We all love to save money, especially when working, going to class, internships, and trying to fit in time to relax. How can you pay all the bills and still live a fun lifestyle? As a college student myself, I always wonder the same thing. It can be stressful to pay for college, an apartment, and maintain a social life of some kind. It’s so easy to spend money, but it’s always hard to save money. Here’s where I come in, I want to help some of this stress. As someone who adores deals/saving, I have come up with and found some easy ways to save money, hopefully, they help you too.
5 Ways to Save Money
1.Budget! (Or keeping track of your spending)
This might sound tedious or overwhelming, but trust me, it really helps. Knowing where your money goes and how much you make in a month can really help you understand how to best use your money. There are also lots of apps to help you keep track, or you can even use a spreadsheet. If budgeting doesn’t work for you there are lots of money experts suggest using the 20/30/50 rule when it comes to money. 50% of your income on needs/bills, 30% on wants (eating out, clothes, shoes, anything), and 20% into savings. That might not work for everyone, but it’s always a good place to start. If you’re also not the best at saving money, something I have been personally doing is taking $20 out a week in cash and not touching it. If I continue to do this, by the end of December I will have an extra $1,040. It may not sound like a lot, but if you can do this, it’s a great place to start to build savings.
2. Studnet Discounts!
Since you have to carry your student ID on you anyways, it never hurts to see where you can get a student discount. There are plenty of local places (especially if you live in a college town) that offer students discounts on meals, clothing, and more if you look. Want to save money on an iPad, Macbook, or more? Apple offers education discounts that you won’t want to miss out on. Love ordering stuff on Amazon? Use your student email to get 6 months of free Amazon Prime and then only pay half the price for the next 4 years. There are plenty of opportunities to get discounts with your ID, and since you have it, definitely use it!
3. Meal Prep
Although many of us probably don’t like this idea, hear me out. Getting a crockpot and putting together a meal is pretty simple. You buy the ingredients, don’t have to do much prep, you put it in the crockpot, set the timer, and then forget about it. Depending on the recipe, you have a pretty easy meal with almost no effort, and you saved so much time. I have been doing this and I will be honest, having a meal just ready for me saves me time and stress. You can probably even get away with cooking while you are in a zoom call. If you feel stuck on where to start with that, here are some easy crock pot recipes to get you started.
4. Getting with the right bank
There are a couple of options when it comes to banks putting money back in your pocket. For example, credit unions. Credit Unions are meant to be serving the customer by giving them higher interest rates (the rate varies on the quarter), and they help you get your finances in order by offering different services to help maximize your money. One problem I have with this is that usually credit unions are local, and you never know where you could end up. That’s why I have personally been using Discover Bank. They do credit cards, debit, savings, loans, and all kinds of neat stuff. I have been using Discover since 2019 and I have loved it. They are really geared towards putting money back in my pocket. They have different kinds of cashback offers, especially for students. Much like credit unions, their interest rates can vary depending on the market, but the interest rate I have gotten from their savings account has been amazing. I also really enjoy their cashback debit, 1% cashback on all purchases made with the card. I have already made $30 cashback this year just using that card. Their credit card is pretty great too, especially if you have the Discover Student card, they offer you a $20 credit on the card just for getting good grades in college! You just have to send in your report card every semester. They also have different offers for 5% cashback on places like Amazon, Paypal, Walmart, and more.
5. Discount Programs
Grocery stores, CVS, Target, Walgreens, or fast food apps, there are plenty of ways to make some money back. You have to go grocery shopping or pick up prescriptions, why not save some money while you’re at it? Target offers their red card (debit or credit) and they give you 5% back on all shopping trips. CVS and Walgreens have coupons and rewards programs that offer you tons of savings/money back. Plus, even if you meal prep or buy groceries, it doesn’t mean you won’t be eating out or getting coffee every now and again. There are plenty of reward programs that offer you free meals, discounts, or free items just for being a rewards member. Think about it, McDonals, Whataburger, Dunkin, Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, Wendy’s, and more, you just have to look.
Hopefully, these help you all saving some money. I have been doing these myself and I can proudly say that it has helped a lot. I love seeing the savings grow and knowing I am helping my future. I also love the feeling when I want to treat myself and see that I have a free meal from one of my meal apps.