Trying to stretch that dollar in the dorms? Living on your own isn’t easy or cheap, but here are some helpful tips that will lessen the strain on your checking account:
Food: You can only force down those ramen noodles for so long, and let’s face it, they’re not the most nutritious thing you can eat. Check out the local farmer’s market to find great deals on fruits and veggies. At the grocery store, buy the generic brands and be sure to clip those coupons.
Coffee: Limit your Starbucks runs to once a week. Start brewing your own pot of coffee or bum a complimentary cup of joe from one of the campus offices.
Entertainment: Going out every night will drain your budget quickly. Instead of hitting up the club, opt for something cheaper. Host a pizza-and-movie night at your dorm or see what your college student activity center has planned for the weekend.
Furniture: Get it used. Go on Craig’s List, browse classified ads or hit garage and estate sales. Look for gently-used furniture and don’t be afraid to make a lower offer on the listed price.
Cable: These days, you don’t need cable when you have the internet. Watch your favorite shows on Hulu or get a Netflix subscription. If you have an Xbox, Playstation or Wii, you can stream videos with your Netflix account.
Gas: Living on campus already keeps your gas expenses down, but if you’re going out for the night, carpool with some of your friends. And make sure your ride is getting the best gas mileage possible by: keeping the engine tuned, properly inflating the tires and going the speed limit.
Phone: There are plenty of cheap or free communication services that can help you stay connected with your buds. Try the following products or services to save some green: Lingo, Magic Jack, Skype or Speakeasy.
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