How to be a Poor College Kid

School has started back up and that means buying textbooks, multiple cups of coffee and if you’re an art student, the never ending lists of supplies, are really digging into your funds. You’d be surprised how easy it is to save a few bucks here and there and what a difference it makes. Freeing you up from spending all your extra time working just to make it up and giving you more time to enjoying the freedoms of college life.

1. Stop buying retail, especially cheap retail second hand

Be honest with yourself, will you really care about that crop top or skirt in a few months? I don’t care if it’s only 3 dollars or if it’s on sale. You don’t need it. Not to mention how corrupt the fast fashion industry is. Trust me, google it, the shirt isn’t worth it. If you feel like your closet is in some need of refreshing try hitting up your local thrift shops. Goodwill has multiple sales on it’s already cheap stuff each week. You’ll find much more interesting pieces and feel that thrill of finding a diamond in the rough. If crowds or going through a ton of racks isn’t your thing try looking online for second-hand clothes. They’ll still be cheap and you’ll most likely be helping out another fellow broke college student.

2. Sell your old clothes online

That’s right, if you’re going to spend some cash on new pieces you gotta even it out both in closet and wallet space. There’s a number of tools to use when selling old clothes online. It might take a while to get the ball rolling, but trust me it feels great to have a couple extra bucks from pieces you never wore anymore. Some sites I’ve used are Poshmark and Etsy. Poshmark is good for those clothes you bought from Forever 21 I told you you would get tired of. They take a small percentage, but you don’t have to pay for a shipping label. Etsy is good for if you get really good at thrifting and want to share your diamond finds that don’t fit your style, but someone else would love.

3. Stop paying for your coffee and food coffee-cup-bed-bedroom

Now it’s okay to go out with friends and enjoy a meal every once in a while, but I’d keep it to a minimum. Maybe even eat before you go and get a 5 dollar appetizer. Invite friends over for a potluck, saving everyone a couple bucks and making a fun, yummy night to remember. Buy in bulk. Turn up your music while you cook. Eating at home can be just as much, if not more fun than going out. Buy yourself some coffee filters an some cheap coffee and you’re set for months for the same price of a fancy coffee and a muffin. Make yourself a cup of coffee in your favorite mug and go outside and watch the sunrise instead.

4. Use your car as little as possible.

Not only is it good for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet. Getting gas, getting your oil changed, washing your car, filling up the tires. These all add up, and the more you use your car, the more often you have to do these things. So walk and bike wherever you can. You’ll fit in exercise, a jam session and time to think, all with a beautiful view that you normally would never see. If you live in a town where everything is too far apart to walk or bike to, carpool! Talk to your friends, coworkers and classmates that live nearby. figure out a system. They’ll save everyone money and guarantee some good times.

5. Figure out things to do for free on your days off pexels-photo-42389

We all gotta have a break every once in a while and go out with some friends. Trade-in your normal shopping sprees and eating out for some free activities. There’s so many things to do for free in every community. Check out your local newspaper or website and look at what time for free events are going on. If it’s a spontaneous day where everyone gets together with little planning time go have a picnic in the park, go take pictures of each other as you explore the town or forest, have a movie night, pitch in for gas and go somewhere nearby that you’ve never been to or make some art on the living room floor while listening to some tunes. The list is really endless. As long as you have good people, you’ll always have a good time.

6. Put away a few bucks every now and again

When you make a little extra money or you spend less on your groceries than you normally do, put away that extra money. As tempting as it may be to spend it on a few pair of shoes or go to the movies, try to keep the ‘treat yo self’ mentality to a low and treat your future self instead. This way when you can’t work as much or your car breaks down you’ll have some cash stashed away and it won’t be as much of a disaster. Trust me, it’ll happen and you’ll thank your past self.

7. Save your money on books or movies and go to the library

Bust out that library book and brush off the dust and head down to the library. Instead of buying books, dvds or cds check out what the library has. You’ll get pretty much anything you’d want and for free. If you read it and decide you really like it and want to write in it, that’s fine, find a cheap copy on amazon, but most of the time you’ll only read it once and it’d end up on your bookshelf never to be touched again. Plus, the library is a great way to send a day for free.

8. Make home feel like home with Goodwill second-20113_1280

The only thing I love more than thrifting for unique fashion pieces is thrifting for even more unique decorating pieces. You can get a coffee table, a couch, bookshelves and little pieces to tie together each room. I love finding little things that have a story behind them and finding a new way to fit it into my home. You’ll find stuff that you love that you’d never find at Target or Urban Outfitters.

9. Keep Make-up to a Minimum

Make-up is a great tool for self-expression, but sometimes we can go a little over-broad and next thing you know you spend hundreds of dollars the past year and have a cabinet of unused make-up. First things first, stop buying make-up all together. Use everything you have currently, trust me, it’ll take a while. Then when you finally get to the bottom of the pile and need to re-stock really look into what you want and what you can do without. Try going without make-up for a few weeks and see how it feels, you may find that it’s something you can live without. If not you can find a few great products and stick to buying only them.

10. Spend on experience and not things

We all know we should spend less on things, but yet we’re still on some random online store in the middle of the night. If you find yourself doing this just click out of the browser. No matter the sale. Unsubscribe from e-mail to every store. If you feel like you want to buy something, think about if you really want it or if you’re just bored. If you’re just bored go call up some friends or work on a project. If you still are thinking about it in a week try making it or finding a cheaper version in a thrift store. Most things can be made with a quick google how to or a similar look can be found at a thrift store or Poshmark. Save your money for your freedom, travel and trips with friends.

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