Money-Saving Tips for Broke College Kids
There is only one time in your life when it will be acceptable to be both drunk and broke, and that time is college. Let’s be real: Living with student loans, studying for school and only having time for part-time work doesn’t leave college students exactly making it rain. Even entrepreneurs like Don Gayhardt had to learn to save money in college, and you can too.
Buy Books Secondhand
There will be nary a time in your college career that you will read a textbook cover to cover, so don’t waste money buying them brand new. Instead, see what used textbooks are available online. Often these have only been used for one semester and there’s always the chance that the previous owner wrote something helpful inside!
Some of the best places to look for used textbooks online include:
- Thrift books
- Chegg (this is actually a rental site!)
Health and Wellness
Just because Mom and Dad aren’t around anymore to take you to your doctor’s appointments, that doesn’t mean that they should stop! Hopefully, you’re still on Mom and Dad’s insurance so that you can still visit the doctor regularly. If not, look into cheaper alternatives than the emergency room when you’re not feeling well.
- Urgent care clinics are all over the place and work on a first-come, first served basis. They often have things like X-rays machines and blood labs in-house, so you won’t necessarily need to visit a hospital.
- Planned Parenthood is a lifesaver if you’re on a tight budget. The facilities treat everything from pregnancies to bladder infections and have people in mind who can’t afford to pay for their sexual wellness.
- For a free option, call a nurse’s hotline. You can speak to a registered nurse 24/7 and they’ll give you advice. Most often you will be told to see a doctor, but you can ask generic questions like “What should I do to break my fever?”
Make it Yourself
Think about all the things you spend money on that you could be DIYing. Maybe it’s time to unleash your creative side and start making certain things instead of buying them?
- Your multisyllabic beverage of choice from the coffee shop might be tasty, but it’s also expensive. If you spend five dollars on coffee every day, that adds up to $35 a week — which is $140 after a month! Save your money and brew some java at home, paired with a yummy flavored creamer.
- Don’t order out every single night. Take advantage of your campus’ meal plan or better, cook if you have a place to do so. It’s not glamorous, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!
- Forget about brand-name cereals and potato chips. Opt for the cheaper (and often indistinguishable) off brands when you go grocery shopping. You’ll be amazed at how quickly those couple dollars saved will add up.
There is a curve to learning to wisely spend money, so be patient with yourself. Learn to spend less than you make, when it’s important to splurge on something and when you need to leave your money sitting in the bank.