8 Tips for a Fatter Wallet in College
College is damn expensive. If you’re in college, chances are you’re going to wind up with a mountain of debt as it is. Help your future self out and be smart to save what money you can. You’ll thank yourself later. Here are 8 tips to get started.
In the hustle and bustle of busy college life, it can be easy to grab fast food all the time. Unfortunately, the $7 or so that you’ll spend on average for a fast food meal can quickly deplete your bank account. Buying groceries and learning to fend for yourself at mealtime is a valuable habit that will save you several dollars per meal. At the very least, learn to make yourself sandwich (or find a girl to do it for you).
When you’re caught up in the fun of a night out, it can be easy to say ‘fuck it’ and blow 75 bucks downtown. This is one of the most costly habits you can form, but there are several ways to avoid it. You can pre-game before going, limit yourself to bringing only a preset amount of cash, or sneak a flask or a few shooters into the bar. Figure out what method works for you and stick with it. You’ll save hundreds or thousands in the long run.
We all have junk lying around that we haven’t used, worn, or thought about for months. You’d be surprised how many people out there are willing to pay good money for your old stuff. Ebay is one option where you can sell anything from an old hat that you never wore to the Xbox 360 you don’t really play anymore. If you really sit down and think, you’ll be amazed at how many things you can sell. Make a weekend project out of it to alleviate some clutter and make a few quick bucks.
Gas prices are expensive these days, and they aren’t going to plummet anytime soon. College cities are well-known for having a variety of entertainment and businesses all in a fairly small space. If you go to school in such a town, consider picking up a used bike to ride places or start walking more. Use the extra gas money you save each month to buy a couple extra cases of beer.
College bookstores are notorious for outrageously overpriced books. Instead of spending $200 for your Physics textbook without a second thought, check Amazon.com for a used version. Often times, you’ll find the same book for a fraction of the cost.
Although this may sound like a tragedy to many people, it really isn’t as bad as you think. In fact, it can be quite beneficial. Many college students spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, only to return from spring break sick and exhausted with a 7-day hangover. Take the chance to go see your family or old friends at home and use the money to pay for three months of rent.
The cost of housing ranges anywhere from a couple hundred dollars a month to a couple thousand for college students. Don’t be a fool and think you need that single bedroom apartment downtown for $700 a month when you can live in a house with three buddies and pay $250. Also, living on-campus is typically much more expensive than off. You’ll be surprised at the living conditions you can endure if you want to keep the cost down.
Naturally, the most expensive aspect of college is the fact that you’re paying out the ass to be there in the first place. Do yourself a favor and finish up your program in four years or less. Each additional year in school will cost you tens of thousands more not only in tuition and expenses, but also in lost income that you would have made if you’d been working.
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About Gregory Arnold Gregory is a writer, difference maker, and personal growth enthusiast. He believes that by improving ourselves, we find true happiness and improve the world in the process.