11 Ways to Save Money
By Elizabeth Hart
Is there really such thing as a "quick buck?" By following subtle tricks of the money trade, the easiest
money is to be made - by learning how to keep it. Below is a compilation of the 11 simplest yet most
overlooked ways to quickly salvage and sustain your bank balance in the midst of a collegiate atmosphere.
Play your cards. IDs in your wallet might save you if you know what to look for - student,
military, and insurance IDs, AAA cards, or organization memberships are subject for certain discounts.
Research benefits and ask businesses which are honored-especially with bookstores, travel/tourism,
restaurants or retail chains. "Bonus" cards for grocery and drug stores also offer large savings
worth checking out.
Be an employed customer. Where do you purchase the most items? By working where you tend to buy
(for example, match your seasonal employment with where you holiday shop most), you ensure your benefit
from employee discounts for items you were bound to purchase.
Comparison shop the easy way. The salescircular.com website lists weekly prices, promotions and
rebates of electronics at stores near you - and saves you time, gasoline costs and hours of paging
through newspaper ads.
Turn talents into cash. A student mass-emailed offers to modulate Xboxes for a fee, working
from his room. Whether you tutor differential equations, teach basic guitar or knit scarves, you
can easily publicize what you have to offer with online networking.
Seek opportunities. Submit a résumé to a temporary job agency as a back up in case of
unemployment. Agencies may help you find day-long/short-term job opportunities to counter
downtime with networking, experience and new companies (which will build your résumé as well.)
Go all out, not without. Is there a way that a broader scope can take care of your needs as well
as others with the same interests? Many university-implemented groups have designated money for
productive student spending. Holiday room decorations were not in my budget, but instead of going
without, I organized a decorating program for my dorm's residents. Our residence hall government
funded the program, enabling us all to save on decorations and enjoy a larger result.
Clean out the couch. Take random coins from piggy banks and catch-alls to change-converting
machines like Coinstar (often found at food stores) make for an easy way to turn loose money into
bills. Some banks honor rolled coins or have fee-free machines of their own.
Save and then splurge. While eating fast food 18 times might seem better than eating once at a
fancy restaurant for the same cost, don't forget the risk of depreciating your earnings little by
little with only mediocrity to show in the end. Save and splurge--at least once--in order to afford
things like a great travel experience, college tuition, a nice business suit, or a seemingly
unaffordable want. Sacrificing little luxuries (like movie rentals and frappachinos) for a few
months in exchange for a worthy product proves college students CAN live luxuriously - just with
an even trade.
Discover a new stock tip. Buy large amounts at once when you know you'll want more. Order
magazines through a subscription to avoid "off the rack" prices. Stock up "regulars" (i.e., printer
paper, frozen waffles, laundry detergent) at bulk stores with better values. Purchase extras of
items to spare refill trips.
Be prepared to gift-give. The need for impromptu gifts is inevitable--preparation will save you
from overspending during empty-handed panic. For example, if you stocked 10 decorated ceramic plates,
some matching ribbon, and cookie mix, you'd have quick hostess gifts or thank you presents for 10
occasions ready to go. Generic gifts on sale work best. If you make good cookies or use ideal
"formula gifts," new recipients won't complain about the repetition; they'll hope for it.
Get on the go. Staying busy distracts us from feeling the need to spend. The more involved you
are, the less likely you are to steer towards boredom expenses (snack foods, excess movie tickets,
video game rentals, etc.) Active organizations like clubs, mentoring, business fraternities, or
intramural sports allow less time to think about purchases needed for extra entertainment...
and an active résumé may help you obtain a higher-paying job - another step towards financial
stability that was seemingly effortless, too.