By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer
So let’s face it – we’re all college students and with the rapid growth of college and day-to-day expenses, it can take a toll on you and balance out your bank accounts.
However, this does not always have to be the case, there are ways to cut back without having to live paycheck to paycheck. You know those bronze little coins that weigh down your change purse and wallets?
Well, if you save them up and throw them into a jar on the side table, they are going to add up. What most people don’t realize is the one-cent penny can one day be a hundred-dollar bill.
Going green has its benefits too, if you or your family have cans laying around the house, or perhaps in your dorm, start cashing those in. You could even pick up the cans around your neighborhood. Not only would you be gaining cash but you could have your workout for the day and be helping the Earth at the same time!
Likewise, if you’re a commuter, try carpooling to school. You will be saving the environment and the gas bill will be cheaper because it will be half the price or less depending on how many passengers are in the car.
Did someone say coffee break? Skip the coffee and make it on your own. We all fall for the easy way out sometimes, and quick coffee may be easy to grab from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. However, my friends, if you buy one coffee seven days a week it’s going to add up. On another note, try making your own sweet flavors which can actually be fun. Or, if you really are in a pinch, stop at Cumberland Farms, for their 99-cent coffees.
If you are someone who is always buying lunch or snacks, try packing some of your own treats in containers or baggies. You can prep this the night before or even on the weekend, that way come Monday you have all your favorites right at home and do not have to spend money the day of.
It also saves you time, we all know how important those extra few minutes are.
For our shopaholics: don’t worry, there is a way to get your fix and save your credit cards. Instead of going shopping every weekend, save 10 dollars from each paycheck, and at the end of the semester, go on a big shopping spree with your friends. That way you’re budgeting and saving, but still having a good time and keeping up with the season’s hottest trends.
If you are unsure if you like something, put it on hold and sleep on it. If you don’t think about it the next morning, then you probably don’t need it.
However, if you are thinking of all the ways you would use it, then go ahead and make the purchase.
You can also do a similar trick for your savings account: each week take money out of your check to build up your account. Start small and then each week add on a few dollars, you won’t even realize what you are missing.
If you are in need of a night out when the work week is done, it does not mean you have to go out and spend everything you own.
Instead, stay in and do a movie or game night. Make some homemade pizza, cut some veggies, open a bag of your favorite munchies, and you’re good to go. It is so much fun and a major money saver.
Ever watched the show Extreme Couponing? Well try having your own competition and see how many coupons you can gather up on your next big grocery trip. It is always a good feeling seeing how much you save at the bottom of your receipt.
A tip when buying supplies for the semester – price out your books. Did you know our school store matches prices? If you find one or more of your books cheaper somewhere else, UMass Dartmouth’s campus store will match it.
Also if you are an online shopper, websites such as Chegg, Barnes and Noble, eBay, and Amazon may have a cheaper rental price that will help keep your book costs low.
Next time you go to swipe your credit card stop and think of these easy ways you can save when you are in college. Happy saving!