Let's be honest: it's hard to save money, especially when you're in college.
The good news is, anyone can save money, no matter your age or financial situation - you just have to make an effort and change your habits. Below, we've outlined ten simple money saving hacks students and others can try.
1. Create a visual of your monthly spendings
Go through your monthly payments and expenses one by one, from groceries to rent to eating out - and write them down, along with approximate costs. Then, using your list as a guide, see if you can make any adjustments to save money.
Are you more computer savvy? Check out this Online Budget Calculator.
2. Use cash instead of cards
Go to the bank each week and only take out the money you need. Then, leave your debit and credit cards at home. This will not only help you manage your money, but it will also help you distinguish between your wants and needs.
3. Take advantage of JJC student discounts
Did you know that just by showing your JJC student ID card, you can get special discounts from area businesses? Check out our master list of JJC student discounts here to see how you can save! To name a few: 10 percent off an Aurelio's Pizza purchase; $2 off a haircut at Supercuts; 10 percent off your AT&T bill.
4. Make your own coffee instead of buying it
Coffee costs really add up. If you spend between $3-$5 on coffee shop drinks each day (Monday through Friday), your yearly total is $780-$1300. On average, a home-brewed cup of coffee only costs you between 25 to 70 cents per cup (depending on brand, if you use creamer, etc), which means it puts your yearly cost to between $65-$182. That's a lot of savings!
5. Instead of paying for cable or Netflix, check out DVDs and seasons of your favorite TV shows at the JJC Library
Want to cut down on your cable bill? The JJC Library has a collection full of movies and your favorite TV show seasons - so all you'll need is your Library card and a DVD player (or a computer with a CD drive)! If they don't have what you're looking for, check out your local library's collection, or ask for an interlibrary loan.
Want to see if the JJC Library has what you're looking for? Search the catalog here.
6. Drink water
In addition to the health benefits of water, it's also relatively cheap. If you're dining out, water is usually free, and at the grocery store, a gallon of water is usually priced around $1, compared to a two-liter of pop (half of a gallon), which costs the same.
7. Download a money management app
Click here to view a list of 25 apps, which include the coupon app, RetailMeNot, BillTracker, an app that helps you remember when your payments are due, and DebtTrackerPro, an app helps you manage your debt.
8. Buy generic brand, not name brand
There are knockoff brands for almost any product - from food and drink to laundry detergent and shampoo. Just because generic products have different names, does not mean that they aren't made the with the exact same ingredients. Think about this the next time you're at the store.
9. Sell items you don't need
Old clothes, books, DVDs, you name it - get rid of the things you know you're never going to use again. It's easier than ever in today's digital age, because you can sell items through social networking sites, like Faceook's garage sale groups. There's another benefit of selling your old stuff, too: you can declutter!
10. Go to the grocery store on Wednesdays
To save the most on your groceries, go shopping on Wednesdays - this is when many stores' sales begin. It's also when you'll find the freshest food, because many shipments come on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
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