A Girl’s Guide To…Saving Money in College

Saving money in college. It’s a tricky thing, isn’t it?

Depending on what your situation is, you could be potentially paying for everything on your own, including tuition. So, there are several ways that have really come in handy for me to save a few extra dollars here and there besides the money that I’m making from my part-time jobs.

I’m here today to share several ideas with you so that you can bring in some cold, hard cash while simultaneously studying for that Organic Chemistry exam.

The past few semesters for me have been very intensely focused on making money, so that I had enough in order to be able to turn my dream of studying abroad in Spain into a reality this semester.

1. Bring a specific amount of money with you for a shopping trip or night out. 

Concerned on how much money you might spend on a shopping date with your girls or a night out on the weekend? My favorite thing to do is set an amount before I leave the house and only bring that much cash with me. This helps me have a tangible way of knowing exactly how much money I’m spending throughout the period of time that I’m out. It also helps so you don’t check your bank account to realize that you’ve gone crazy and put $100 on your credit card after going to the mall to buy a pair of socks. While I’m on this note, I might as well say that the equivalent to this when I’m shopping at the grocery store is to make a list. Seriously once I make a list, nothing else goes in my cart other than what’s on my list. This is really helpful for me because I’m pretty sure otherwise I would load up on literal bags of Babybel cheese (it’s SO my weakness).

2. Take the occasional trip to Plato’s Closet.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always stumbling upon the occasional top or pair of shoes that you no longer use very often. My absolute favorite {and instantly gratifying} way of making money is by collecting a bag of clothes from my closet and bringing it to my local Plato’s Closet to sell. If you don’t have Plato’s Closet near you, you can always sell your clothing on eBay or by creating your own Instagram account specifically to showcase your clothes that are for sale. This option always leaves me with less clutter in my closet and more money in my bank account, so it’s most definitely a win-win.

3. Bring out your crafting skills.

This isn’t something I’ve done so far in college, however, several of my friends have been quite successful by going this route. Whether you like to crochet, paint, or anything else in the craft world, you can get paid for your hobby! Start an Etsy shop and get to work creating goods for your customers. Be careful though, or your store might get too successful. I’ve had several friends have to quit their part-time jobs simply to keep up with fulfilling all the orders that they were receiving from Etsy!

4. Track your money. 

Hello out there, are you still with me, friends? Well, guess what? I’m not even telling you to make a budget here. My #1 way of cutting down my spendings is to track it, so I actually have a way of knowing where it’s all going. Since I make this list while I’m on-the-go, I simply use my iPhone’s “Notes” app to write down the price and place/thing that I spent my money on. Last semester, I felt soooo guilty reading my list and seeing how much money I spent while I was out on coffee so I changed up my coffee routine, leading me to number 5…

5. Eat + drink at home as much as possible.

Unless you’re ever so lucky as having a meal plan for the dining halls {oh how I miss freshman year and alllll those meal swipes}, it really is the most economical to do your shopping at the grocery store and prepare meals for yourself versus going out to eat. I also take my lunches with me to campus each day which helps me avoid spending $3.55 for lunch every day {FYI that’s the price for my favorite ham + cheese croissant on campus}. At the beginning of the school year, I begrudgingly told myself I was going to meal plan, start couponing, and reading the sale ads that came in the mail. While it took awhile to learn to love, it’s now something that I really enjoy doing…especially knowing that I am saving lots of money by doing this. One of my favorite tricks as far as meal planning goes is to cook a large pan of pasta and divide it up into reusable bowls so that I can have pasta for dinner one night, and then easily have it for lunch for a few more days.

6. Grab up all those student discounts. 

While it doesn’t seem like much, 15% off here and 20% off there really do add up. You don’t have your student ID card for that long in the grand scheme of things, so you might as well take full advantage of it while you still have it! Some of my favorite stores to go shopping at offer great student discounts {for example: J.Crew, Madewell, + Kate Spade all give 15% off student discounts}. Not only are there comprehensive lists online about stores that give student discounts, I’ve made it a point to always ask at the register if the store gives a discount with a student ID card! I really believe that this one ends up paying off in the long run.

 

Well, there you have it! Those are my top 6 tips for you as a college student trying to earn/save money! I wish you the best of luck! Feel free to comment or email me with any more questions that you may have!

Much love,

Olivia

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