Finding ways to make your funds stretch throughout a semester can be very challenging as a college student.
The weight of balancing a social life, paying for tuition, textbooks, phone bills, groceries and car expenses can be almost too much to handle at times. Isiaah Boria, FinLit Peer Educator in his fourth year, has made a list of some of the ways he saves money and stretches his funds.
After a tough first semester of college, Isiaah realized textbooks cost a lot more than he had expected. He now uses Sluggbooks.com, this website looks for the best textbook prices across multiple platforms like Chegg, Abcbooks and Amazon. This website saves him money and time hunting for the best price.
The Dollar Tree is a place where Isiaah buys some of his basic needs. This can oftentimes be an overlooked store where students can save money. Remember to pay attention to unit prices, sometimes you may be paying more than you would at another store. Some items are a great deal and sometimes the packaging is small enough that a dollar is rip-off! Entertainment can be expensive so take advantage of events like Dollar Movie Night and programs like Mainely Outdoors that offer free excursions. Student Life also promotes trips to professional sports games, Broadway shows and much more.
Keeping an eye out for these resources around campus can help you save a lot of money and have a lot of fun. Isiaah’s last big tip is to use budgeting apps. This helps him keep track of his expenses and also budget ahead of time so he can save money each week.
It is tax season and that means that college students who file are most likely getting refunds.
If you worked a lot in 2019 the chances are your refund is large. If you’re not behind on bills or desperately need to spend the money, this is a good chance to get ahead on your savings and build an emergency fund.
There are also many ways you could invest this money rather than using it for quick purchases that provide momentary satisfaction. Saving your money to use on textbooks next fall, using it as grocery money for the semester, paying rent, or investing it into your long term savings account are all really good ways for spending your refund wisely.
Making conscientious purchases such as those will benefit you in the long run, rather than using it to go out to dinner, to buy your 7th pair of Vans or a new sweatshirt.
Be smart with your refund and be sure to file your taxes with us by setting up an appointment with a peer coach by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sticking to a budget and finding a little extra money for gifts makes holiday spending a struggle. As with any type of budget, set aside a selected amount of money and try not to overspend.
There are a few ways you can save a few bucks before the holiday spending is in full force. Start with small tasks like collecting all the empty bottles in your room, or even from your friends, and bringing them to the bottle redemption center. Not only will you earn a few dollars but your room or apartment will be a lot cleaner, leaving more room for festive activities like Christmas trees and that heaping pile of presents you can now afford because of the extra money you earned for yourself.
In the weeks leading up to the big holiday spending, set aside your spare change and bills each week in an envelope or jar and it will add up surprisingly fast. Cashback apps like iBotta, Checkout 51 and Dosh to name a few, allow you to scan your receipt after any purchase and get cashback on applicable items. This is especially handy on receipts from grocery shopping which generally have a lot of items on the receipt.
Black Friday and holiday spending can cost a lot of money, so be conscious and don’t spend more than you can afford!
DM FinLit on Instagram at Umf_Finlit or send me an email at email@example.com to set up an appointment.
Dam Turkey Day
The time to stuff our faces with turkey, stuffing, and pies is nigh. Images of a heaping cornucopia of steaming food can cloud our vision and financial judgment. Cooking a traditionally large, exquisite Thanksgiving meal can be enough to break anyone’s budget.
Before you decide what you’re cooking, set aside a budgeted amount of money. Setting a limit will steer you away from splurging and losing track of your food spending until the final item has been rung up.
The meat of a Thanksgiving meal is generally the most expensive item on the table. This may be controversial, but maybe you don’t need a whole turkey. Turkey’s breasts, thighs, and drumsticks will be cheaper and cook faster than a whole turkey, saving you time and money.
When it comes to vegetables and pies don’t shy away from canned or frozen goods. After it’s been cooked, the only noticeable difference will be in your wallet.
After completing your Thanksgiving budget, break out your phone and use a coupon or savings app to see what deals you can find on the items you’ve chosen.
On top of saving all that dam money, don’t forget to be thankful for the loved ones around you- they’re priceless. DM FinLit on Instagram at Umf_Finlit or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.