Whether you’re a college freshman or a graduate student, you know it can be overwhelmingly expensive to attend college. The burden on your bank account can be quite high between education, housing and additional expenditures that come along with college. 

If there’s ever a moment for frugal living, it is during life as a college student. You are in a very distinctive position now where frugality should be the standard. And while there are plenty of expenses, students also have plenty of possibilities to save that often go ignored. It’s critical to save cash as a college student. The more you save, the better off you are most likely going to be. Don’t overlook these possibilities! 

Here are some tips as a university student to save cash and make every dollar count.

Borrow instead of buying. Instead of paying for Netflix or Hulu films and entertainment, use the benefit of our university library’s film catalogs. The same applies to any books or other resources available online as free e-books or files. Also, look for student discounts before buying anything online.

Stay for refills.Of course, high-dollar coffee is delicious, but over time it can really add up. Instead of having your beverages to go, schedule some time at a place and study or socialize. Linger in those establishments that give free refills.

Pack a snack.Pack your own snacks and drinks for days when you have back-to-back classes, so you do not have to shell out more money on campus for higher-priced food. And if necessary, stash an additional slice of fruit from lunch, for good snacking later, based on your meal schedule.

Eat with your friends.Coordinate dinner pitch-ins with your friends for more complete but simpler food preparation a few evenings each week. Go shopping with others to buy in bulk, then split those larger packages and lower your grocery bills.

Use coupons.Savings really add up with coupons. Get a voucher organizer or phone app and make the most of those possible savings. Arrange a community coupon folder, which can be voluntarily contributed and taken by your roommates and colleagues.

Work as well as save.Find a part-time job with staff perks, like free or discounted food or facilities. Making cash can really create a difference in your bottom line, while also cutting down on the required costs.

Find the free.Keep track of activities on campus offering free meals or recreation, and patronize local establishments and companies with frequent student discounts or specials. 

Reuse and recycle. Connect with any local internet community or on-campus organization buying and selling clothing, decoration, books and furnishings. Visit local consignment stores and sell anything you don’t use or wear anymore.

Shop at a discount store.In your local dollar shop, you can discover enormous savings. You can find almost everything you need for your dorm or apartment at a fraction of the price, ranging from generic over-the-counter medicine to cleaners and school supplies, and even food.

Keep on the budget.Take some time to identify and keep to a reasonable budget of your monthly costs and revenue. 

An important part of saving money is budgeting. There are some significant things to remember when building a budget and identifying what’s going into your revenue and expenditures. 

First, always overestimate your costs. Overestimating your costs is better mainly because you can later under spend and end up with a surplus. 

Second, underestimate your earnings because rather than a budget shortfall, it is easier to end up with an excess of money. 

Third, prepare an urgent fund for the unknown by setting savings targets. Budgeting will assist you in covering extra costs that may occur while you’re at college. 

If you are planning to move off-campus, short-term budgeting objectives for the year may include lease/rent payments, utilities, and furnishings for your new home. 

If you are finishing your college career next year, then budget to include costs for your upcoming job hunt, such as resume preparedness, visits to lectures, exhibitions and possible licensure examination charges. 

The advantage of budget planning is that it enables you decide if you have  the money to spend on products you want or nights out on the town, compared to things that you absolutely need. 

Everyone has both wants and needs, and they are often easily distinguishable, whether people want to distinguish them or not.

Always start by listing things that you want to save for, then identify if each item on the list is completely necessary or if it is a want.

One last necessary bit of information. Food is a necessity. It is a need and not a want. If at any time, you cannot afford food, contact or visit United Campus Ministry Food Pantry on 7th Street. It is free to anyone with a valid student ID from any of the four colleges in Vigo County, including Indiana State. No one should go hungry.