The college experience comes with a different set of struggles for almost every student in the world. But what is consistent for every student whose parents aren’t riding in a Lincoln and buying their affection with a weekly sum of money to be wasted on overpriced drinks and Hail Mary parlays, is the crippling anxiety of wondering how they’ll afford to get drunk this weekend. To help you deal with the inevitable financial worries you will have to deal with in your college experience, here are four ways to stretch every dollar in college.
1. Don’t buy shampoo or conditioner
I know what you’re thinking. A good shower is essential and shouldn’t be removed from your daily schedule to afford a drunk Doordash order. The act of showering itself isn’t very costly, but needing to buy new shampoo and conditioner can run you $15 dollars that you could be spending on something way less helpful to your life. The best way to save on these essentials is to find an empty bottle of shampoo and conditioner to leave in your shower. This will allow you to freely use all of your roommate’s stuff without them thinking twice about it. Don’t feel bad. Remember that one time when those Bud Lights seemingly grew legs and walked out of your mini-fridge? It’s a dog-eat-dog world. You gotta look after yourself.
2. Food delivery apps can be your friend
I know that the fees on Doordash are out of this world. Although we’ve all succumbed to the temptation of a Big Mac being dropped onto our door at two in the morning, it’s almost as destructive to your wallet as a law degree, or an addiction to hard drugs. What is forgotten about these culinary scams, is how they’ve changed the layout of all of our favorite restaurants. Next time you walk into Chipotle and wait in a line so long you’d think sexual favors are being handed out at the end of it, look at the metal shelves filled with brown paper bags. There’s food in those, and for the price of some confidence, it could be yours. No. you don’t get to customize your order, but way more people than you realize pay for the guac, which becomes free for you.
3. Befriend a local cashier
The guy working the night shift behind the counter at the gas station near your campus hates his job. He’s probably stoned, and way too tired to do anything other than ring you up for the gum and condoms you’re picking up before the girl way out of your league stops returning your Snapchats. Get to know him. If you pay close attention, he doesn’t even bother to watch you as you peruse the aisles of his store after a while. This is your greenlight to fill your pockets with as many empty calories as possible and only pay for the $1.29 bottle of water you purchase to make it look less suspicious. Throw a dollar in the tip jar if you’re feeling generous, then confidently walk away like you’re a Kirkland brand Keyser Soze.
4. Find a part time job
If all of these methods haven’t earned you enough money to build your savings account, then it might be time for you to find a way to bring in some extra income. A few options are delivering pizza, working somewhere on campus, or impersonating a homeless person in a busy intersection. I personally opt for the last option, as you get to make your own hours and don’t have to worry about a boss to criticize your performance all day. Just pull up to a busy intersection unshowered, with your dirtiest clothes, and a cardboard sign. Get some use out of your marketing degree and put something clever on the sign. Something lie, “Homeless not hoeless. Anything helps,” should make you popular enough with the locals for them to throw you a few bucks. The hourly rate varies for this job depending on where you are, but it’s an inventive way to make money and be your own boss no matter where you live.