It’s no secret that the economy has taken its toll on college students. While some students are fortunate enough to receive financial aid, others are not all are this fortunate. And even those that do receive some form of aid still find themselves struggling through their college years.
So what’s a college student to do with the many expenses but no income?
While the economy does play a major role in the issue, poor money management also contributes to the problem.
1. Garage sales. If time allows, great deals can be found at garage sales if students are willing to drive around looking through one garage sale after the next. It can be frustrating at times when the whole Saturday goes by and you’ve lost time and gas, but persistence is key. Clothes can be bought at 25 cents a piece, home décor articles such as a vase for $1 and coffee tables for $10.
2. Craigslist. A great alternative to garage sales when time is of the essence. This online website provides local classifieds for everything from jobs to housing to clothes and electronics and almost everything in between. It’s simple, just type in the search box what you’re looking for and browse hundreds of ads looking for the best deal. This is also a great place to sell any unwanted clothes that haven’t been worn in more than one year or items that have been piling up in the garage. It’s an easy way to organize and make some fast cash.
3. Off-price Retailers. Although not as cheap as garage sales or craigslist, another great way to save some cash is to shop off-price retailers such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. They have many brand name clothing that you could buy at the mall for 60 percent less. Sometimes you can find brands such as Seven for All Mankind, Prada, Dooney & Bourke, Lucky, Calvin Klein and Guess.
4. Coupons. Potential shoppers receive coupons in the mail for groceries and different services, but the web is a great place to find even better discounts. The Internet has lots of coupons to choose from printable coupons to take to the store or online coupons. This is especially helpful at last minute shopping sprees when there is no time to search for the best deal. Coupons are available at savings from 10-40 percent off, but stores are always posting new coupons online, so check back frequently.
5. Library. It seems as though libraries have become a thing of the past as the technological world is expanding, but the library remains to be a great resource and a money saver. The library card is free and books can be borrowed up to two and a half months. This a great alternative to purchasing a book that will only be read once and never picked up again.
6. Amazon/eBay. These websites can be used to purchase tons of different items, including textbooks. College students know the great expenses of textbooks, yet not many are taking advantage of online prices for textbooks. Books can be purchased for a savings of up to 60 percent off the college bookstore price. Just beware of buying books with a used online passcode as these passcode are required for a lot of online classes and can only be used once. Also, it is good to remember to purchase the books ahead of time to guarantee on time delivery before the courses start.
7. Do it yourself. Whether working on home improvements, making a home-cooked meal or trying to save money on Christmas presents. Doing it yourself will always guarantee a cheaper price than paying for labor and retail. The internet is a great tool to utilize that will provide step by step instructions on a variety of projects that everyone can do by themselves. A good website to explore is doit101.com. Also, the library is also full of wonderful books that offer detailed instructions on tons of projects.
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