Gabrielle Isaac is a senior at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC earning her degree in Mass Communications with concentrations in Journalism, Radio, and TV/Multimedia with a minor in Creative Writing. In her years at Methodist, she has been assistant editor-in-chief and the editor-in-chief of smallTalk, the schools student newspaper as well as the Radio Director for MURadio. She co-hosts her very own radio show and has frequently directed and produced video for her university and the faculty and staff therein. Gabrielle is currently interning with Beasley Broadcast Group in Fayetteville, NC and has also worked with the local ESPN radio and the Associated Press.
Let’s face it, if you’re in college you probably don’t have much walking around money. Even if you have some money, there’s always the problem of paying for gas to put in your car, or maybe you’re saving up for that spring break trip you want to take with your buddies. That’s why it’s important to pinch pennies in college. So, here are some tips to get you started:
First: Download apps and print coupons! There are tons of money-saving apps available for iPhone, Android, and other smartphones. And, even if you don’t have a smartphone, most of the apps that are available can be accessed through your computer. One great app I love using is Retail Me Not. It’s absolutely free and has coupons for everything from online shops to pizza joints. While you’re on your phone or your laptop, you could also visit some couponing websites like coupons.com or the krazycouponlady.com. These sites let you print coupons for tons of products and stores. Why not save a buck or two? If you can’t get on a computer to print the coupons, try going to your college’s library on a Sunday. Most colleges and universities subscribe to local papers which are packaged and sent out every Sunday with coupons! Clip some of those out and save some money when you have to buy your Ravioli and Ramen.
Don’t always rely on your college bookstore to give you the best deals on your books. If you’re majoring in some sort of science, you’re book allowance probably won’t cover everything you need. Instead, you could rent or buy your books online from sites like Amazon. This route normally proves to be the cheapest. It can cut out some of your tuition bill or just save you a little more cash to put back into your wallet.
Next, don’t just throw your pennies in your pockets so they can get lost in your couch cushion or in the washing machine, put them to good use. Save up your change for a while and use the spare change whenever you need it. You could also take your change to Walmart and use the Coinstar machine (it’s usually located in the customer service or return section of the store)! When you find it, dump in your coins and get gift certificates for virtually anything. You could also get cash from the machine with a small charge. But hey, if you need cash, this is one way of getting it!
If you’re like me, you want to have fun with your friends during your downtime. However, in this economy, it’s hard to spare the extra cash to go to the movies or go out to dinner. Instead, find cheap or free events to do in your downtime. Check out your college’s website or the flyers around campus and see what is going on during the week. Maybe it’s an orchestra concert or a football game. Regardless, you’ll have fun with your friends by your side. Most college events are free with your student ID. You could also check your city’s website to see if there are any cool things going on for free around town. If you go to school in a town like I do, there are seasonal street fairs where vendors come out and give some of their stuff away for free. A great time to score free pens and pencils…if you lose yours like I do. I’ve also found that there are normally
Lastly, join all the loyalty programs that you’d like. All sorts of businesses have their hands in the loyalty program kick. If you go to the movies a lot like I do, ask if there is a discount or loyalty card available. Most places actually give these away for free. You can build up points and cash them in for food, groceries or a good movie when you’re low on cash.
These are just a few tips to help you save some money while you’re in college. I’ve been in college for almost 4 years now, and they haven’t let me down since. Happy saving!