6 Ways To Cut Costs To Make Rent

By Alexandra Brown on January 26, 2016

Keeping a budget is a major part of being a college student. Whether your parents are taking care of your education, or if you’re paying your own way, budgeting is still essential to staying organized and being smart about money.

Even if, for example, your tuition and books are financially taken care of, you still need to keep an eye out for the other things you’re spending money on, which if handled poorly, can lead to being broke. That’s never a fun time.

One of the most common things college students need to watch out for in terms of money is paying their rent each month. Not only do we have to watch out for getting our check in on time each month, but we have to make sure there’s enough to cover it each month as well.

The best way to successfully make rent each month while making sure there is still extra money left over is budgeting through cost cutting. Staying organized is crucial in this process.

Here are some of the best ways to budget by cost cutting.


1. Eat out less.

A huge amount of college students’ money usually ends up going toward food. You tell yourself you’ll stop at Starbucks on the way to class because the caffeine will help you stay focused and attentive. Also, it’s only $3; it’s not even that bad!

You might have just an hour break between classes and you don’t want to go all the way back home to make yourself something to eat, so you justify stopping to buy a sandwich with the fact that it’s more efficient and convenient.

When you make a habit of these behaviors, though, your money starts disappearing and pretty soon you have no idea what happened to it. Set a budget for yourself for groceries specifically for each month, stick to it, and eat out as minimally as possible.

2. Take public transportation.


If you are someone who has a car on campus, gas can get expensive, especially when you’re filling up your tank on a weekly basis. Try to cut the amount of time you spend driving in half or more and start taking public transportation to class, and anywhere else on campus.

You should take advantage of the public transportation system your college or university most likely has; you’re paying for it as part of your tuition anyway, so why not use it?

3. Pregame at home before going out.


Like the tendency for college students to spend money on eating out, they also have a tendency to spend a lot at the bar. It is college, and going out to bars is a huge part of the nightlife on campus. However, it can be a lot cheaper to buy your own alcohol as opposed to buying expensive drinks at the bar.

Factor alcohol into your grocery budget and use it to pregame at home with friends before going out. It will be cheaper overall, and by the time you get to the bar, you might feel great and not even need to spend any money on drinks.

4. Use coupons.


Download the Groupon app to your phone, as well as an app called Hooked, which has the same idea: to offer daily deals at restaurants, local businesses, retailers and service providers. Hooked is specific to the college/university’s campus, and offers hourly, daily and weekly deals at your favorite spots on campus.

The next time you are considering grabbing coffee before class, or a quick lunch on campus, you can browse Hooked or other apps with the same purpose, to carefully decide what the best decision would be economically.

5. Stock up when you’re at home.


Basic toiletries and necessities you might use, like shampoo and conditioner, face wash, makeup remover, and even makeup, can get pretty costly when you run out, and even more so when you run out of them all at the same time.

Next time you’re home for the weekend (if you live relatively close to campus), get that all taken care of so you don’t have to worry about it at school. If you don’t live very close, make sure to stock up on these products in bulk at the very beginning of the semester when you move in so you don’t have to worry about it later on.

6. Pay in cash.


If you’re the type of person who generally only uses debit/credit cards for payment, do an experiment. Take out a specific amount of money in cash each week and limit yourself to that amount. When you’re constantly paying in cash, you’re paying with actual, tangible money, as opposed to swiping a card and forgetting about the amount you just spent. Paying in cash can help tremendously in keeping yourself aware of how much you’re actually spending.

Hi! I'm Alexandra Brown, a current senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am a News-Editorial Journalism major, and am also working toward a Spanish minor. I love writing, especially about pop-culture, so I hope I can entertain you!

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