If your budget is tight as a college student, you can find significant savings by doing more things yourself. Even simple services can get pricey when you don’t have much money. And fending for yourself will not only help you save money, but it also teaches you life skills and might even spark a new hobby.
Here are five ways you can DIY your way to saving money while in college.
Cook More of Your Own Meals
Perhaps the easiest way to save money is to avoid eating out and ordering pizza regularly. Instead, cook your own meals whenever possible. Even if you live in a dorm and only have a small fridge and microwave available, there’s plenty you can cook for yourself that goes beyond ramen – from microwave omelets to mashed potatoes.
Check out these dorm room microwave meals for inexpensive ideas.
Fix Up Cheap Used Furniture
If you’re moving into your first off-campus college apartment, you probably need to furnish the place on a budget. Rather than buying cheap new items that won’t last long, consider buying used furniture from thrift stores. With a little DIY effort, you can clean up old wood items or re-upholster fabrics for far less than new furniture would cost.
Learn how to easily reupholster old dining room chairs with this guide from HGTV.
Learn to Take Care of Your Own Car
Sure, it can sound intimidating, but you can save a bundle by taking care of your own car for minor things. That could be as simple as using tutorials to learn how to set up your car’s Bluetooth on your own or learning how to do basic maintenance like changing a tire or checking your engine’s fluids regularly.
Turn to Online Tutorials
These days, you can learn to do just about anything from online tutorials, from unclogging a drain in your apartment to solving most computer problems you might come across.
If you want to make your dorm room feel more like home, but you can’t afford to splurge on decorations, consider these tutorials for DIY dorm décor projects.
Start Your Own Business From Your Dorm Room
Do you know what’s even better than saving money while you’re in college? Making money. One way you can do both at the same time is to start a business while you’re still in school. Freelance services are a good option. Not only will you earn some side money, but your work schedule is flexible and can fit around your classes better than a traditional part-time job. Plus, you’ll save on things like transportation costs and work-appropriate outfits most jobs would require.
You don’t have to do everything for yourself to save money. But by investing time and a little effort where you can, you can cut some serious costs while in school. If you find you have a talent for one or more of these DIY projects, who knows? You might even be able to make a bit of money helping other students out, as well.