College is fun and all, but it’s also so expensive! Over the years I’ve learned a few different ways to earn and save money. Hopefully these secrets will also help you get by throughout your college years.
If you have long days at school and need food to keep you going, opt for cheaper (and healthier!) snacks. Not only will these give you the energy you need to stay awake, but they’re usually less expensive because they’re not processed foods like chips and breakfast bars. Fruits and veggies will always be cheap, especially when they’re in season! Some great options are bananas, apples, oranges, blueberries, and you can treat yourself to nuts, yogurt and granola, and dark chocolate, too.
Although I love eating out at restaurants, those tabs add up after a while. Cooking at home sounds like a lot of work, but meal planning over the week will save you time and money. I normally cook on the weekends to have food prepared for the rest of the week, that way I only have to heat up the food when I get home. Meal planning is definitely better than spending $10 a day on junk food — that’s $70 a week if not more! My favorite recipes are spaghetti and chilli. They’re yummy and easy to cook (and also the only recipes I know!).
Money always runs out and having to pay the credit card isn’t fun. Babysitting, dog sitting, and assisting people are some easy jobs that tend to pay in cash. How great is that? For babysitting, try visiting Care, Nextdoor Neighbor, Indeed, or Sitter. If you’d rather walk a couple dogs, try Wag. For helping elderly people or those who need a personal assistant, try searching on Craigslist in addition to Care and Indeed. The best part about these jobs is that you can work around your own schedule.
Recycling is also a great way to make free money. I’ve made over $100 on recycling bottles and cans instead of throwing them in the garbage. It takes a while to collect enough bottles, but remember than you can also recycle glass, aluminum, and other materials. Plus, it’s good for the Earth!
The last little tip I have is to save your change. Start collecting it in a piggy bank, and I promise it’ll get heavy before you know it. It comes in handy when you want to go out without feeling guilty about spending money.
Eating out and snacking are both great ways to save money. Living paycheck to paycheck gets stressful. Remember meal prepping can save you A LOT!