Besides the school work, one of the hardest things to get adjusted to in college is $$$. You're now on your own, and for most of us, we never learned how to budget.
As a freshman, I was AWFUL with my money. Definitely overdrew my new checking account a few times (come on now, we've all been there... a $5 bagel becomes a $40 bagel due to an overdraft fee), buying your own groceries, going out with friends, learning how that refund check you get really isn't your money but part of your loan that you'll have to pay back one day (uhmm like I'm doing right now),
So I'm here to tell you a few secrets I picked up while in college that can hopefully help you save some money:
1.) Figure out places that give student discounts. There are several great clothing stores (J. Crew!), movie theaters, even restaurants that give great student discounts. Some places also have certain days when things are offered cheaper! Just do some research, it'll pay off.
2.) Well this goes back to me over drafting my bank account haha... get overdraft protection. I know you think you'll keep up with it, but it's hard. Even if you're really good checking your account online, their may be a check floating around that might be cashed when you least expect it. Between my sorority and clubs I joined, there was a quite a bit of those that would throw me off. (I once had a check for $60 get cashed 3 months after I wrote it!)
3.) "Do I really need this?" This is a question you should constantly ask yourself when shopping. Yeah, you can make excuses that you really need this new dress for such-an-such, but do you really? If you did join a sorority or any organization where there are some things you have to dress up for, borrow clothes! I can't tell you how many sorority sisters' dresses I borrowed for luncheons, formals, etc. Just make sure to return it in better condition than when you borrowed it. Paying a $5 dry cleaning fee is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new dress you'll only wear a few times.
4.) It's ok to go out to eat, but only on occasions. This one can be tricky, but the truth is going out to eat all the time gets pricey and if you're one of those people who has to have Starbucks every morning, you'd be surprised at how much money you are literally throwing down the drain. I'd only buy that $5 cup of coffee if it's finals week and come on, you deserve to treat yourself!
but one of the biggest things that can burn a hole in your pocket is college books! Some of these books cost up to $200 dollars new and even used books can cost quite a large amount of money. The worst part is when you try and sell them back and they 1.) only give you about $20 dollars for that book you bought for $200 or 2.) they don't buy it back at all!
5.) If you want to buy your books go ONLINE! You can find gently used books super cheap on sites like amazon and ebay. When you finalize your class list, get the barcodes and title for your books and search away. BUT if you don't want to have to worry about selling them back, RENT you books! I started doing this my last few years of college and it saved me so much money! A great site to use is http://www.campusbookrentals.com. They have practically any book you could ever need for great prices!
If you're wondering if this really is the cheapest route and worth it, here's an example of a book I used for my favorite class in college :) I probably would have spent close to $80 dollars on this book...USED!!! But to rent it for a semester only costs $15! You can't beat that! Especially considering if you were unable to sell it back.
Now, for the exciting part, Campus Books is willing to give one of my readers a $50 Coupon to use on their site! As you can see, $50 could probably rent you most, if not all of your books for one semester!
To win this Green Saving GIVEAWAY...
All you have to do is follow my blog and leave a comment about a green saving tip you use on this post!
Easy peasy. I'll draw out a winner Monday!
Have a great Thursday!