While I was in college there were moments when I needed help and was too prideful or embarrassed to reach out and ask for it.
Help with my academics.
Help with finding better campus housing.
Help with finding my way around campus and understanding the wolf pack lingo.
Help with finding a book at the library.
Help with raising support for a missions trip.
And one of the most sensitive areas- financial help.
There were moments I publicly asked for financial help and secretly received it, both left me humbled and thankful for God’s provision in my life.
One of my favorite artists said, “We’re never too old to be helped.” – Kari Jobe
I believe it’s true and I’m here to offer a few helpful money saving tips to you.
1. Consider buying pre-loved and/or new clothing for very cheap ( NWT- new with tags and new without tags)
Chances are high that there are local thrift stores, good wills, consignment shops, well priced boutiques, and/or yard sale venues near you. A quick google search could help you find local shopping opportunities near you! I would say that 99% of my wardrobe is from this category. And I can not tell you the number of times I’ve found great clothing from my favorite brands (Banana Republic, Joe’s Jeans, LOFT, J Crew, Bullhead jeans, Ann Taylor, The Limited, Free People, etc).
There are treasures to be found at the goodwill! I can smell my favorite brand the second I walk through the door…kidding…I wish it were true.
2. Find a small/flexible part time
On campus: If you’re living on campus you may want to consider having a job through a federal work study program offered by your college or through a college department. Potential job opportunities include: tutoring another student, working as a TA, working at the gym, or the library. There are many benefits of working on campus such as: an employer who is willing and able to work with you to coordinate a flexible work schedule, making friends, gaining and refining your skills.
Off campus: Often times there are local restaurants, fast food, coffee shops etc that you could work at that are easily accessible by walking or riding a bus.
If you enjoy working with kids serving as a babysitter could be a great fit. Often times websites like Care.com or sitter city can serve as a way to connect to a local family in need.
You could check your local college campus newspaper’s website, checking the classifieds section for local/on campus jobs or internships.
3. Finding FREE and inexpensive groceries
Once a week on my campus there was a local church who came to one specific location to provide free groceries as well as great books and Bibles. Ask around and see if there is a local church or organization that serves your campus in this way.
Receive free groceries from a local food pantry. There are a few where there is no need to give out your personal information and some with little to no application process besides honestly expressing your need. In Raleigh there is one specific food pantry that serves the community multiple days a week called, With Love From Jesus where there is no need to apply or share any personal information. Click on the link below for more information:
Local farmers market- once a week our campus set up a farmers market on campus offering healthy and inexpensive fruits, veggies, and more! And there was the local farmer’s market offering a lot more!
Inexpensive groceries: It may be a bit more cost effective to drive further away from campus than to spend money at a local grocery store. Check in see if there are any Aldi or Trader Joe’s stores in your area as they often provide much cheaper and better quality groceries.
4. Purchase new/gently used furniture for free or for a reasonable price
It may be difficult to furnish a new apartment or home on a small budget and it is possible. You can visit your local good will, habitat for humanity, or Craigslist posting. There are Craigslist postings for cheap and even free furniture that individuals post, giving it away from inside their home or curbside (outside pick up). **safety tip (travel in a group of three or four for picking up Craigslist items for safety reasons). **
I hope you enjoy a few money saving tips. Happy saving!