It’s no secret that college is expensive. With tuition, room and board and the hefty prices of textbooks, the bill can be overwhelming—and that’s not including other expenses. You’re probably going to want to eat out with your friends, go to concerts, and enjoy your college life, which is an amazing part of the college experience! However, it’s very easy to lose track of how much you’re spending. To help with this, here are some ways you can still enjoy being a college student without hurting your bank account!
Set up a budget. Even if you have a job, all of your work essentially goes to waste if there isn’t a system in place to set limits and keep you accountable for how much you’re spending. There are lots of websites and templates online that can give you ideas on how to set up a personal budget and how much money you should allocate to spending and saving. Once you’ve got that set up, be sure to check your statements often to make sure you are staying within your budget.
Get a part-time job. If you’re looking for an on-campus job, your school should have a student employment website with a multitude of jobs that you can take apply for. If you prefer to work off-campus, you can look at stores or malls near you that are hiring! Another popular way to make money is to be a brand ambassador. Social media sites, such as Instagram, are blooming with companies looking for ambassadors who will promote their products in return for getting a portion of the sales. I have some classmates who are ambassadors, and it’s a fun way to earn some extra cash!
Apply for scholarships. Scholarships are everywhere. Your school will most likely have a host of general and specialized scholarships for certain majors or students involved in certain organizations. There are also local scholarships available, or online scholarships that you can find on websites such as Fastweb. The key is to apply for a lot, but to also be strategic. While scholarships that offer more money are tempting, they are often more competitive. Less competitive ones tend to be local scholarships or those that award smaller amounts of money. Remember that receiving many small scholarships can quickly add up to a great amount that will help you out a lot!
Look at other on-campus opportunities. Besides jobs, there may be other ways for you to earn some money through your school. My school has an economics department that requests students to participate in experiments, and participants are paid. Experiments typically last 1-2 hours, and they’re an easy way to get spending money for the week!
Surviving college without drowning in debt is not as hard as it sounds— it’s just a matter of actively seeking out opportunities to pay for your expenses and being conscious of how much you’re spending. As long as you’ve got those down, you’re headed on the right track!