With the new school year, the thought of how to manage a budget and still be able to have fun with limited funds is always a challenge. Hopefully, this list will help you to become a successfully saving student.
First: Utilize your local Dollar Trees, Big Lots, 99 cents stores, and Wal-Marts.
Dollar Trees carry anything from microwavable foods to cleaning products and table settings. You can also get a three-pack of cup-of-noodles for a dollar, whereas anywhere else you would pay that for one cup. Wal-Mart also has $5 movies, for your cheap movie nights with roommates and friends.
Second: Offer to Drive!
If you have a car on campus, I’m sure you worry about how to pay for gas every once in a while. Well offer to drive! If you and some friends are going some-where, tell them that if they each pitch in a couple bucks for gas, you’ll be the chauffeur. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and have a little extra gas after you get back.
Third: Be a coupon cutter!
Although growing up it always seemed silly of our parents to cut coupons from the newspaper or vigorously read through the “Penny-Saver,” now that we have to pay for our own essentials, coupon-cutting doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Newspapers, “Penny- Savers,” and even some websites provide percentage-off and dollar-off coupons that in these days, can really save some big bucks.
Fourth: Go to the Library!
If you don’t already know, printing paper and ink are not cheap. The library charges only five cents for every two pages, so even if you have your own printer on campus, utilize the printers in the library. Investing in a flash-drive to store papers is far more beneficial in the long-run than buying your own printer.
Fifth: What’s wrong with the dollar menu?
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re out and need to spend money to eat, why go to an expensive restaurant like Chili’s or Applebee’s when every fast food place around has a dollar menu? Sure fast food isn’t the healthiest, but it gets the job done. From Wendy’s I can get a whole meal for just over three dollars.
Sixth: Use Red Box.
Why go to the movies and spend up to $11 to see a movie once, when you can rent a movie from Red Box for a dollar a day? However, be careful not to forget that you have it, because that will defeat the purpose of using it. But, if used responsibly, Red Box can be any easy and cheap way to watch the newest flicks.
Seventh: Cheap dates, in a good way.
Why does having fun have to involve spending money? Whether you’re going out on a date or just want to have a good time with friends, less is more when it comes to spending. Have a picnic on the lawn or in the gazebo rather than spending a lot of money for dinner and a movie. Or go to the park and play catch instead of going to an Angels’ game.
Hopefully some of these tips, along with budgeting your money will help you to live a little bit more comfortably this school year, and you too can become a successfully spending student, because being frugal doesn’t mean being boring.