Written by Mary-Todd Christian. Media by Jack Wang.
Let’s face it, as college students we all have used the excuse, “I can’t, I’m broke.” Even in those times when you do have money, you begin budgeting, keeping track of your bank account, and prioritizing where to put your money. It can be stressful, but being a “broke college student” isn’t always a bad thing. Here are a few ways you can embrace your college student status!
Most college students never pass up a discount. The good news is many places provide reasonable discounts if they know you are a college student. Some of these places include movie theaters like The Globe and restaurants such as Subway and Chipotle . All you have to do is show them your student ID! For online stores there are even verified websites that will give discount codes to college students! UniDays is a great website for this exact purpose. So show your ID with pride! There’s no shame in a discount!
2. Coupons and Gift Cards
Because my family knows I’m in school, they are always giving me coupons or gift cards to help with the cost of things. Sometimes it’s not much, but it’s certainly money I didn’t have before! This is yet another blessing of being a “broke college student.” COUPONING TIP: I wouldn’t say that I’m an “extreme couponer,” but I certainly pride myself in purchasing with just coupons. One strategy that I’ve learned is with collecting CVS coupons. I will save up all my CVS Extra Bucks until I can purchase almost everything I need with only my coupons! It’s fantastic, but you have to be strategic. If you are looking for a strategy that requires a little less brainpower, start small and save a couple coupons that you know you can use. Every cent helps!
3. Free Stuff
I’m sure we all can agree that the only thing better than coupons, discounts, and gift cards is anything FREE. At Greenville College, we are certainly blessed with many free events and opportunities. Campus groups like GCSA are always putting on events with free activities and food. (Who doesn’t like free food?) These are events in which we would not be able to participate if it depended on our own monetary means. With that being said, always keep an ear open for free on-campus activities!
4. Be Thrifty!
As a college student, you get to learn the new found joy of walking in a thrift store. It takes some digging, but you can certainly find some hidden gems. (And the Greenville Auxiliary Thrift store gives discounts to college students!) Embracing your college student status teaches you to be a smart shopper when you do shop.
5. You Don’t Need Money to have Fun!
Not everything involves a need for cash! Another way to embrace our “college student status” is by not spending money, and instead, spending your time with the people you care about. Have a dorm room movie night with some friends on your floor, or take a walk around town and take pictures. There are plenty of creative and innovative ways to have fun without breaking your bank.
6 The Frugal Lifestyle
On a more serious note, embracing your “college student status” allows you to prepare for the real world. When you have money you have to start budgeting, watching your bank account, and prioritizing as to what you can and cannot spend. Little by little, you can find ways to practice these healthy habits now! This will be helpful in the long run when you are out of college, and don’t have the extra money to spend on things.
The next time you cringe when checking your bank account, try to remember that it’s really not all that bad. Use the resources you do have, and don’t limit your creativity just to what money can buy. Instead, take time to enjoy this season as a broke college student.