Five ways to save money in college

Saving money is hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

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Saving money — let alone making money — in college can be extremely difficult, especially when you’re a compulsive shopper. College is expensive, and it is a common trope that college kids are broke. However, there are steps college students can take to conserve their money. Here are ways to save money in college when you’re a natural-born spender.

1. Open a savings account

If you don’t have one already, a savings account is a great way to manage your spending. Depending on your budget and paychecks, you can select a decent amount of money to funnel from your checking account into your savings account each month. Without even realizing it, you will be stashing money away for emergencies or a big purchase.

2. Budget! Budget! Budget!

Budgeting becomes essential when you start living on your own. Deciding how much to spend on what will ensure you aren’t spending money you don’t have. Plan out how much to spend in each area, such as groceries or clothing.

3. Pay less for textbooks

Why spend hundreds of dollars on a single textbook when you can browse Amazon or secondhand bookstores to find the same books for less money? Looking online for cheaper textbook options can save students a ton of money. In addition, students can sell their books at the end of each semester at The Mizzou Store or Yellow Dog Bookshop to make a little extra cash.

4. Use the double rule

A great rule to live by when making purchases is to only buy things when you could purchase it twice. For instance, if you want to buy a television that costs $400, you would need to have at least $800 in your bank account. Only make a purchase, especially a big purchase, if you can afford two!

5. Always check for student ID discounts

Sometimes, when you are a natural-born spender, saving all your money can be a difficult task. There are a lot of places, such as restaurants and clothing stores, that will offer discounts or deals for students with an ID card, so you won’t feel as guilty after shopping or going out. Couponing is also a great way to save money. Check newspapers for coupon opportunities. Make sure to check the policies before you go to see what the possibilities with discounts are. Check Unidays, a free website, for potential deals and savings.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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