The term "broke college student" can unfortunately be all too true at times. Being a student with little to no income and wanting to go out and do stuff with friends just doesn’t work well together. If you ever find yourself dealing with this same struggle, I have a couple of tips that have stretched my dollar.
This school year, I had a few interviews on campus that required me to dress business casual. When I looked in my wardrobe, all I could find were hoodies and long sleeves. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on something that I would only wear a few times, so I tried to find the most inexpensive way to get high quality clothes. Not even ten minutes away from campus, there is a TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Discovering and utilizing these two apparel stores might have been one of the best things I've done while at UMass (at least when it comes to interviews). I was able to find high-quality clothes I liked at a fraction of the price. Shopping at these stores was almost like a scavenger hunt because I never knew what I was going to find for such a discounted price.
Another time I found myself spending unnecessary money was when I was hungry late at night in my dorm room and too lazy to go to the dining halls. I would either order food to my dorm or buy snacks beforehand to have for later. The reality is that these expenses build up. If you really want to save money, UMass’s Grab N’ Go and Harvest are perfect for your late-night hunger pangs. There were countless nights where I would eat a fresh PB&J sandwich I got earlier, or I would stop by Harvest during the day and spend my dining dollars on some snacks. Either way, you are saving your money!
For the times I wanted to go off campus, maybe to a restaurant or for an activity, price was still an issue. Some of the restaurants in the Amherst area are phenomenal but some can be a bit expensive. My roommate introduced me to Groupon, which should be every college student's best friend. You can go on the website or app, but Groupon shows local deals on restaurants, events, and points of interest. It’s perfect to use when going out with friends or on a date. My friends and I went out to a restaurant and the total bill was $30 for 4 of us!
Being a college student may be tough, especially if you are trying to save every buck you can, but there are definitely ways to indulge yourself while being cost effective!