As a college student, saving money may seem impossible. Most of our meals consist of ramen noodles, we go to all of the free events on campus, and we don’t spend money on things that we don’t need, but we still can’t seem to save our money! Well, our team here at Behind the Bricks is here to show you that it is possible! All you need is a little bit of will power and determination. Here are some easy ways you can begin saving money as a broke college student:
Be careful with your credit card
For many of us, college will be the first time that we have our own credit cards. Although it may feel like a sense of freedom, do not go crazy with it! Don’t forget that you will eventually have to pay back everything you put on the card. Lots of students find themselves in pickles when they realize they cannot afford everything they put on the card. Don’t be this person!
Limit eating out
Although eating out is often for the social gathering aspect, it is important to limit how often you do so. Eating out can add up very quickly, and not to mention isn’t the healthiest! Instead, try cooking most of your meals at home, and allow yourself to splurge once or twice a week.
Take advantage of campus amenities
RIT is packed with amenities that are completely free to students. College Activities Board is always putting on events that are free or extremely low cost to members of the campus community. The countless clubs on campus also hold events, fundraisers, and many more opportunities to have fun for free! Check them out!
Make coffee at home
This is one of the most simple ways to save money as a college student. Invest in a Keurig or coffee maker, and stop spending money at Starbucks every morning! Although spending money on a coffee in the morning may feel like a cheap investment, it adds up very quickly (especially if you customize your drink).
Sell your old textbooks
This one may seem obvious, but plenty of college students do not sell their textbooks once they are done using them. It is important to also realize that most textbooks become outdated very quickly. Plenty of bookstores and places that typically buy back books will not purchase them if they are too outdated, and newer versions have been published. So as soon as you are done with your final exam for a class, go directly to the bookstore to sell your book!
Pick a cheaper housing option while you are at school
RIT offers affordable housing options throughout campus. By deciding to live on campus, you avoid having to pay for amenities, and additional expenses that come with living off campus. As of next year, Perkins Green will also be furnished, so you will not have to find furniture yourself! This is a very simple way to save money throughout your college experience.
Be careful where you grocery shop
While most of us in upstate New York are die hard Wegmans lovers, it is important to weigh out all of your options before you open up your wallet. While Wegmans may be the most aesthetically pleasing grocery store, there are plenty of cheaper options like Aldis. If you are trying to save money as a college student, food is one of the easiest places to make spending mistakes.
Sell items that you no longer use
The RIT Free and For Sale page on Facebook is a great place to post anything you want to sell. If you have old electronics, clothes, or textbooks that you no longer use, you might as well try selling it!
Check all of your monthly subscriptions and make sure you are still using them
From your Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, gym, and app subscriptions/memberships, there have got to be a couple that you no longer use. Give yourself a subscription audit, and cancel any that you no longer use. This is a simple, yet effective, way to save.
Use the campus gym
Another one that may seem obvious, but using the campus gym is a great way to save money. Plenty of students pay for memberships at other gyms or fitness class studios, when the Student Life Center offers the same things! From wellness classes, to pools, to the sauna, to a state of the art gym, there is no reason to pay for expensive memberships elsewhere.
As you can probably tell, saving money as a college student isn’t that hard! You don’t have to skip out on fun opportunities, but instead make small changes in your day to day life. If you get in the routine of implementing these small changes, you will see big results. Good luck!