By JOSEPH SIML
I have some tips on how to save money, but it will cost you.
My price is five minutes of your time. Sound good? I hope so, because college students have a lot of expenses, like tuition, housing, transportation, books and of course, more tuition.
With that in mind, here are some of my favorite tips on how to save a little extra money.
One thing all college students have in common is that they like to grab a bite to eat before class. Unfortunately, the people who own the vending machines have figured that out, too. Consequently, sometimes the prices on the snacks are a bit high.
But there is another way to get your snacks without promising your firstborn. The solution is surprisingly easy: Go off campus. Most businesses around the college have snack machines, but because their traffic isn’t as high, their prices tend to be lower, especially if the building belongs to the government.
Another thing students like to obsess about is how they look. Clothes, however, can be expensive. Depending on where you shop, you might spend upwards of $100 for a nice jacket. $100! That’s not something most students can afford.
So, if you want some cool clothes, check out your local thrift store. It incredibly surprising what some people will throw away. At my local thrift shop, it’s not uncommon for me to find $120 jackets and pants, in like-new condition, being sold for as little as $5 apiece.
With the savings from your clothing purchases, you will undoubtedly have some extra cash. You should, however, wait before you start carrying it around. I found this out the hard way. Last semester, I kept about $20 in my backpack, just in case I wanted to buy something. Whenever the balance dipped below $5, I would throw in another $20, just to make sure there was a surplus of available cash.
Before too long, however, I began to notice that the money in my backpack was slipping out faster than profanity from a YouTube gamer’s mouth. I was blowing through about $35 every week, which by the end of the semester would have been around $560. If I have a favorite money-saving tip, this is it: Don’t carry cash with you. The temptation to shell it out at the nearest food court will overwhelm even the most dedicated penny-pincher.
In summary, there are plenty of ways to save money, and these tips will work whether you are in college or not. Frugality is a virtue (even Google agrees), and you deserve to hang onto your money. The tips I’ve listed here are helpful in accomplishing that, but they are by no means the only pointers on saving money. Be sure to look up other suggestions online, but don’t forget: With time, all sales are final.