Whether you’re a struggling freshman or a cash-strapped senior, you know how much of a struggle getting a handle on your finances can be. Maybe you can only work part time with your course load or maybe you’re working with a limited meal plan. Whatever your situation, here are six lifesaving tips to help you save money this semester without sacrificing your basic wants and needs.
Share Netflix and Spotify accounts. If you’re lucky, linger on your family’s Netflix account for as long as possible. If your family doesn’t have Netflix or doesn’t have room for you on their account anymore,, split an account between your friends or roommates. This also applies Spotify. A single Spotify is $10 while a family Spotify is only $15 for up to six people.
Only use free beauty samples. Did you know that places like Sephora and Lush will give you free samples? Sephora allows you to get three samples from each ‘world’ (makeup, skincare and fragrance) per visit. And that’s not just three total — you can score three samples from each department, meaning you can leave with up to nine samples per visit. Lush is also happy to give out samples. The only limit are items like bath bombs and bubble bars, which you cannot sample.
Look for rebates and coupons. Apps like Ibotta find you rebates for products at stores like Target, Walmart and even Whole Foods. Just scan your item and they credit your account for the rebate. Many stores also have coupon apps, such as Target’s Cartwheel. Add coupons to your cart and when you’re ready to purchase your items click “checkout.” All of your saved coupons will be combined into one scannable barcode.
Buy in bulk. Instead of buying snack packs of chips or nuts, buy bulk bags and divvy out servings yourself. Use plastic snack bags and reuse them or invest in some small reusable containers.
Make your own toothpaste. For some, this may seem a little desperate and for people who really need the extra enamel protection maybe skip this tip. Others, all you need is a glass jar, ⅔ cup of baking soda, 1 tsp of salt and 1-2 tsp of peppermint extract. Then add water until you’ve reached the desired consistency. BONUS: Making your own toothpaste also cuts down on waste meaning it’s better for the environment too!
Hang your clothes. Whether you go to the laundromat or have a dryer at home, if you’re looking to pinch pennies, skip the dryer and the let air do it’s magic. You can easily save yourself a couple dollars each load by hanging up your clothes instead.