August 27, 2014

How to deal with being broke in college

By Sammie Hill–

As those of us who have a few years of undergrad under our belt know, and as freshmen will soon find out, the stereotype of being broke in college is very real. Money is easy to spend and difficult to earn, especially when students have to juggle school, homework, internships and other commitments during the school year.

Thus, the ability to responsibly manage the money you do possess is incredibly important in college. In addition to common tips such as saving your change, utilizing student discounts and avoiding impulse buying, these tips can help students save money.

A new summer discovery for broke college kids is the magic of Lyft. The app provides a cheaper alternative to taxi cabs. You can request a driver and they will be at your place within minutes. These drivers are nice, friendly, clean and normal. Lyft is much cheaper than cabs, and for each friend you refer, you get a free ride up to $25. Using Lyft is a safe, inexpensive way to get around the city while avoiding high cab fare; plus, you don’t have to worry about parking.

To reduce the cost of grocery bills, students can utilize the coupons offered by stores such as Kroger and Wal-Mart. Available online, these coupons can save students money on products ranging from laundry detergent to makeup to frozen pizzas and drink mixers. Wal-Mart has printable coupons whereas Kroger lets you load them directly onto your Kroger card. You don’t have to go crazy like the moms on TLC to notice the savings, either. Saving a few dollars each shopping trip adds up quickly, and can help pay for that 12-pack on Friday night.

Furthermore, there is an entire section of Craigslist devoted to free items. Many people in the middle of moving or cleaning out the house list lamps, tables, decorations and more that they just want to get rid of. I found a barely-used futon on there, as well as a nice end table to put next to my couch. Students could use this site to find some great things for their dorms or apartments, all for free.

If money gets too tight, students may want to consider getting a part-time job. Many opportunities around campus provide flexible jobs for students, such as restaurants, bookstores, department stores and, of course, the student newspaper. This supplemental income can help ease financial strains and give students a little extra spending money.


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