How to Save Money in College
Money is the root of all evil. And if you believe that, I’d be happy to take it off your hands.
That said, one of the biggest problems for a college student is managing their money. As a new adult it can be tough to manage your finances, especially if you haven’t been used to it before. I personally, through a series of unfortunate events, ended up heavily in debt to the Canadian mafia. Fortunately, being Canadian, they’re more disappointed than mad.
Other than ripping off polite mobsters, here is some more sound financial advice.
See, food is delicious. It’s also expensive. Feel free to go back to my old article if you want some advice but the same idea applies here. Eating out and even meal plans charge money. If you need more spending money, for instance, suggest to your parents they cut back a few meals on the plan. You can have eggs a few times a week and pocket an extra $20 a week. Not a bad hustle if you’ve overlooked it and the easiest one to make.
How crappy is your car? If you answered anything less than “very” you’re not doing college correctly. You barely have to drive and looks aren’t worth an extra few grand. Save that money for adventures; don’t spend it on the device that takes you there.
Similarly, cheap variations on classics are what you want: cheap beer, cheap pasta, store-brand salsa, the works. That way, if you really do like a superior version of something: organic milk, expensive vodka, whatever; you’ll have more money to spend on it. It’s funny like that.
Do Not Do Anything Illegal
Crime pays like vegas does; it’s tempting and big payouts seem easy. But the house always wins. It’s easy to lose it all, even in undramatic ways. For example, confiscated marijuana and fines will instantly wipe out any illicit profits…and that’s in a best “non-arrested-it’s-Massachusetts” scenario. Gangster movies are entertainment, not a how-to. Don’t be stupid.
Get Free Stuff
We all know the “Meeting has free pizza” hustle: It’s the college staple, but that’s strictly small-time. You need to think outside the box and think inside the basement. Getting want an Xbox 360? You have a Nintendo 64 at home or a friend does: that’s the rule of thumb. You have sweatshirts and more that you can use. And if you can’t use it…
Sell Old Stuff
…you can sell it. Now, don’t get too excited. Not much of what you have isn’t worth too much. And you’re going to take a loss on anything you do sell: don’t hold out for fair value. However, with that said, if you’re willing to call it a general loss, the junk you have adds up. Done with some fitted hats? Three for $20 will move on Ebay fast. Old high-school textbooks? Maybe $90 from the four years you spent. Your old Poke’mon cards? $15 for a shoebox, if you’re lucky.
Is it worth it? No. But if this is stuff that would have been worthless. You can cobble together $150 fairly easily if you want to. It’s not going to cover any major debts and it’s not a long-term strategy, but if you’re bored and could use some scratch, that’s a lot of dough to buy pizza with.
Rick Ross, per usual, has sound financial advice.
Every day he’s hustling.
What I mean is sometimes cutting spending is less fun than getting more money. Find small jobs around. Have a truck? Offer to move some boxes for people when leases are up if you can: $50 an hour, plus gas, and you can get a few hundred in a day. Can you work at coffee shop two afternoons a week? Probably. If you feel like it, do it. Can you write? Write. Write all the time.
Hopefully this helps you out. And when it does, feel free to split the profits with me, fifty-fifty. You know what? Sixty-sixty. We both deserve it.