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Broke but Brilliant: Unconventional Ways to Save Money in College

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Unconventional Ways to Save Money in College

Welcome, Gen Z, to the rollercoaster ride that is college life! As you navigate the academic challenges, social adventures, and the occasional existential crisis, one constant companion often haunts your thoughts – money. Your college budget may be tight, but fear not; we are here to guide you through the "art" of being broke but "brilliant" when saving money during your college years. Don't store your savings under the mattress, keep adulting with a savings account from your credit union.

Embrace Frugal Living:

  • Thrifting Triumphs: Second-hand doesn't mean second best. Explore thrift stores for stylish, affordable finds. Your wardrobe and wallet will thank you.
  • DIY Dorm Decor: Channel your inner artist and create personalized decor on a budget. Pinterest and TikTok are your new best friends for creative DIY ideas that won't break the bank. Not everyone has a dorm room resembling a boutique or fancy lounge.


Exploit Student Discounts:

  • The Power of the Student ID: Your student ID isn't just a key to the library or lunch; it's a golden ticket to discounts. Many places offer student discounts, from movie theaters to restaurants – always ask!
  • Tech Deals: Need a new laptop or software? Many tech companies provide exclusive discounts for students. Check with your university or directly on their websites for student pricing.


Meal Prep Magic:

  • Budget-Friendly Recipes: Say goodbye to ramen every night. Explore budget-friendly recipes that are not only economical but also healthier. Cooking at home saves money and can be a fun, social activity.
  • Bulk Buying Basics: Purchase non-perishable items in bulk to save money in the long run. Think rice, pasta, and canned goods. It's the secret to a cost-effective pantry.


Transportation Tricks:

  • Bike or Walk: Save on gas and exercise by opting for a bike or walking. It's not just environmentally friendly but also budget-friendly.
  • Public Transport Passes: If you're in an area with reliable public transportation, investing in a monthly pass could be more economical than owning a car.

Cash in on Campus Resources:

  • Library Textbooks: Don't rush to buy textbooks; check if your campus library has them for reference or offers a rental program. You'll be amazed at how much you can save. Or, opt for online.
  • Free Events: Think campus events, workshops, and seminars. Take advantage of these free opportunities for entertainment and personal development.

Side Hustle Savvy:

  • Freelance Skills: If you have a talent or skill, consider freelancing. Whether graphic design, writing, or social media management, platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can turn your skills into extra income. You can manage your time to allow it.
  • Participate in Research Studies: Some campus departments may pay for research study participants. It's a unique way to contribute to academia and earn extra cash.


Being broke in college doesn't mean sacrificing the full college experience. Adopting unconventional yet brilliant money-saving strategies, you can navigate your college years with financial savvy.


Embrace the frugal lifestyle, maximize student discounts, get creative with your meal planning, explore alternative transportation methods, utilize campus resources, and consider side hustles to boost your income.


Remember, it's not about having a big budget; it's about being smart with your budget. Here's to being broke but brilliant in college! Using our online and mobile services at Beacon, you have support in managing the money you save and make.

About the author

Beacon Federal Credit Union

Beacon Federal Credit Union in Texas offers valuable banking products including checking accountssavings accountscredit cardspersonal loans, auto loansmortgages and much more.

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