By Mia McDonald
Photo by Nicole Igarashi

Being a college student can be expensive sometimes, forcing us to become ramen noodle connoisseurs and masters of PB&J. Or, maybe you’ve even found yourself attending an open-house event simply for the free food advertisement. Here are a few tips to help you cut back on spending and save money.

Split certain bills with your roommates

Chill on the Netflix — instead of you, your roommate(s) and friends all having separate Netflix accounts, consider having one and splitting the bill. Also, choose the option that allows you to use Netflix on multiple screens. I know from personal experience that this is an easy way to save. My sister and I share our account and split the monthly bill of $10.99 instead of us both paying $7.99.

Whether you’re with Sprint, T-Mobile, or AT&T, I’m sure that each company has their version of a family plan. Those same roommates and friends that you’re splitting your Netflix bill with, consider splitting your phone bill with them as well.

Use your student ID to get discounts

There are a few places around the city that offer student discounts. Whether it’s art supplies, food or music, the opportunities are out there.

Are you familiar with Apple Music’s UNiDAYS? It’s the student discount for Apple Music users. The first month trial is free and every month after it’s $4.99 instead of the full price $9.99. All you have to do is create an account using your SCAD email address. You’re welcome.

Carry your student I.D. with you and to ask if an establishment offers student discounts. The worst they can say is no.

Go thrift shopping instead of splurging

Thrifting will save your life! Some of my favorite pieces are from Goodwill. There are a lot of decent quality items available and yes, Goodwill actually has name brands.

Poshmark is a relatively new app. The site explains itself as, “the leading fashion destination where people come together to buy and sell clothing and accessories from each other. We have built a community where our members can buy and sell with confidence and ease. Shop from hundreds of thousands of boutiques and closets for new and gently used fashion at prices up to 70 percent off retail – all from your smartphone or on the web. List an item for sale in less than 60 seconds with the free iPhone, iPad, Android app, or on the web.” Basically, it’s thrifting electronically. I have a Poshmark account and use it. I have both bought and sold clothing and accessories from it.

Have a night in

You don’t always have to go out to have fun. We’re art students. Creating is kind of our specialty. Hosting a game or movie night is not only a way to save money, it’s also an opportunity to bond. It’s the chance to get to know your roommate(s) or finally chill with the potential bae you’ve had your eye on since the quarter started. Or, it could be a celebration of another successful quarter ending. Whatever the reason, staying in is an option. If you’re staying on campus, just make sure it’s within the housing guidelines.

Being a college student doesn’t have to be a financial struggle. The goal isn’t to be broke or in debt. Ultimately, it’s about scaling down on unnecessary spending. There are so many ways you can save money. Try to find what works for you. Now, finish strong on midterms so you can start planning game night.