College living is a struggle. We all know that student budgets are minuscule and having extra spending money is nothing short of a small miracle. It doesn’t have to be like this, though. There are lots of ways you can team up with your roommate and share some of that burden.
Here are a few ways you and your roommate can work together to cut back on living expenses:
1. Invest in a Warehouse Membership (Such as Costco)
Household items such as laundry detergent, paper towels, and soap can get very expensive and seem to always run out when you need them most. With these types of everyday essentials, the best way to save money is to buy them in bulk quantities and split them between your roommates (who are probably using yours anyway) at a warehouse type of retailer such as Costco, B.J.’s, or Sam’s Club. Memberships are very affordable starting at $40-$50 for the whole year and can be shared with your household.
2. Take Turns Cooking at Home
Having a crazy, on-the-go college lifestyle doesn’t provide a lot of time for cooking home cooked meals every single night. This turns into a lot of delivery, take-out, and fast food. Instead of resorting to pricey, and typically unhealthy options, try taking turns cooking with your roommates and save the leftovers for each other so you don’t get bored of always eating the same meals. This will be a lot healthier and cheaper than going out to eat several times a week.
Chances are, you and your roommates travel to a lot of the same places or to places close to one another. One place you both definitely go is to your university’s campus. Your schedule might not be exactly the same, but if it's close enough, go a little early and study in the library or student union before class or head to the gym after class while you wait for them. If you work in the same shopping plaza or even on the same route home, consider carpooling there as well. Carpooling will save you both money on gas, maintenance from your mileage, and it will also be a fun way to catch each other up on your busy lives!
Of course, you don’t have to share everything with your roommate. Simply combining your money on common household items can save more than you think. Buying everyday products in bulk, taking turns cooking, and carpooling around town is just the tip of the iceberg. Put your heads together and get creative. There are plenty of ways you can help each other save money!
Looking for more ways to save money? Check out our tips and tricks on How to Budget in College.