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10 Practical Ideas To Save Money In College

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For some students college is a time for experimentation, for others, this is their last chance to get their career on track and make a change. For others, it’s just a very expensive time! Whatever your circumstances, a little self-control can go a long way to making your college years more affordable.

Don’t buy expensive clothes

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I’ve been there, tempted by the flashy, cashmere sweaters, the crisp, white blouses, the leather boots. But then I had to wear those clothes for a year and a half. This made me realize the importance of quality clothing, and how much it can define your wardrobe. So in order to look good on the cheap, here are some helpful fashion tips for college students. Buy clothes that are versatile and mix and match well. This way you don’t have to buy an entire outfit just to change the top. Tight jeans are the new old jeans. In my experience, they are less expensive and more versatile.

Get scholarships

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One of our favorite (and most competitive) ways to pay for college is with scholarship money. Colleges, universities, churches, and individuals give thousands of dollars in scholarships to students of all levels, and to students with all sorts of interests. That is good news if you are a student who has to pay full tuition.

Don’t buy expensive food

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Everyone wants to eat as healthy as possible in college, but the college budget doesn’t always allow for the most expensive foods. Dining halls are plentiful and are often much cheaper than the cost of food at a grocery store. If you’re buying food in bulk, buying fresh produce, and then portioning it out into meal-sized servings, your first grocery shopping trip should be your cheapest. Foods that are in season and last longer usually are cheaper. The best place to buy inexpensive food is at a farmer’s market, where fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper and fresher.

Work during the holidays

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Students can save money on gifts during the holidays by working more hours during the semester! It’s almost time to start the new semester, which is great because some students might be able to work more hours in the weeks leading up to the new term. It doesn’t seem like it at the time, but the long break between semesters is a great excuse to be able to work more hours and put more money away. So, while your friends are out shopping, think about getting your work done and then relax for a while, and when everyone else is busy catching up on sleep, you’ll already be on top of your academics for next semester.

Borrow books and notes from friends

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When you borrow the books, you save a lot of money upfront. Moreover, you also save time when you borrow notes since you exactly know what to study, and what is not so important.

Stop spending money on luxury items and luxury vacations

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One of the things that college kids spend the most money on is luxury items. You might be thinking that buying luxury items is harmless because you’re in college and you have a job. What does it matter if you spend $100 on a pair of sneakers when most people don’t work and can’t buy anything anyway? In the long run, it matters. It matters because it stops you from being free to live life. When you spend money on luxury items, you don’t have the ability to save for retirement or to buy necessities. Luxury is expensive, and at the rate you’re going, you’ll be living paycheck to paycheck.

Use coupons to reduce the cost of groceries

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I have collected a lot of coupons for products I want but have never bought. I have been saving them for a while now, and I use them whenever I can. Coupons are so worth it because they get you such an amazing deal! You can get products for less than what a store would normally charge you. This is such a great way to save money. Another great perk of having coupons is that there are so many ways you can use them. You can use coupons for anything from a lunch at a restaurant to a product you want to buy. With so many different ways to use coupons, it is always worth it to save coupons.

Search for free events and build connections

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First and foremost, check your school’s website for upcoming events. Events are often organized by school clubs, and the school will typically have listings of what they have planned. Next, check out your favorite event app. There might be a listing for your school or nearby college, and it’s a great way to find out what’s going on in your area. If you’re also looking for something low-key, like just a happy hour with friends, Yelp is a great resource to explore. It will have reviews from other community members.

Cut down on clubs, movies, and gym

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The tickets to the clubs, cinemas, the food there and ultimately the overall cost of visiting a club is too high. Imagine, if you had put every single penny that you spent at the club in the last 2 years, how much would that amount to? For many students, it would easily amount to well over a few thousand dollars.

Sell your books back at the end of the semester

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If you bought new books from the store, get some worth back from the books by selling them back to the store. Students are always looking for second-hand books that are available for cheap. Some schools and colleges even have closed groups that allow this.

Purnima is the brain behind #ootdiva and loves to brag about it. She is a personal stylist, a trained make-up artist and a professional content writer. You can follow her on Instagram at @PurnimaMadaan

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