Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Carmiya

Saving Money Hacks for Back to School, Part 2! #PandiaBack2School

It’s Back to School season already! Your room may be cluttered with notebooks, pens, and calculators rather than Christmas lights, Halloween pumpkins, and New Year’s streamers but that doesn’t mean this “holiday” is any less important! Whether this is the first time you’ll be far from the rents or the fiftieth time you’ve lived on your own, it’s important to have a strategy to help you save. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the 7 cleverest ways to save money in college while still having fun! Ready? Let’s do this!

But before we get into the money hack, make sure you save your time & money by getting FREE delivery of your birth control with Pandia Health. Sign up today!

Clothing rack

Share clothes with your besties! 

We’ve all got a little bit of Rebecca Bloomwood in us but it’s time to cut back on shopping! As long as your homies are chill with it, borrowing each other’s clothes can be a money-saving tactic and a cute bonding experience — and it can make you feel like you’ve got a whole new wardrobe! Don’t feel like wearing your buddy’s clothes? Exercise your creativity by putting together outfits from your own closet that you normally don’t wear! If you absolutely must shop, try thrifting or check to see if your school has a Free and For Sale Facebook page where people buy and sell stuff.

You know what else you can share? Stories with your BFFS about your experience on birth control! Not only are the stories free but the delivery of your contraception to your front door is, too! Sign up with Pandia Health today to get FREE goodies with your birth control in it delivered to you free of charge!

Woman in kitchen cooking

Cook at home 

Eating out all the time will eat up your bank account a lot faster than you think! Cooking with foods from your own pantry is healthier, cheaper, and more rewarding! You can even organize a potluck amongst your friends every so often — good food and good company on a budget? Yes, please! Because, let’s face it, if the Starbucks employee knows how to spell your name correctly, it means you should probably curb your daily iced vanilla latte intake. (Bonus tip: if you have a limited amount of time for cooking, try meal prepping or even attend an event on campus that offers free food!)

If you’re a freshman living on campus and have a meal plan, take full advantage of it! And, if you’ve got some extra room in your backpack, pack some Tupperware to take food out with you so you can have snacks for later that night and the next few days! It’s sort of like having your birth control pill pouch with you — you’re prepared just in case and whatever you take is effective for that night and the following days.

Balance sheet with checkbook

Balance your checkbook

If you don’t know what a checkbook is, it’s time to make an appointment with your bank to learn important information about your spending habits. A checkbook — or any other form of budget planning — is a way for you to keep track of your spending. For example, trying to figure out the true cost of your period? Feminine hygiene products cost a lot of money and items like pads and tampons clutter the environment; consider skipping your period to avoid these unnecessary expenditures — and unnecessary cramps, acne, bloating.

As you’re balancing, check to see if you’ve got a monthly charge for picking up your birth control. Not only does the Affordable Care Act guarantee that your birth control is 100% covered by insurance but Pandia Health ensures up to a year’s supply of contraception to your front door for free. #SkiptheTrip to the pharmacy every month and sign up for Pandia where you’ll never run out of birth control again!

Journal with to do list

Make a list

This may seem similar to the aforementioned spending calculator tip but this is slightly different. Write down the items that are most important for you to buy (e.g. toiletries, groceries, textbooks) and research the least expensive, high quality brands. Often, generic brands function the same as name brand and are cheaper! Take birth control pills for instance: generic brands have the same active ingredients as name brand ones and the former is just less expensive!

People in gym

Use your campus gym

Whether or not you’re a fitness fanatic, exercise is important! You’re most likely already paying for your school’s gym through your tuition so you might as well take advantage of it. While it can be tough to stick to a regular workout routine, try your best to find your flow even if it’s only a few days a week. Just don’t wait until you’re on your period and feel like your uterus is going to burst out of your body from the pain to start tackling the treadmill. If that sounds familiar — and painful — consider turning off your period! Find out how to safely and effectively skip your period here

Use your student discount whenever possible

Places like Forever 21, Apple, and various movie theaters offer discounts as long as you can prove that you’re a student (like showing a student ID). Use those savings to treat yourself after all of the hard work you have done watching your budget. Good job, girl!

Good luck with the new school year and happy budgeting! Don’t forget to sign up for Pandia Health’s FREE delivery birth control services today!

The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.