Sunday, February 7, 2016

Saving a Little Extra Cash in College

     It is no secret that college is expensive. It is also no secret that my summer job as a camp counselor does not pay me a fortune (but I would not change that for the world). So often times during the semester, I have to sit myself down and look at my spending. As a senior, I live in a house with my own kitchen, meaning that I have to buy groceries and cook my own food. I also have a car, so that is another added expense. While I do work when I am on campus, I often find myself really having to look at the money that I am earning and what I am spending on. So, here are some tips to manage your money while in college!

ONE// Save on textbooks. Seriously. There is almost no need to spend $200 on a textbook that you will probably only open once. I get the majority of my textbooks used on Amazon. They are so much cheaper and in the end, I am totally ok if it has a few highlights or notes written in. Often times, I would prefer that to a brand new book!
     If you cannot find it cheaper on Amazon, the library would be your second best bet. My roommate Candice and I are in a class together and she took out both books that we need from the library. We have been sharing them all semester and it has cost us nothing!
be like Matilda and get your books from the library!

TWO// Pay attention to events on campus. This past weekend we had the Winter Carnival on campus. Along with it being a ton of fun, there was free food! Free food means not having to spend money on something to eat or use groceries for a meal that I could have saved for a different time. These events are not only good for food, but also other things as well! On campus in the next few weeks we are having a used book sale and a clothing sale. These events are great places to go not only if you are looking for something to do, but also if you need a few things!

THREE// Check out some on-campus jobs. On campus we have both work study and non-work study jobs. I personally do not have a work study, but I do have two on campus jobs that are not work study. For me, those jobs are a tour guide and social ambassador. These jobs are super fun and it gives me a little bit of extra cash in my pocket every two weeks! There are also a lot of other jobs on campus that are not work study, such as working in the dining hall. Also, our job link is a great way to find jobs on campus and off!

FOUR// Find forms of payment that work for you. I am a firm believer in using cash whenever possible. That way, I always know just how much I am spending. At this time is not my plan to apply for a credit card, but for those fellows that are interested in this opportunity Credit Card Insider has a Student Credit Card section that could be a good point to start. They lay out the pros and cons of all possible credit cards so that you can see what would work best for you. Eventually a credit card will be in my wallet, but for now I will just stick with cash!
Like Beyonce, I'll stick with cash.
(i also wish i was beyonce)
FIVE// Your I.D. card is everything. Not only is it an important resource while you are on campus (as it controls your meal plan, printing, entry to buildings and laundry) but it is also a great resource off campus. A lot of stores offer discounts to students and they can be anywhere from 10% to 30% off your purchase. There are tons of websites that tell you all the discounts or you can just ask before you check out!

I hope these tips will help you save a little bit of money this semester!


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