financeCollege is often a time of stress of busy schedules. Between work, school and play, many college students barely find time to sleep. When stress rises it can have a ripple effect through other areas of our lives, like our finances. Here are a few money hacks to make staying within budget and out of debt easier:

1.  Hit the salad bar —  If you don’t have time to cook, but can’t afford to eat out at a restaurant, go to the deli and salad section of the grocery store. Often stocked with huge salads and foot long subs for under $5, you can have two fresh meals for the price of one.

2. Don’t dread the tap — People often prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water, but the costs adds up quickly. Instead of buying bottles, get a water filtration system for your tap and refill your canteen or water bottle at each  use.

3. Borrow don’t buy — Even buying used textbooks for a class can cost $50 or  more  a piece. Don’t buy your books, but trade among friends or acquaintances and return them at the end of the semester. Chances are you won’t ever crack that book again, so why buy it when you can borrow it?

4. Recycle and repurpose — From clothing and candles, to CDs and speakers you can turn just about any old thing into something new. Speakers, for example, can be made out of an old plastic bottle with a hole cut in one side to fit your phone or music player. Unscrew the cap and viola, instant boombox where ever you go.

5. Read for free — While you might scoff at the idea of reading for fun while in college, many people do enjoy reading that much. Instead of buying new or used books that will only take up shelf space, download free books or find an affordable subscription for your Kindle.

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