Most college student’s stay broke, with tuition, fees, food, etc. to purchase. It can be hard for a college student to even think about going out and having fun if money is needed. Growing up poor, I learned quickly how to save money and spend wisely. As a college student, I learned how to apply my skills to actually enjoy the experience, with little money. Below are a few of my favorite tips to help you survive college without going completely broke!
Work, Work, Work
When in college, you should have some downtime which can be used to work. You can use the skills you have to pick up part time jobs to help you earn extra cash. This could be such jobs as babysitting, tutoring or cleaning houses. Think about the area in which you attend college and what could be done to help you earn spending money.
Purchase Used Materials
Try your hardest to purchase books and items needed for class second hand. A used version is just as good as a new version if still part of the curriculum. Search for ads in the local paper or bulletin boards on campus to see who might be selling books or materials for the next semester. This way, you can pay much less for what you need, saving money that can otherwise be used somewhere else.
Learn How to Cook Cheaply
One of the most expensive costs of living in college is food. The campus will provide a food resource, such as a cafeteria or food court, but this can get expensive. If you have access to a kitchen, try to keep simple foods in your dorm room or apartment that do not cost a lot but will fill you up. This could be noodles, soups, etc. Consider working with friends to shop for meat, cooking together to save on food costs. You can also use coupons and save even more when shopping for breakfast, lunch and dinner foods.
Find Free Activities
When you are in college, you want to stay social and have fun. But you are broke. The best way to enjoy yourself on and off campus is to find free things to do. The area may have festivals to enjoy or live music at local bars. If there is no cover charge, go have fun! Just know that you will need to drink water to avoid spending any money!
Also look for any activities that may be taking place on campus to enjoy time with friends with little to no cost to participate.