College is a place where students focus on academics and enjoy a vibrant social life, but it is also a place where money can be spent carelessly. The thrill of becoming a college student is overwhelming, and sometimes students forget to watch where their money is going. After a couple of months, students become categorized as “Broke College Students.” Here are some quick ways to save money and earn money while attending college:
1. Free events and food
Rutgers is known for being a top academic university and for having a great social community for all students. Part of that social life is facilitated by all of the organizations and programs provided by the university itself. These events include seeing rising artists and bands on your school’s stage, Scarlet Harvest, and Rutgers Day. All of these events and many more, provided by Rutgers staff and students, are free and include free food! Don’t miss out on these opportunities! The challenge of not having enough meal swipes or any money to go to a concert can be reimbursed through all of these events. Who doesn’t love FREE food?
2. Buy used books
College books are such a hassle. They can cost you anywhere between $20 – $1000 each semester. The struggle is real. You can visit sites that offer used books or rental services. These websites tend to give you good value for your money. These sites include Amazon.com, Chegg.com and Bookbyte.com. If you are a good negotiator, then I suggest you take a gander at the Rutgers Facebook groups where students are always selling their books at decent prices. Students have the chance to interact with each other and learn to negotiate, which is a skill that will be useful after college.
3. School discounts
Something that some students don’t know is that you have access to student discounts in certain clothing and technology stores. This is helpful for when you are trying to buy new clothes and laptops for the upcoming academic year or semester on a budget.
When it comes to handling money, it can be risky business. One of the best smart-money moves you can make is creating a budget for yourself. It’s pretty simple: first you calculate how much money you have and how much owe; then you calculate how much you will make in a month, semester, or year, and use it as a guideline to limit how much you spend. After your budget is set up you should always track your expenses and see where you tend to spend. You can easily do this with your checkbook, on your bank’s website, or with an external site called Mint.com.
5. Get free T-shirts
If you ever come across a Rutgers events that is offering free T-shirts you have to go. Some of the really nice Rutgers T-shirts are sold for $15 – $30. Take advantage of the free merchandise and T-shirts given at Rutgers events and organizations; you don’t know when you’ll have another chance to get free clothes! Don’t spend money when your school helps fill your closet.
6. Apply to jobs early
Lastly, in order to watch and spend money, you need to make money. The job hunt for Scarlet Knights can be tedious, but with good timing and networking, it can be pretty easy. Most people that have financial aid have the advantage of getting paid through work-study. Others can look for job opportunities through student employment. The earliest you should start applying would be around July and December for each semester. If you are looking for opportunities to help your career, you can visit Career Knight.
Money is a big deal in college and post-graduation with debt, loans, and bills. It’s important that every Scarlet Knight takes advantage of what the Rutgers experience has to offer and takes opportunities to network with a lot of people to further their career. Use your time wisely and spend money wisely.
Now go and enjoy college!