Thursday, June 25, 2015

Budgeting as a College Student and Twenty-Something

I totally get that college students’ budgets generally aren’t ideal- believe me, I’m right there too. That being said, there are ways you can get around a restrictive budget so you can still shop and go out with friends. The key to stretching your budget isn’t to see how many things you can get for a dollar, but to figure out ways to make your dollar buy more. Here’s a list of discounts, tips, and tricks for making your dollar go further.
Clothes:- A lot of retailers offer great discounts for students- below are a few of my favorites, but never be afraid to ask! Other stores often have seasonal discounts- keep an eye out for back-to-school student specials (looking at you, Forever 21).  
     Banana Republic, Asos: 10%
     J. Crew, Madewell: 15%
     Kate Spade: 20%                                                     
Subscribe to email lists! Not only do you usually get a discount when you sign up, but places like J. Crew, J. Crew Factory, Loft, Urban Outfitters, etc. are almost always having promotions- you can get clothes much cheaper than the listed price.
– Get an ISIC card! It’s a sort of international student ID that gets you discounts basically everywhere. Most museums and historical sites offer student prices for admission, although they don’t always advertise them. Always, always ask.
– When booking travel in the Eurozone, look for the ‘youth’ option. Even though that generally means <18 here in the states, you can get cheaper prices in Europe until you’re well into your twenties.
– Book through STA Travel– they have good deals on airfare, hotels, and more for students. They also offer travel planning in their offices if you aren’t good with details, so take advantage of those services.
– Spotify premium is only $5 a month for students! So much cheaper than iTunes, so worth it.
– Ask for memberships as gifts- Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, etc. make awesome birthday or Christmas presents that will save you money throughout the year.
– Order your books from Amazon. Seriously. It is SO SO SO much cheaper than the bookstore.
– Go on stores’ websites before you make your purchases- Joann’s Fabrics, Michael’s, and Jiffy Lube always have coupons on their websites that you can scan from your phone, so just look them up if you need to buy something.
– Get a Target RedCard (and pay it off every month). This is a great way to build credit and you get a 5% discount on everything. It may not sound like much, but by the end of my first year with the card I’d saved over $100 dollars. That’s a cute new dress, several dinners out, or a fun day trip with friends.
– Look into membership and loyalty programs! A lot of them are free, so as long as you don’t spend more than you would have before you’re winning.
Are there any other money-saving tricks that keep you on budget? Let us know in the comments!
Yasi “I know this because I’m a shopaholic”

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