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How to Survive on a Student Budget

How to Survive on a Student Budget

With a few tips and tricks, budgeting can become second nature.

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 27, 2013

Students often find themselves in a pickle: they’re used to that cushy lifestyle they’re accustomed to with Mom and Dad.

Once they have to begin budgeting, they find it’s not as easy as it looks.

It gets better – honestly!

With a few tips and tricks, budgeting can become second nature. You just need to know how to begin.

So, here’s how:

Utilize Technology –

With a smart phone, who needs a recipe book or an alarm clock? You can also use helpful apps and web sites, like Mint.com, to create and stick to a budget as well as sites, like FinAid.org to help in calculating college costs.

Utilize the Web –
Before making a big purchase, do your research on the web.

Compare prices online, check out web sites that offer used or items and look into sites that list which places offers student deals.

Also, you can looks for cheap ways to entertain yourself because, on the whole, college campuses offer plenty of activities for free (often with free food, too) and they’re often listed on your college’s web site.

Utilize Your Student Status –

Did you know that a lot of places, from grocery to retail stores, offer student discounts?

Ask everywhere you go – from the movies to buying a new top – just in case they give a student discount.

Utilize Carpools –

If you’re going home to visit often or if you live off-campus, gas can get expensive.

Offer to ride with friends so you can share the gas costs.

Utilize Coupons –

We’re not suggesting you become a coupon-crazed maniac but, when every cent matters, coupons can make all the difference when added up to dollar amounts!

Check out websites for coupon codes when shopping online or printable coupons when shopping in store.

Utilize Meal Planning –

It’s pretty difficult to cook for one person. Why not plan meals with friends and roommates, share in the cost of ingredients and enjoy a meal together? It actually sounds pretty fun!

Utilize Bulk Discounts –

If you go in on everyday items shared with roommates, like toilet paper and paper towels, it can be a lot more cost-effective.

Bonus: you’ll be prepared with massive amounts of dish detergent should the apocalypse arrive.



What do you do to stay on-budget?


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