Cutting costs as a college student

As a college student, finances can get tight. The trope of the Ramen-noodle-eating pupil does, unfortunately, hold at least a little truth. 

For those who are fresh out of high school and living on their own for the first time, the process of learning how to manage spending can be a long and scary one. However, there are a few things students can do to help ensure their financial success. 

Kirkwood’s free facilities–such as the rec center and food pantry–are great places to start saving money. However, it’s also important to optimize other areas where spending can quickly add up. 

Changing the way you buy groceries, shopping second-hand and getting a part-time job can help lighten the heavy financial load of post-secondary education. Purchasing groceries as a first-year college student living on your own is a skill that requires some time to get right. 

It can be tempting to buy lots of unnecessary snacks and drinks while meandering through the isles, but this quickly comes out to quite a bit of money. It’s important to make a list of only the essential food items needed and stick to it when at the grocery store. Another strategy is only buying groceries every two weeks and using up the food you already have before buying more. 

Purchasing items second-hand is also a great way to reduce the cost of everyday essentials. Buying apartment necessities from Goodwill is a cost-effective way to furnish a living space. Shopping for used clothes at Plato’s Closet or online with Depop or eBay is good for the environment and the wallet. 

Buying or renting used textbooks through sites like Chegg is another way to save hundreds of dollars as a college student. 

Lastly, if your schedule allows it as a full- or part-time student, try to get a good-paying part-time job. Though it likely won’t pay all of your bills, a good-paying job should cover a significant portion of your living expenses and lighten the financial burden. 

Delivery jobs are often flexible for college students, and with tips included, can pay as much as $20/hour or more. 

Though going through college is an expensive endeavor for most people, there are several steps you can take to make it less financially burdensome.

Categories: Opinion, Staff Editorials