As a college student, you may love to swipe, swipe and oops … clear out your bank account. Some may have learned how painful that “card denied” can be the hard way.
The following tips and tricks will help you avoid this situation … or at least help you get out of it.
Sell old clothes
Start by going through your clothes and sorting them into what you do and don’t wear. Whether it is T-shirts, jeans or shoes that you don’t wear or don’t fit into anymore, sell them. Websites like eBay and Poshmark make selling clothes easy. Besides, it gets them out of your way and puts some easy money in your wallet. There are also secondhand shops that buy clothes.
Manhattan’s Rockstar & Rogers, located at 318 Poyntz Ave., buys gently used items. Or, next time you go home, clean out your childhood closet and make some cash off those high school T-shirts.
Before you go grocery shopping, write out a list of everything you need and stick to it. The term for deviating from your plan is called “impulse buying” and stores design displays for just that. If you see something that you forgot to write down, simply write it on next week’s list.
“It’s so easy to throw random things you think you need in your shopping cart,” Chase Minihan, senior in animal sciences and industry, said. “Sticking to my grocery list has helped me avoid spending money that I don’t need to spend.”
Save loose change
Another way to save is the $5-bill trick. Find a jar to designate as your ‘$5-bill jar’ and, whenever you receive a $5 bill, put it in the jar. When it’s filled, deposit all of the saved cash in your bank account.
“I found this tip on Pinterest and it really works,” Mary Kline, junior in animal sciences and industry, said. “It amazes me how fast that jar can fill up.”
Another alternative would be a change jar. Saving quarters can add up faster than you think. You can take your full coin jar to a local bank to exchange it for cash.
Brew at home
For many college students, coffee is a requirement to function throughout the day. However, if you are trying to save money, Starbucks is probably not the best choice financially.
“When I started making my own coffee at home, I realized how much money I was saving,” Shane Schaake, junior in animal sciences and industry, said. “In addition to not buying coffee at the gas station anymore, I was not buying extra snacks that I saw. A few bucks here and there really add up.”
Instead of going to a restaurant, whether it’s five-star or fast food, try to eat at home. Or at least try to limit yourself to going out to eat once every week. Not only does it cut your costs, but it also makes you appreciate the service when you do.
Even those runs to Sonic’s happy hour add up fast. Avoid those frivolous charges and just make your own tea.