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Delaney Ray

How To Save Money In College

by Delaney Ray | Oct 18, 2016

Since my daily activities almost always include scrolling Pinterest for way longer than I would like to admit, sometimes I try to search things that may actually benefit me in the long run.  So yesterday, instead of looking up current fall fashion or Halloween costumes, I decided to search ways to save money in college because every college student I know seems to be perpetually broke. So here is a list of money saving ways to live your life as a college student:

  • Only use paper money because it is much harder to physically hand money to a cashier than just swiping a card. This works especially well when you only take out a certain amount of cash to live on until your next paycheck so you can only spend that amount. Leave your debit/credit card in your room. And, to save even more money, every time you have a $1 bill and any spare change, save it and put in in a jar or container in your room to save up for a big trip or purchase (or your next school bill).
  • Go to free events with free food! There are so many fun opportunities on campus with fun things to do instead of spending money to go out with friends. Attend clubs and go to MAC events!
  • Try to avoid going out to eat (even on Sunday nights if possible) because eating out really puts a dent in your wallet. However, if you do go out to eat, order water instead of another drink to save a few dollars.
  • Wherever you go, ask for student discounts! You will be so surprised at the amount of places that offer student discounts. Most places do not advertise the discount but they will give it to you if you ask. A few places I found that provide discounts are Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, Charlotte Russe, Dairy Queen, Goodwill, McDonald’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, and many more! It doesn’t hurt to ask!
  • Before going to the store and going shopping, make a list and stick to it. Do not purchase anything not on your list. If you see something else you would like, write it down and keep in on a list for next time. Then go back over that list later to see if you still want that item. Do not buy something without thinking about it first.
  • Create a budget! Many college students have a hard time budgeting their money so all you need to do is look up a free printable budget and start saving money!
  • Download apps to help you save money! There are so many apps out there that help you budget money, and some even link to your purchases and can inform you what you spend the most money on.
  • Shop at thrift shops, make your own gifts, and live frugally! Try to buy/make anything you can as cheaply as possible!
  • Continue applying for scholarships! You can still receive scholarships while in college! Try checking out our university website or just doing a google search.
  • Finally, sharing is caring! Borrow things from other students and allow them to borrow from you! Asking to borrow their package of ham in the fridge may be out of line, but clothes and school supplies are fair game!

I hope these tips help you become billionaires! (If so, you could always donate a little of that to the person who gave you all the ideas. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

Delaney Ray '19 is a Psychology and Sociology double major with a minor in Criminal Justice. She works as a Student Orientation Leader and a Library Desk Assistant in addition to blogging for MU. She never thought she would be a blogger, and her dream job is to work for the FBI in the behavioral unit.