Saving money is easier than students think

Being a college student is a challenge with deadlines or tending to off-campus life. While going to school teaches students to multi-task, nothing trains them to manage finances.

The financial struggles of a college student are well known. The struggle is inescapable, but many overlook simple ways of saving money. At the most basic level, it can be as simple as setting up a budget for yourself and sticking to it.

(Stephanie Amaya | The Poly Post)

Refraining from overspending or staying within your limits is a practice that surpasses financial benefit. Of course, this is mastered over the consistency of a long period of time and there are easier ways to get a head start.

Using apps such as Mint can help control over-spending as well as track expenses and take note of bills to pay each month.

Staying within that budget can be made easy with other apps such as GasBuddy, which lists lower gas rates around you. Simple changes can also provide significant money savings over time, such as investing in a coffeemaker at home instead of purchasing a cup every day.

Learn to cook ready-made meals for school and work instead of eating out. If you do eat out, take advantage of happy hour or special deals available.

Get into the habit of using student discounts and always keep your Bronco ID card handy. Museums and cinemas often offer discounted prices and places like Chipotle and Chick-fil-A offer free drinks. Why not take advantage of the perks of pursuing an education?

Do not underestimate coupons. Assume every service or product has a coupon and search online before purchasing. Seriously, there are free online coupons for oil changes and birth control.

Groupon is perfect for inexpensive outings and entertainment experiences with large groups. RetailMeNot finds deals for everyday expenses and offers cash back when buying specific items, much like the Ibotta app that pays the user money to shop for items she or he already needed to purchase.

Signing up for loyalty or rewards programs for places you visit often can give access to exclusive discounts or even free items after time. CashAlarm offers real money for time spent playing specific games. Playing can earn you up to a dollar a day, which adds up at the end of the month.

Adopting side hustles like selling unused items on Poshmark and Craigslist can earn extra money for things unneeded. Access your inner entrepreneur and sell services online or on campus. Sell your time by becoming a tutor in a subject you’ve mastered, or charge for every paper you proofread. Apps like Fivver pay for small tasks or skills offered, and Esty can be used to sell unique handmade crafts.

More intense side hustles like Uber and Lyft are time-consuming but offer a higher payoff. There are also apps like

UberEats if you are uncomfortable with strangers in your car. The best perk to these apps is the flexibility in work hours, which is much needed as a college student. Money-saving resources are available on campus and are incredibly overlooked. Activities can be found in the Games Room Etc., where exclusive student discounts are offered for places like Disneyland.

An entire monthly bill can be avoided by using the gym on campus instead of maintaining a gym membership. Medical check-ups, tests and vaccinations are free or available at a highly discounted price at the Student Health Services with little to no wait time.

Find ways to exercise the biggest bang for your buck on campus. Whether it be cutting costs or spending moreef ciently, saving moneyis a matter of discipline and consistency. It is not a college doom to struggle for money. Be smart this year and save up.

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