University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Money-Saving Tips for Broke College Students

broke college student

College can burn through an obscene amount of cash. Here are some money-saving tips.

Gas to zip around running errands. Splurges for those nights out on the town. That awesome neon sign of Grumpy Cat. A really soft bathrobe so you’re not showing off your skivvies to the folks in your residence hall on your way to the shower. Speaking of showers, a shower caddy that will fit all your products. Shower flip-flops. Shower towels… Gosh, now that we are thinking about it, just the shower necessities alone are enough to strain any budget.

College can burn through an obscene amount of cash faster than it takes gasoline to catch on fire (ask your chemistry professor, or well anybody, how long that is and the answer is this – not long).

Here are some money-saving tips for broke college students:

1. Buy snacks in bulk

Know anybody that has a Sam’s Card or Costco membership? BEFRIEND THEM. You may have a dining hall plan that will cover your meals. But what about those in-between hours or late-night study sessions? You’ll need some fuel that’s easily stored in your room or apartment. Buying cases of chips, water, popcorn, and similar snack foods is always cheaper in bulk. Even if you are buying without any kind of grocery store membership perks, you can’t go wrong with Ramen, bread, cold cuts and cheese.


ramen noodles college students ualr

Did we mention Ramen? Seriously, get some Ramen. RAMEN > everything else.

Check out all the different recipes you can make with Ramen noodles here along with this amazing infographic from Hack College.

3. Target

targetFor chic decor on a budget, go to Target. Furniture, bedding, storage bins. All of these are durable and can withstand the abuse of an enthusiastic Student Orientation team. Plus, Target has enough variety that you won’t accidentally wind up in someone else’s room late at night because it looks like yours (what a great way to make new friends, right?). And, it’s right up the road from UALR even.

BUT BUYER BEWARE: Target is like that shady emotional vampire friend you can only take occasionally, and in small doses. It will suck you in and tell you that not only do you need that futon, but two really soft body pillows to go with it, towels that match every color of the rainbow and, before you know it, you are leaving with that and five sets of curtains and a crockpot. And to think, you went in only needing some deodorant, and you leave with $200 worth of dishes, some cool tumblers, and an extra dry erase board that you’ll never use.

4. Fitness

ualr fitness gym

Exercise can help reduce the harmful effects of too much stress, sitting still for too long, and help you cope with the dreaded ‘freshman 15.’ Most colleges have a state-of-the-art fitness center with some of the best equipment. It’s used by students, faculty, and staff alike. A fee for the fitness center is usually taken out of the tuition and fees paid at the beginning of the semester. Not only for your health, but it only makes economical sense to get some use out of this well-maintained gym since you’re already paying for it! Never again in your life will you be at a gym this nice without somebody calling it a ‘health club’ and you forking out hundreds of dollars in membership fees.

5. Carpool

Most millenials remember when gas was below a dollar. A DOLLAR. Think about that for a moment. Not even “dollar stores” sell stuff that’s worthy of a deal at just one buck anymore. Gas is expensive. So whenever you get the chance, take turns and carpool. Catch rides going grocery shopping together (RAMEN) or if you are going to a movie or off-campus to study. This is also an excellent time to bond over your mutual love of cats, breakdancing, or Donkey Kong (Is that still a thing?).

What are some ways that you save money? Let us know in the comments below!

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