*Note: This post contains referral links. But these are sites that I use, love, and actually make money from without the need to refer people!
I fully admit it. I’m a broke college student. So, so, so broke! I’ve been a broke college student for so long, it almost feels like part of my identity. And while I love to joke about it and consider it one of my little quirks, consistently being broke can definitely wear on you!
I study and work part-time. But it seems like I NEVER have any money. I mean, for all the hours I clock at Starbucks, studying, attending class, and learning how to be a semi-functional adult, it can be challenging to stay chipper about my lowly financial situation. I worked so hard to master my credit card usage to make it work for me as best I can. But how embarrassing is it that I need to beg my boyfriend to bail me out from overdraft because I forgot that I bought gas? Ok, he always willing does. But I always hate asking!
But, as I mentioned, I’ve been a broke college student for a few years now. And after all this time, I’ve adapted a few ways to not let my lack of funds completely depress me. So if you’re a broke college student like I am, a stay-at-home momma working hard to stick to budget, or in any tight financial situation, these are my tips to stay positive while you’re constantly broke. 😉
Attitude, Attitude, Attitude
Of course your attitude towards a situation will always determine how you work through it. If I’m feeling particularly depressed about my $0.19 in my bank account (actually happened), I always remind myself that my worth is far beyond any number in my bank account.
Your worth is never related to your bank account. Ever.
No matter how much or how little you have, your value as a human being has no association with your monetary value. It’s so important to remind yourself of this frequently, even if it feels hard to embrace sometimes.
I also try my darndest not to compare myself to others. Now, I admit this one is really tough for me still. But I have quite a few friends who are fully supported by their parents (range of support varies from basic expenses to paying off all credit card bills). It’s definitely easy for me to be green with envy than they can go out to eat, buy clothes that are more than $10, and not have to work other than attend school. Now, I’m definitely lucky that I’m not working full-time or multiple jobs or raising kids and going to school. But comparing myself to my fortunate friends or my classmates working all the time isn’t going to make me any wealthier, healthier, or happier! I’m better off focusing on my situation and my life.
Make Extra Cash on the Side
My friends always hear about my online survey sites and extra programs to make some side cash. These are my faves!
- Swagbucks: I can make up to $50 a month from just watching videos! I keep them rolling in the background while I’m studying or watching Netflix. My pennies slowly add up and before I know it, I’ve got a $25 Target gift card and an extra $25 in my PayPal account!
- Ebates: Serious online shopping lifesaver! When I do spend the little money I have, I love to buy what I can online to reduce my trips to store and shop from the comfort of my couch. I have the Ebates plugin installed in my browser so I always get cash back on eligible purchases. Might as well get some cash back for all the cat food I buy online! Plus get a free $10 for joining! Booyah!
- PaidViewPoint: This is a simple and fun way to earn survey money! Each survey is 10 questions and you get 10 cents per survey. They take about 45 seconds and soon enough they add up to $15 to cash out!
- Microsoft Rewards: Get paid to use your search engine! I use Microsoft rewards to save up for Amazon and Starbucks gift cards. You get points for searching and doing a few fun quizzes. Redeem your points for all sorts of gift cards and even Xbox live memberships!
- Daily Break: Browse some quick articles to get points and again–redeem for gift cards! This is another mindless activity that you can use for a study break while racking up points to make your next Target run less painless.
- ShopKick: Even though I don’t buy stuff often, I love to window shop. And while I’m walking around the mall, I might as well get paid! I use ShopKick to get points for walking in/by certain stores. Each walk-in gives me kicks to use for gift cards. You can also scan product barcodes to get more kicks!
- Fiverr: If you have a few skills to market online, you can make some quick online gigs through Fiverr. If you’re a graphic design student, you can get started with logo design, art students can sell their doodles, math and English students can tutor. There’s endless possibilities! You can even get paid $5 to help people choose their best Tinder pictures. Check it out today!
Squirrel Away Spending Money
I rarely shop, but I’m definitely not immune to a shopping bug now and again. When you’re totally broke, it can be draining to have nothing to treat yourself when you just want to go on a shopping spree. So with some of the extra cash from the aforementioned side options, birthday money from relatives, and any extra hours you get at work, squirrel away some of that money for a shopping spree. I like to keep an envelope in my drawer where I put some extra dollars here and there. When my shopping bug hits, at least I have some extra cash to treat myself without feeling guilting or spending money I don’t really have. This always helps me feel less deprived as a broke college student!
Of course, doing your research always help. Read up on tips to make money, save money, and be a financially healthy person! I love Earnest’s blog, The Penny Hoarder, and Heavenly Steals for all my money management needs!
How do keep a positive attitude during a tight financial situation? What are your tips to control your money and not let it control you?