. Amazon will sell them for you for a small fee.

7. Apply for Every Scholarship You Find
If you're paying your tuition out of pocket, it's extremely important to do this step. You can save yourself thousands just by writing an essay. While this may not always work, there's hundreds of scholarships out there that go unclaimed. Deadlines happen throughout the year so always be checking in your spare time.

8. Save Your Change
At the time, change might not seem like a lot, but it adds up. By creating a change jar, every few months you could have extra cash to use to buy books every semester or a use at the grocery store. All you have to do is add your change every time you have some, and eventually you'll have a full container.

9. Utilize Your College ID and Coupons
Student discounts are everywhere. Before purchasing something, try to find a student discount and always ask stores if they have one. Discounts are a college student's best friend. A few dollars saved can add up to be hundreds over the year.

10. Use the School Campus
Schools have hundreds of free activities going on, and some just might be fun. Always check to see what's happening on campus. Instead of going to a movie, stay on campus and participate in one of the activities. The campus is your free spot, so use it.

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Splurge Or Save?

Where to allocate your limited funds.

When you're in college, finances are hard. Life is good, but you're most certainly low on money. You're probably relying on someone else, or a part-time job, to get the funds you need. It's important to know where it's worthwhile to spend a little more, and where you should skimp.

Here are a few guidelines to help you figure out where you should cough it up and when to cheap out, so you can save that money for the important things (see: booze).

Drunk food: Save. Let's be real, you're not tasting whatever you eat after six hours of drinking, so buy something on the cheap. Hit up the closest fast food or pizza place and head home with a greasy bag of carbs that will carry you to sleep and help ward off a hangover.

Pregame liquor: Splurge. Well, don't actually splurge, but don't completely shaft yourself either. The price difference between a handle of Vlad and a handle of Smirnoff is really not a big deal, especially if you split the cost with friends. And that tiny price difference translates into a HUGE difference in taste. Treat yo' self.

Beer: Save. You're drinking it to get drunk, not to explore the hoppy aftertaste and malty flavor. Get this shit on the cheap, because you probably can't tell the difference anyways.

Dinner with friends: Splurge. I'm not saying you should go somewhere expensive, but if you're hitting up a restaurant for someone's birthday or to celebrate something, spend five or six extra dollars to get something a little better. Think Thai food instead of pizza.

Condoms: SPLURGE. Buy them. Buy the good ones. Ladies, gents, everyone. Buy them, use them, and have some excellent sex. Ten bucks here and there for a pack of condoms is much cheaper than a child or an STD. Just do it.

Going out clothes: Save. These are clothes you wear for drinking. They're going to get spilled on, torn off, tripped in, puked on, and god knows what else. Not to mention, it's probably not something you'll wear after graduation. Get something that you like for cheap, and save your money for a good pair of jeans that will last forever.

Snow/rain boots: Splurge. If you're in a rainy/snowy/unpredictable climate, don't underestimate the importance of weather-appropriate footwear. There are few things worse than getting stuck in the rain with a pair of cheap boots with a rip in them. Invest in a solid pair and use them all four years, and beyond.

Phone case: Splurge. In college, you're going to treat your phone like shit. You'll drop it, spill on it, lose it, use it in the rain, and just generally abuse it. Get a phone case that will actually protect your only means of communication, so you don't have to worry about being too careful.

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The Art of Bullshitting

Or, how to artfully disguise the truth.

College truly does test your ability to pull whatever you can out of your ass to avoid getting called out in class. Whether it's to give an answer to a question you don't know or explain why your essay isn't even started, bullshitting will get you out of many a frying pan. Whether or not you land in an adjacent fire is dependent on how good you are.

Firstly, don't ever lie. Instead, artfully disguise the truth: "Why no, professor, I didn't simply not do the homework! I just misread the syllabus and got the dates for the assignments mixed up!"

If you're caught, lying could result in real academic repercussions; and it's also just a shitty feeling to know that your teacher will always think you're dishonest.

If you're telling a story as an excuse, don't embellish to the point where the hangover you skipped class to nurse was actually a bout of scarlet fever that had your roommate slogging 40 miles uphill both ways in the rain and wind for the village doctor. It was a "sudden head cold", that required bed rest and aspirin. Just don't mention you were watching Netflix while in bed.

It's also crucial--actually, vital--that you be quick on your feet. If you get asked a question and you gotta bullshit an answer, you have two seconds to start talking, and your first word absolutely cannot be, "Um". Professors have heard countless bullshit from students during their careers. They can smell hesitation and nerves, so if you start stuttering when under pressure, just give it up.

That's probably the most important aspect of bullshitting; that, since you aren't actually Ferris Bueller, you aren't impervious to academic authority, and therefore there are going to be times where you just... gotta take the punch. Like, once every few weeks? You're probably good. Once a class session? Well, I suppose the real question would be why are you even still there?

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10 Easy Ways to Save Serious Cash in School

...or a couple dollars, whatever

1.Shop the dining hall
You're pretty much required to pay for a meal plan, so take advantage of it. Grab a bagel from one line, sauce from another, and cheese from the salad bar to microwave your very own pizza bagel. You can find other essentials in the dining hall as well--like ramen noodles or rice.

2.Make your dorm room a kitchen (If your college trusts you to plug shit in)
Some colleges allow microwaves and fridges. If yours does, all you need is a microwave cookbook and you'll be living the life--from chocolate cake to quesadillas. Otherwise, you can use an iron for quesadillas. Or grilled cheese. You get the idea. Cheese.

