Do you really need that pizza at midnight? Do you really need to spend $10 on that really cool t-shirt – that you’ll only wear once?

Chances are we have all asked ourselves these exact questions – and we have ignored our inner selves and bought the things anyway. Well, I have six really easy tips to save money if you are a broke college student like me.

  1. Limit eating out. I know this is hard, it is hard for me too. Knowing that McDonald’s sells a basket of fries for $2.99 does not help me in this endeavor either. But eating out – even if it is McDonald’s – is not only a waste of money, but is really unhealthy (or so I’m told by every doctor I’ve had the pleasure of meeting).
  2. Use school amenities.  Your student ID can be your best friend. It can get you crazy discounts at restaurants and clothing stores (yes, even clothing stores). Also, museums and concerts also provide discounts for students who show ID! Pretty cool, right? Even some bookstores will give you discounts for showing your ID. Who doesn’t love discounted book?!?
  3. Coupons! I can not stress this enough, use a coupon for absolutely everything. And I mean everything. There is a coupon for anything you could imagine, so why not use it? Coupons can be such a source of savings and are deeply under-appreciated in today’s culture. I am 100% sure there is an app out now specifically for couponing, so there’s no excuse not to knock a few dollars off your grocery bill the next time you go shopping.
  4. Carpool.  This one is easier said then done, I know. It can feel weird and intrusive and a bit awkward, but carpooling is a sure way to save money in a pinch. Carpooling can save on gas: if you all are going to the same place, why take separate cars. Plus if you are the one who everyone car pools with, you receive a bit of compensation towards your gas money… which is always a bonus!
  5. Pay the Interest. Paying the interest on your loans is easier said than done, but paying at least some of the interest will help in the long run. Paying $20 a month toward your loans not only looks good to the loan agency, but helps reduce what you will pay when you graduate. It also helps to boost your credit score.
  6. Say NO! Say no to buying that t-shirt that you think you can’t live without and that pizza you are craving at midnight. My motto is that if you can think of five reasons not to buy it, then you probably should not spend your money on it. Honestly if you could think of one reason not to buy something than it is not worth spending your money.

Saving money is hard and it is definitely  a commitment, especially when you are in college. Starting the journey to save can be difficult, but it is not impossible. After all, the word impossible says I’m Possible.

article originally published April 2017