For college students who live off campus, expenses can easily become overwhelming.
From monthly rent to everyday food and drinks, it’s easy to see why some choose the controlled environment that campus living offers.
However, living away from school grounds isn’t necessarily impossible, even for those with the tightest budgets.
For those who get creative, it’s absolutely possible to live rich away from campus, and still enjoy the freedom that it can offer. Some of the best ideas to get started with are listed below.
Take Advantage of Happy Hour
There are very few college students who don’t take time to go out with their friends. Unfortunately, this can get expensive very quickly. To help with costs, take advantage of cheap happy hour specials. Most restaurants feature both food and drinks on happy hour menus, so you can have a full meal without emptying your bank account. Looking to save even more? Find vouchers for local restaurants online and you’ll be able to get a deeper discount off your total bill when dining out.
Learn Easy Recipes
A lot of college students don’t cook at home because they fear it will take too many ingredients or too much time. To help with this, try making 3-ingredient meals with ingredients you can keep in stock easily (such as frozen chicken and white rice). There are a lot of recipes you can find online, such as:
- Chicken baked with ponzu sauce and served with rice
- Tofu mixed with taco seasoning and served in a burrito
- Beans and rice simmered in a slow cooker
Skip Private Security
If you miss the security that most college campuses have, you can regain this by using a home security app combined with an affordable security package. You can use these gadgets to watch your house from afar with ADT pulse. This is one investment that will protect your belongings, so it’s worth the initial investment. Just think, would you be able to replace your laptop or clothing if someone were to take it?
Find Student Discounts
Did you know a lot of restaurants, bars, and other businesses offer discounts for students who show their school ID? The discount will vary based on the business, but most can save you quite a bit. There are also museums, parks, and science centers that offer free days for students, which can allow you to see more of the local attractions without maxing out your cards.
Use Coupons on Groceries
Coupons are all over the place and can save you hundreds of dollars on groceries as well as everyday essentials (such as toothbrushes and soap). You can find these online, through smartphone apps and in the Sunday paper. To avoid any issues with using these, check store policies to learn about restrictions and other rules.
Live with Roommates
Living alone is expensive, so find roommates you can trust. By doing so, you’ll save hundreds and will have more space than you would in most campus housing options. Just make sure each person signs their own lease so you’re not liable for them leaving abruptly. Another option is to rent a room in a home, which can be even cheaper while still allowing you quite a bit of independence.
Use Public Transportation
If you don’t have the funds for a car payment, insurance, gas, etc., then public transportation is an excellent option. To ensure you can take advantage of this, look for homes that are close to bus stations or light rails.
Although going to college teaches you a lot about how to budget and spend wisely, living away from campus can be an initial struggle. Fortunately, by taking advantage of the tips above, you’ll be able to live rich quite easily! In fact, if you use these to the best of your ability, you may even be able to save money for a rainy day.