As school starts this fall, students will begin opening their wallets and shelling out what little money they have.
Being on a college budget can be difficult, not to mention having to buy school supplies and textbooks, on top of your usual expenses.
Some costs are unavoidable but with a little help from CU Money Sense — part of the Bursar’s Office — you can learn where to save to maintain a consistent budget.
Here are a few tips from the department on stretching your dollars.
1 Bring your own
With coffee shops, convenience stores and restaurants surrounding campus, it’s tempting to stop in and grab a snack or beverage throughout the day. But a cup of coffee in the morning, lunch at the UMC and a bottle of water on your way home can add up quick, so try bringing your own.
Make your own coffee at home and bring it with you in a travel mug, which can also double as a reusable water bottle. That’s two costs down and only one extra step. Or make a sack lunch and skip the pricey lunch.
Even just replacing one daily store-bought treat with a homemade version will calm your cost.
2 Add another roommate
If you’re living off campus, think about getting another roommate to ease some of the financial strain.
This will often allow students to get a nicer place then they can afford on their own, without paying for the amenities.
Be careful whom you choose though. Roommates can be a tricky game so pick carefully and make sure your current roommates are on board.
Being a student often means being on a tight budget and everyone knows it, including local businesses.
Start asking about student discounts everywhere you go. You may be surprised how many places have student specials or 10 percent off when you show your ID.
Don’t forget about the coupons, either. Check the UMC Bookstore for coupon books to find some of the best deals near campus. Food, bikini waxes, haircuts and Buff Swag have been discounted on coupons in the past. There are also a ton of Groupon-style sites out there these days, including the Daily’s own BoCoDeals.com and — coming in September — a brand-new version of BigBuffinDeals.com.
You don’t have to sacrifice your look to save a few bucks.
Stay trendy by taking your brand name cloths to local consignment shops like Plato’s Closet or Rags to Riches. Get cash for your unwanted pieces.
Shopping at consignment stores is also a good way to find vintage or brand name stuff to stock your wardrobe. You can mix and match last season’s goodies with this season’s style.
5 Pay on time
Don’t be tardy, and I’m not just talking about getting to class.
If you make late payments you’ll get slapped with late fees. Credit cards, landlords and even libraries charge for late fees.
So don’t waste your money on laziness. Setting up automatic bill pay through your bank is a great way to avoid late fees and save yourself some unnecessary expenses.