College is a stressful time for students no matter their age. From juggling classes, extracurriculars and a social life, one thing that can be overwhelming is worrying about saving money. Here are a few tips to save money and lower stress.
Don’t bring a car (if possible)
While having a car is a nice luxury, it is very expensive. High gas prices and car insurance payments can strain your bank account. Additionally, parking can be pricey at IU, with a student parking pass costing $174 and up. There is also minimal parking for students covered by a parking pass, with many students having to pay additional costs for parking. The free bus system at IU has many routes and stops accessible for students.
Take advantage of your CrimsonCard
Many stores and restaurants close to campus like Noodles and Company, Chipotle, Starbucks and many others accept Crimson Cash. Take advantage of using your student ID so you won’t use your personal bank account, and consistently budget how much you plan to spend eating out.
Cook dinner at home
This applies to students living off campus, but it is important to limit how much you spend going out. Cooking at home and preparing meal plans can be a cost-efficient way to save money and eat better. There are deals at Kroger for students that save you money on groceries. Cooking at home can also be a fun activity to do with roommates or friends, which is always a positive when trying to save money. For students over 21, drinks at restaurants or bars can be very expensive, so try to limit how much you go out in a week.
Use IU’s gyms
Working out is a great way to stay active as well as relieve stress, but gym memberships can be pricey. However, IU offers two public gyms, the Garrett Field House and the Student Recreational Sports Center, that are free to all students and accessible with the use of your Crimson Card.
Become a Resident Assistant
Working as an RA can be a lot of work but includes many free amenities such as housing, food and income. While living and monitoring freshmen as an upperclassman can be grueling work, the benefits are worth it for saving money.
Don’t impulse shop
The joys of Kirkwood include great restaurants, shops and school spirit stores, but it’s important to not indulge. Stores like Urban Outfitters and Pitaya can be tempting, but it’s important to prioritize your finances. With payments like rent, food and other more important items for college, it’s necessary to not get distracted by material things that you might forget you own by next semester.