**This content is sponsored by eCampus.com**
If you’re anything like the typical college student I bet I can guess two things about you: you want to make the most out of your four years of undergrad, and you’re broke. Don’t feel bad, we all are. But good news! It’s possible, and quite easy, to be a successful college student while still sticking to a less than ideal budget. Follow these tips and I guarantee you’ll have the best year ever.
- The dreaded duo: textbooks and tests
With all the fun that comes with being a college student, who has time for going to class and earning money for textbooks? Well, thanks to technology, we have more options than ever. Nowadays it’s easy to find cheap textbooks online, and you can save even more money when you rent textbooks for the semester! Don’t waste money on notebooks, flashcards and pens. When it comes to study materials the internet once again saves us tons. Instead take notes on your laptop and use free flash card websites to study.
- The smart socialite:
Ever heard the saying “the best things in life are free?” Well, it’s true! There are plenty of fun things to do with friends without blowing money.
- Go to free concerts or movies on campus (almost every school has these)
- Join an intramural team.
- Potluck dinner: each friend makes a $5 recipe and everyone shares theirs over the meal!
- Movie night at home: Redbox+popcorn= way cheaper than theatres.
- Game night (board games are super cheap these days)
- Go Greek! So this one isn’t as cheap as the rest, but if it’s in your budget, joining a Greek organization is a great way to meet people and stay involved.
We all know dating can get expensive. But it doesn’t have to be! Here’s fun, but inexpensive, date ideas:
- Go on a picnic
- Cook dinner at home together
- Go on a hike or bike ride
- Volunteer together
- Decorating on a dime:
We all want our dorms/apartments to look stylish, however decorating can get expensive. Instead of paying full price for décor, head to thrift stores and flea markets. Look for hidden treasures like cool old furniture or pillows. Get crafty! Buy cheap old trinkets (like a bicycle wheel) and turn it into something awesome like a picture frame. All you need is paint and some clothes pens and you’re set.
- Staying healthy:
Oh, the dreaded freshman 15. Being busy, broke college students it seems impossible to stay healthy. However, most schools offer access to free on campus fitness centers. At home workouts are also your best friend, trust me. As far as eating goes, limit your cheat days. Even on a budget or meal plan you can always find healthy alternatives to the burger and fries temptation.
- Inexpensive getaways:
A huge part of college is going on spring break and studying abroad. But these trips can get expensive. When it comes time to plan trips, check out free travel apps, like Groupon, for deals on awesome getaways. Studying abroad is an investment for sure, but it will pay off. Talk with an advisor about transferring your scholarships and grants to a school abroad. Also apply for as much financial aid as possible. There’s always free money to be found.
Have any more ideas on how to be successful in college without spending a fortune? Let us know in the comment section below!
Lindsay is a junior at the University of Kentucky majoring in Integrated Strategic Communications and Spanish. She is currently an online marketing intern for eCampus.com. When she’s not busy with school and work (aka about once every 6 months) she loves traveling, cooking, spending time outdoors with friends and cheering on the UK Wildcats.