College life is stressful, in part, because of midterms, tests, and papers that are due throughout the year – but also because during this time, you may spend a lot of money. The old “broke college student” joke is becoming truer in the last decade than ever before. In fact, it is approximately 400% more expensive to go to college now than it was 30 years ago. And on top of that, it is almost impossible to work a full-time job, be a full-time student, and be able to afford to live on your own in today’s economy.
Despite that, there are ways to consistently save money, you just have to know where to look. So without further ado, here are some tips to be a (slightly) less broke college student.
- Many students forget that many stores have student discounts. Restaurants, clothing stores, and even large companies offer a percentage off just by flashing your student ID or typing in your college email address. Just to name a few- Subway, Apple, Adobe, AT&T, Dell, Burger King, Dairy Queen, Jiffy Lube, AMC Theatres, 24-hour fitness, and so much more. A quick Google search will bring up nearly a hundred other places as well.
- Get all the free rewards cards that you can. Rewards cards are simple: every time you purchase an item or service from a place, you are rewarded once you spend a certain amount or gain enough points, or simply by having the card! Some of my favorite rewards are: Shell, Walgreens, Hot Topic, AMC Theatres, Gamestop, and Petco. All of these are free and can save you money!
- Buy used gift cards. This may seem risky, but there are many authorized gift card sites that sell used gift cards for less than how much is on them! My all-time favorite site Is Giftcardgranny.com! It’s certainly worth checking out, and it’s free to sign up. I was able to spend $45 on a $56 gift card for Petco-That is basically $11 free! There’s no tax and if you buy an e-gift card like I did, you don’t have to wait for the mail or pay shipping costs.
- Clip those coupons! You may feel like your crazy aunt who freaks out if she misses out on a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal, but who cares. Coupons are widely accessible and easy to find both online or at the store. One of my favorite apps to check out cool coupons and deals is Groupon, which is free.
- Take advantage of free samples. No, I don’t mean those free food samples in the food court (although anything free is great). I’m referring to the tons of online free samples that brands hand out all of the time. There are a ton out there! Just be careful about where you are putting in your address. I try and only do this on the website of the brand of the sample, such as Garnier Fructis or Colgate.
These are just a few ways you can be a (slightly) less broke college student. There’s no shame in being a penny pincher, especially with the cost of those college textbooks!