Dear College Students: 5 Tips for Saving Money in College

college savingsDear College Students, welcome and welcome back. Although I have (very sadly) outgrown my college days, I still have a few tips to offer to stay on budget while balancing schoolwork, social life, jobs, finances, and more. I did graduated with my graduate degree less than a year ago, so hopefully my advice isn’t woefully out of date… just yet.

1. College discounts: You know that little ID card you need to take everywhere with you, yeah, take off-campus as well to score some discounts off food, retail, entertainment, and more. Also, if you’re not sure if the company offers a college discount, it doesn’t hurt to ask. There’s a big list of college discounts on this blog here and don’t forget to ask your own college if they know of any college students just for your own particular school.

2. Participate in Student Activities: As an undergrad student, you pay a student activity fee that brings comedians, bands, jugglers, and more onto campus as well as other fun events without traveling very far: all for free. Please take advantage of these, you will definitely miss the free and convenient entertainment when you graduate. Most office of student activities are social, so follow them on Facebook, Twitter and more to find these free events on campus or read some event posters in the hallways while waiting for a friend.

3. Get involved: In the next few weeks, you may notice a work study fair, a student activities fair, an intramural info session, etc., whatever your interest is, get involved (and get free stuff at the fairs). Not only will you make new friends, but if you choose wisely you will most likely get a lot of cool stuff from your new found interest. (Note: I was actively involved throughout my four years in college and when I graduated I had over FIFTY free t-shirts from various events and organizations. FIFTY.)

4. Spend smartly with textbook purchase: Please don’t wait until after your classes begin to purchase your textbook, especially if there is limited supply at the bookstore. If you put off the textbook purchase too long, you may be stuck buying a brand spanking new book instead of getting an used or rental book for much less. Sometimes, it can be a strategy to share a textbook with a friend or wait until you’ll actually use the textbook, but often times you can return your textbook (ask your bookstore about their policy) within the first few days for a full refund so if you don’t need it, you can return it. Also, sometimes your campus library may have a copy or two of the textbook that you can borrow at the library, so check there if you have a funny feeling you won’t need your text all that much. With even more planning, buy online to save even more. It may take a week or two to arrive, but you can save big bucks by buying (or renting) a book online. For those procrastinators, think about Amazon Prime (referral link) because you can score free two-day shipping so your textbook can arrive to campus quickly. There’s even a free prime trial for students, so don’t pay for your two-day textbook shipping this semester!

5. Going out? Plan ahead: If you do decide to go off campus, figure out your plan ahead of time. If you are going out for drinks, recommend a bar with $1 drafts or a restaurant that’s having a $2 taco night. By picking the right restaurant for your budget, it can save you a lot of money. Take advantage of free museum nights and just hanging out at Boston Common; you don’t need a lot of money to have fun. Also, when are going out, put aside how much money (cash) you’d like to spend that night in your pocket. If you don’t have the money in your pocket, you won’t spend it– or at least you’ll think twice when you are reaching for your debit card. Plan ahead and pay a little less for having a lot of fun.

Hope you have a great year! Do you agree with my advice– what did I miss?!

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Free Week of Yoga at Select Studios in September and October!

Free Yoga Month Card

If you love yoga and freebies, head here to receive a week of free yoga at select yoga studios in September or October, for new members only. There are six studios participating in Boston, two in Cambridge, and seven more within 10 miles from the city.

For more information or to request your free week of yoga, please head here.

Off On A Little Vacation…

vacation

One of my favorite hobbies is traveling. I don’t always have as much time or money to do so, but the stars have aligned and I am off exploring sunny San Diego and playing tourist! If you have any tips, recommendations (especially food), or a great San Diego budget blog to recommend, share them in the comments or shoot me an e-mail :)

Boston on Budget will still be here with scheduled posts or tweets, but please do your due-diligence and just make sure nothing has changed, especially weather wise with events or even deals. I will be tweeting a little less, and won’t probably be tweeting my daily posts, so please come and visit the blog directly.

I’ll be back next week just in time to see so many new faces in Boston! Hope you all have a great Labor Day Weekend and good luck if you are moving or helping a friend move this weekend!

If you are looking to take a vacation in Boston, don’t forget to check out my Boston Visitor Guide for a lot of great tips and resources!

One Fund Boston Charity Scoop at Ben & Jerry’s on 8/15/13!

Stop by Ben & Jerry’s at 174 Newbury Street in Boston on Thursday, August 15, 2013 from 4-6pm for ice cream scooped by two New England Revolution Stars! The best part is that all the Tips Sene & Jerry receive at Ben & Jerry’s (get it!?) and 50% sales will go directly to the One Fund Boston. Stop by, enjoy some ice cream, meet some Revs players, and support the One Fund = win, win, and win.

More information can be found here.

Printable Retail Coupons: Use for Tax-Free Weekend in Massachusetts!

This weekend is Tax-Free Weekend in Massachusetts, and I figured I would share a few printable coupons for those venturing out today or Sunday! Good Luck!

Boston.com also has a big guide to the tax-free holiday that you can read here. As I’ve said before, the tax-free holiday can be a great especially if you were buying something anyway or need something that never goes on sale; however, at the same time, it’s less than a 7% discount so it’s not that great since products often go on sale for more than 7% off! Good luck and happy shopping!
Thanks, Your Retail Helper!

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy here.

Tax-Free Weekend in Massachusetts August 10-11, 2013!

Tax-Free Weekend

This upcoming weekend, August 10 & 11, 2013, is tax-free weekend in Massachusetts. The tax-break is on retail items up to $2,500 on a single-priced item, with some exclusions such as vehicles, tobacco, boats, meals, and etc.

Some retailers like Jordan’s Furniture and Bernie and Phyl’s have already started with tax-free promotions, and will double the tax break on new purchases.

Although tax-free weekend can be a great time to save on big purchases, keep in mind that some items are better bought on sale with bigger store discounts or different times of the year, if you can wait. If an item is not on sale without a store promotion, you are saving less than 7% on the item which is not too great.

However, if you are buying a product anyway, need a product that never goes on sale, or a combining tax-free weekend with in-store promotions and discounts, it may be a good time to buy.

Are you doing any shopping this upcoming weekend?!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Fair Foods Boston and $2 Produce Bags

 

Fair Foods Produce Bag

A typical $2 Produce Bag from Fair Foods

Is money really tight but you would like to still eat healthy? Check out this great Boston non-profit that has been providing healthy produce to low-income families in the Boston area for 22 years.

Fair Foods has a great program where you can grab large bags filled with mix produce for a suggested donation of $2 per bag. There isn’t a bag limit or ID check, but only take what you need, if you need it. For more information please go here or to find the schedule for your neighborhood please go here.

Are you familiar with this program whether you’ve purchased a bag or volunteered?