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Save Money in College by Eliminating
these Hidden Costs
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Ian M.
Student Contributor
Posted March 20, 2018
It’s sometimes shocking how little money you actually have upon checking your account balance versus what you thought. You might not eat out, shop for expensive clothes, or buy video games… so where could it all be going? Turns out, there are a lot of small purchases you could be making throughout your day, and they really do add up! Check out the list of hidden costs assembled below:
Vending machines
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When you’re starving at 2:30 a.m.; and everything is closed, that bag of barbecue chips can be too hard to pass up. However, because $1.75, $1.05, $0.65 prices look miniscule on the machine, doesn’t mean they don’t add up. Spending just $3 a week on vending machine snacks comes out to be $156 by the end of the year! Think about using a fraction of that money and buying snacks in bulk; you’ll have more food for way less. Also, take advantage of candy bowls and campus events to pick up snacks to munch on later.
Coffee (no, seriously)
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Yeah, you’ve probably read “make your coffee at home!” in every financial help article. However, even if you’re not buying a $5 expresso daily, buying a $2 small coffee three times a week adds up to $296 a year. Try to either cut back on your coffee consumption, or develop a taste for some good old dining hall coffee. That, or a cheap coffeemaker with a big box of ground beans will do the trick! Buying a reusable coffee travel mug will both force you to make your own coffee (most coffee places still won’t fill personal containers) and save a paper cup or twelve.
Shop deals for toiletries
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Sure, toiletries are cheap, but sometimes costs can be cut even more by choosing certain brands and sizes. Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper than buying individually, whether it’s toothpaste or deodorant. In addition, choosing to buy, for example, cheaper paper towel (knowing your only use for it will be cleaning spills) is a way to save a couple bucks a month. As will be explained below, sometimes it can make sense to buy big bottles of soap and toothpaste online, even if it seems strange.
Order items online
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By ordering items online, you can skip waiting in line and always find the best deal on what you’re looking for. This could include posters, a coffeemaker, blankets, string lights, or any of a long list. You’re almost guaranteed to find a better deal on what you’re looking for, and as long as you’re willing to wait a few days for it to be shipped, your wallet will thank you!
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