How to be Thrifty in College

    Posted by Winnie Ching on Apr 2, 2018 3:31:54 PM

    In thrifty, save money, broke college student

    The cost of attending college is no small amount and the last thing you’d want is to find that your personal expenses are getting out of hand. Here are some tips and tricks to minimize your spending.

    Keep track of your expenses

    One thing I like to do is keep all my receipts and go through all of them every week. I would enter my expenses on an excel spreadsheet so that I can see how much money I’m spending every week. I found this extremely helpful because I become more aware of how much I’m spending and I’ll know when I need to cut back on things. If you have a job, you can also enter your income so that you have a better sense of how much money comes in as money goes out. There are also a ton of great apps that are handy for keeping track of your expenses such as Toshl; it not only tracks your expenses but also compiles the information and develops charts and graphs to better understand your spendings. 

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    Shopping secondhand

    There’s a Goodwill store on University Drive and one in Northampton with great prices and tons of options. Thrift shopping can get you the things you need at significantly lower prices so I highly recommend taking a look at the nearby stores and maybe you’ll find something that you really like.

    Eat most of your meals on campus

    It’s fun to explore the restaurants nearby and indulge in the area has to offer, but doing so too often accumulates expenses. My advice to you would be to have most of your meals on campus using the meal plan you’ve already paid for (especially if you have the unlimited swipes) and treat yourself once in while to food off campus.

    Find free food

    Sometimes when organizations on campus host events, they’ll have free food so it’s not a bad idea to check out Facebook events and getting information about upcoming events. Some clubs have meetings every week and they’ll have pizza for everyone.

    Flyers and coupons

    If you need to go shopping, it might be a good idea to check out some flyers to see if there are any discounts going on or look for any coupons. When I need to make a stop at CVS or Walgreens, I always look at the flyers to see what is on sale.

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    The last and most difficult piece of advice I can give you is to limit your spending. In order for you to limit your spending, you need to be more aware of your spending. Often times I prefer to pay with cash so that I know that once I have no more money in my wallet, that's enough. If you always pay with your credit or debit card, it's easy to overspend and not realize. 

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