Your late teens and early twenties are arguably the most financially nerve-wracking years of your life. As you leave the nest and step into adulthood, suddenly you’re faced with more costs than you can count and a quickly-dwindling piggy bank. Compiled in this Girl On a Budget article are a bunch of different ideas and tricks to help you save at college. Every little bit counts!
Be Smart With Your Money
Depending on what company you bank with, several will offer different types of savings accounts aimed specifically at students wanting to save. Investigate what savings plans you can join. Many offer rewards for reaching goal targets, not withdrawing money from the account, or from making regular monthly deposits. You can also get monthly account fees waved if you’re a college student – pop into your bank branch with your student ID and see what benefits you can reap. A little goes a long way!
Clothes Swaps and Op Shops
If you’re getting tired of your current wardrobe but don’t have room to spend loads on a shopping spree, suggest holding a clothes swap with friends or dorm mates. Bring along pre-loved clothes in good condition and swap with your friends! Alternatively, if you do have some loose change to spare, have a browse through the local op/secondhand shops to pick up some bargains. A lot of op shops and goodwill stores stock more than just clothes – you can find books, music, furniture and cute room decor as well.
Does your skin love some TLC but your bank balance says no? Instead of spending loads on expensive beauty and skincare products, try making your own! Most scrubs, body butters, and lotions can be made with things already in your kitchen cupboards – plus, you’ll sleep easy knowing exactly what you’re putting on your skin. Have a browse on Pinterest for DIY Health and Beauty ideas, or have a go at making some of my already tried-and-tested recipes below:
Mix together Olive Oil, Honey, Brown Sugar (and/or) Castor Sugar, Vanilla Essence (or any other scent/essence of your liking) and Food coloring (optional) in a bowl until you get an even, gritty texture. Pour into a lip balm bottle and you’re done!
EXFOLIATING COFFEE SCRUB:
Mix Coconut Oil with Ground Coffee (any type will do), Sea Salt, and a touch of Vanilla Essence. Perfect for coffee lovers and is just the trick for waking you and your skin up in the mornings.
AVOCADO AND HONEY BODY LOTION:
Mash half of an avocado and mix with honey, brown sugar, lime juice, cocoa powder, ground coffee, and olive oil. This is a gorgeous lotion that doubles as an exfoliant and moisturizer that will leave your skin soft and smooth.
Hit Up Campus
Colleges know how sparse money can be for students. Most on-campus clubs are run by fellow students themselves and almost all of them know what it’s like to only have a couple of dollars left to get you through the week – so educate yourself on student-run events and clubs as a lot of them will have events with free food, prizes and vouchers to be won, discounted student fares to activities and restaurants and ‘student days’ every week. (Yes, you heard me right, free food!) Brands and companies often visit college-run events on days where they know student involvement will be high to hand out free samples of their products – and a lot of them are food and drink companies! Bring a friend along to open days and events – they can turn out to be a lot of fun!
I see you rolling your eyes, but coupons are not just a “Mom thing” anymore. You don’t know how handy they are until you use them! If you’re renting an apartment with friends, like to dine out and socialize, or just find yourself low on cash, coupons and vouchers can be an excellent way to save a few dollars each time you shop – which do add up to quite a lot of savings! Keep receipts after you shop (especially at the grocery store) as many have discounts on the back of them, trawl through campus newspapers and magazines (many companies offer discount coupons aimed at college students) and anywhere else you can find them. You’ll thank me later!