College is a fun time for many things, but not so much when it comes to finances. Between paying for rent, various bills, classes and loans, it is easy to feel like you cannot stay ahead. It is common to freak out about money. However, it is important to not let spending money stress you out too much. One way to minimize the stress is to budget!

One of the most important parts of budgeting is planning ahead. You know how much your rent and some of your other bills will be each month, and you know when these things are due. Make sure you will have that money when the time comes. I know some bill payments such as energy bills change every month, but sometimes you can set those accounts up on a budget. If you call your energy company you can set up a certain amount that you do not want to go over every month, and they will help you minimize the energy usage.

Another part is not making impulse purchases. Think about if you really need the things you are buying. Do you really need another pair of jeans or another video game just because it’s on sale?

You should also try not to eat out. At the time, going through a McDonald’s or Taco Bell drive-thru may not seem like a big deal, but it does add up. Research from 2014 reveals that the average American spends more than $1,200 on fast food every year! Also, try to avoid going grocery shopping when you are hungry. If you are like me, then you buy more at the store when you could eat everything in sight right then and there. Grocery shopping after you eat will save you money and even save you from wasting food.


To make some quick cash, sell the stuff you do not use. Have extra pieces of furniture or clothes you never wear anymore? Get rid of them. If you aren’t using them, what’s the point of keeping them around? Lets face it, the dorms and off campus housing don’t exactly have the most space. So, why not make a couple bucks for something that is just taking up space?

Finally, use your student ID to save. It is good for more than getting you into the IWC and buying spring concert tickets. Many places around town offer a student discount. All you have to do is show your student ID! Some discounts may not seem worth it, but why not save the money where you can? Be sure to ask about student discounts when you’re out and about!

Hopefully these money-saving tips and advice will save you from some stress – we have enough of it already in college!

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Kayla Severson

Kayla graduated in 2017 with a BA in Public Relations major and Communications minor. She is from Mindoro, WI and her hobbies include traveling, hanging out with friends, PRSSA and writing for the Odyssey.

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