- Plan your outings. Remember my Social Fridays at the museum? Thats what Im talking about. There are certain places, like movie theaters, museums, parks, and clubs, that have special days where students can get in for free or are only required to pay a nominal fee.
- Go out in groups. They say sharing is caring – and it is, especially in college. Kelly, from NASFAA, says its always a good idea to go out in groups, so you can split the bill.
- Downloaddiscount apps. Groupon, Honey, and RetailMeNot are some of the apps you can get to browse hundreds of discounts at local restaurants and shops, big retailers, and more.
4. Get a side hustle
Its hard to have both a full-time job and good grades, I get it. But there are certain gigs you can do on the side in order to have some extra cash without making a huge time commitment.
- Rideshare services (if you have a car, of course). Both Lyft and Uber allow drivers to set their own schedules and the number of hours theyd like to work, plus youre your own boss.
- Paid surveys. Websites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks , and i-Say, will pay you for your opinion either in the form of cash or rewards. The best part? You only need a computer and a steady internet connection.
- Become a brand ambassador. A lot of companies, and I mean a LOT, look for college students to promote their brands on campus. Youll get paid either monetarily or by getting freebies from that brand (which you can also sell).
- Sell your old stuff. That old bag and those jeans you dont use anymore? List them on eBay, Poshmark, or ThredUp, and make a quick buck. Those textbooks from last semester? Sell them on Amazon or at Barnes Noble.
- Pet-sitting. Do you love fluffy creatures? Well, this job is for you! You can offer to watch other peoples pets while theyre on vacation or walk them in the evenings.
Having a side hustle can help you cut back on how much youll need to borrow while in school (if anything), so its worth giving it a shot.
5. Set up an emergency fund
“It’s important to have something to fall back on because you never know when you’re going to have an emergency in college,” Kelly, from NASFAA, says.
This is why you should make it a point to have a separate account designated for emergencies (you know, to avoid temptation).
Okay, I know that as a college student youre probably not earning as much as someone who has a full-time job, so naturally, you wont be able to put away a significant amount each month.
Kelly says that if you have a steady income from a part-time job, 10% of that should go toward your emergency fund.
If you dont have a job, you can still build a small nest egg with any extra cash that comes your way. Think birthday gifts from your grandparents or your monthly allowance.
6. Watch out for fees
When youre out and about with your friends, ATM or checking account fees are probably the last thing on your mind, however, they shouldnt. Leon C. LaBrecque , c hief growth officer of Sequoia Financial Group, a Michigan-based financial planning firm, says:
“I’ve seen college students go to the ATM five times in one day and rack up $10 to $15 in ATM fees.”
Likewise, some bank accounts charge you an additional withdrawal fee if you use an ATM outside of their network, or if your balance is less than a certain amount.