3.Take advantage of the free shit
Colleges are already squeezing you for tuition, so take advantage of the free activities offered. From concerts and lectures (from people you actually care about, not just professors) look around for free stuff and then use it. Tutoring sessions count, too--math is hard!

4.Love to DIY (or fake it while you make it)
During your time away from home, you'll find that making new friends mean you have that many more people to get birthday gifts.

5.Rent or borrow textbooks
Shelling out for textbooks can mean major moolah, which you may or may not be able to get back by selling your books at the end of the semester. Instead, rent your books or try to borrow them from someone who has already taken the class.

6.Learn to suffer
If a major event comes up, skip it by playing the "starving student" card. This only works for four years of your life, so take advantage.

7.Don't be selfish and share your shit
Textbooks, clothes, food, whatever. Don't buy your own, go in on it with a friend, from cases of beer to shoes for a job interview.

8.Stay on campus
Sure, there might be plenty of stuff happening in the surrounding neighborhood. But by staying on campus you can avoid the temptation to spend.

9.Hang with other poor kids
It's always good to have rich friends willing to pay your way. Haha, we kid. But if you have to spring for yourself, find friends that are in a similar financial situation to yours. Most people are poor in college; it's part of the deal.

10.Learn from others
Everyone has their own money-saving methods. Keep your ears open to learn how other people get away with saving money, from sneaking ketchup packets to finagling more financial aid.

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Earn Money Easily: The Best Jobs For College Students

Better than stripping your way through college.

1. Babysitting. Yes, you'll have to be in charge of another human for a while, but babysitting is one of the most lucrative gigs a student can get. And it's under the table so no taxes are taken out! You only have to work when you want to, which means you won't have to worry about asking for time off on big football weekends or for weekend trips. Plus, who doesn't love babies!?

2. IT Help Desk. Want to make money with minimal effort? Sign up to work in IT help or as an attendant in your school's computer labs. The university has to pay someone to sit in there so students aren't unattended, but the most strenuous of your tasks will likely be replacing the paper in the printer. Bonus: most places will let you do homework or watch Netflix while your paycheck rolls in.

3. Peer Tutor. Signing up to be a peer tutor not only lets you support other students, it also gives you a great line on your resume. Having prior experience teaching others looks good on any job application, especially for teachers and academics.

4. Online employment. If you don't need a ton of money and just want to earn a few bucks between classes, look into doing surveys or small tasks for people online. I earned a decent amount of money doing administrative tasks for people on Fancy Hands, and I know people who have had good luck with surveys on SwagBucks.

5. Dining Hall. While not the most glamorous job, working in the dining halls on your campus lets you make your schedule around your classes, so you never have a conflict. You'll learn a little bit about cooking while you work, and most places give you a free or discounted meal on shift, too.

6. Research. Most labs on campus need help conducting research for major academic projects, and they're willing to pay you to help. Reach out to professors you're close with to see if they know of any opportunities, and ask them to refer you. Not only will you get paid well and have a flexible schedule, you'll learn something while you do it. Research experience looks great on a resume, and it's applicable in any field.

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How to Not Spend Every Last Penny in College

Those shoes aren't even that cute, girl.

I get it. All your friends are hitting the mall this weekend because so-and-so needs a formal dress. And of course you want to stop at Target on the way because you need more string lights and/or a cute new lamp for the apartment. You want to stop at Chipotle, too? Why not? What really is *money*?

I never thought I would be the stereotypical broke college student until I was hit in the face with the harsh reality of my card being declined. Thank God it was on an online order so the cashier didn't see me cry. I just saved those heels to Pinterest and moved on with my life.

Why in the world is it so hard to save money? What is it about being all on our own in the real world that leads us to believe it's OK to drop $100 on fraternity philanthropy t-shirts throughout the year? Do we honestly need that many?

Instead of listing off the hundreds of things that we all know we blow those hard earned bills on, I'll be generous enough to share some of my newly learned knowledge on how to do the opposite: SAVE.

First of all, are those shoes even cute? Just because they're 75 percent off does not make them that much more appealing. Take a second look at the 37 things in your cart and really, really evaluate whether, you'll wear them at all, their level of practicality, and what else you'd spend that $150 on. Music festival tickets? Gas for a month? Birthday gift for the beau? You get the idea.

Secondly, set a budget. Really. I know this probably seems like a thing your Grandma does, but I swear it helps. Figure out how much (if anything) you bring in a month from your work, and subtract the things you KNOW you'll spend money on. Gas, groceries, Starbs, you get the jist.

Then add in your 'extra-curriculars' we'll call them. Shenanigans on the weekend? Maybe $20. Sunday brunch? $15. Need to send home a thank you letter to your Grandma because she remembered your birthday six months ago? $5 for express mail. Sorry Grandma. This way, you won't be surprised when you run out of money because you'll know exactly where it went! Ta-da!

Lastly, find a job you enjoy (enough). If you absolutely dread each day of work, it's going to make it that much harder to get your ass out of bed each day.

Do a little research, and get out there doing something that excites you, and gives you the cash you need to get those god-awful shoes you wanted.

Plenty of campuses have career resource centers that are perfect for lining something up, or at least giving you the opportunity to get yourself an interview and allow you to showcase that *sparkling* personality everybody loves.

All in all, you're on your own. College is a time for getting out of your parent's house and learning how to do things for yourself. If you blew all your money during #SB2k16, you're definitely not alone. Everybody does it now and then, which isn't a horrible thing because, lesson learned. Look at you now! Reading up on how to save. Snaps for you.