Quick tips for scrimping and pinching

Quick tips for scrimping and pinching

There’s something about college that makes surviving on a shoestring budget seem cool. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Bring on the ramen, try these few tips and tricks to ease the pain—and enjoy this while it lasts. It won’t always be this fun to choose between clean laundry and having fun with your friends.

  • Tap into one of CBT’s on-campus jobs. Depending on the kind of work it is, they’ll be more apt to tailor the required hours to a student’s schedule than other types of work. If on Tuesdays, you can only work between 2 and 5 p.m. because of labs and team sports practice, a campus job might be for you.
  • Grocery shop in a group. Team up with friends or roommates and hit the store. You’ll be able to buy in bulk, easily splitting the cost and the spoils.
  • Set limits. Whether for your weekend beer budget or meals out on the town on nights when you’ll scream if you see one more noodle, it helps to know how much you can work with—and how much you cannot spend over.
  • Split bills. One of the perks of college is the fun of living with a bunch of your friends. Also, shared rent, utilities and other home costs. Done.
  • Be smart with your smartphone. Check with your parents about the possibility of staying on your family plan, or sign up for one with a few friends. A framily plan…
  • Brew your own joe. Your daily $3 double shot mocha latte habit will set you back a fair chunk when you think in terms of weeks—even months. Make the coffee shop affair a once-a-week treat.
  • Cook the books. With so much info and document sharing online these days, do you even need that 65-pound archeology textbook? Before you make that purchase, check with your professors to see if it’s a must-have. If so, buy one with a classmate or two and rotate using it. Don’t forget to try to resell it at the semester’s end.
  • Shop someone else’s closet. Host a clothing swap when you need a wardrobe refresher. New duds, no dollars.
  • Go to class. You’re paying for every second of those lectures.