How to Save Money as a College Student
College is expensive. So, how exactly can you save money as a college student? Carefully.
It’s no surprise that many college students live on a strict budget. After all, by the time college is over, most students graduate with a hefty student loan bill.
With trying to balance paying for tuition, getting basic necessities, and having a social life, it can seem impossible to save any money at all.
However, there are a few ways to save a few bucks during your time at university.
Here are 12 ways to save money as a college student.
1. Buy and Sell Textbooks on Amazon
Textbooks are crazy expensive. One new textbook can cost upwards of $100.
Instead of buying your books at the university bookstore, get them used on Amazon for half the price. Once you are done using the book, sell it back on Amazon to get your money back.
By getting into the cycle of buying and selling your textbooks on Amazon, you can keep reusing that book money until you graduate from college. This will literally save you hundreds of dollars.
It is extremely easy to sell books on Amazon. All you need to do is create a profile and list your book for sale. It’s that simple and it’s a great way to save money as a college student!
2. Utilize Student Discounts
You’d be amazed at how many companies offer student discounts. All you have to do is ask for it.
If you want to go out with your friends, try to pick a place that offers a student discount such as a restaurant or the movies so that you can save money. Also, eating places surrounding a college usually offer student discounts to attract more costumers.
Entertainment places are the only places that offer student discounts. You also qualify for student discounts with car insurance, banking, Amazon Prime, and more.
3. Graduate in 4 Years
We all know one year of college is extremely expensive. Aim to finish in 4 years.
I understand that with university crowding and difficulty in getting into certain classes, some students are forced into a 5th year. However, do all that you can to ensure you graduate in 4 years so that you can literally save thousands of dollars.
Financial aid also gets tricky if you go into a 5th year. A lot of time, financial aid will cover only 4 years leaving students with only private loan options for a 5th years.
If you want to save money as a college student, buckle down and get it done in 4 years.
4. Live in the Dorm
This one might be a little controversial because some school’s have expensive dorm costs. However, unless you can live at home for free, renting an apartment may not be the cheaper option when compared to dorming.
With dorm fees, most schools offer room and board, meaning meals are included with the fee. And, with a dorm, you don’t have to worry about paying monthly utilities or getting internet because that’s all provided. (Also, there is the extra bonus of living that close to class).
However, if you rent an apartment you still have to pay for utilities, buy groceries, and commute to school. That can add up to cost more than the price of dorming.
Since living in the dorm seems like such a large fee up front, most people forget to break it down as a per month fee to see how much living in the dorm costs each month. Before you sign your next lease, just look into the cost of dorming to see if you can actually save yourself some money.
5. Don’t Take Out Loans for Personal Spending
Loans should be used for school and school only. Just because you have the option to take out a loan doesn’t mean you should.
The fact is, the fewer loans you take out, the more money you can save. Loans not only need to be paid back, but they also charge you high-interest rates causing you to owe even more money.
This is why loans should only be used for school and not personal spending. For all your personal spending, use the money you make from work. If you can’t afford it, save up!
Trust me, being cautious with how you use your loans is a great way to save money as a college student.
6. Don’t Ruin Your Credit
If you have a credit card, use it wisely! I beg you! It is extremely difficult, timely, and costly to reestablish bad credit.
If you feel like you aren’t ready or responsible enough for a credit card, get rid of it right now. It will save you tons of money if you know you can’t control yourself.
While I do believe everyone should build their credit, they should do so wisely.
As a college student, credit card debt can be devastating. Don’t get stuck in that trap.
7. Don’t Drink (Alcohol is Expensive)
It’s estimated that the average college student spends $1,000 on alcohol a year. That’s a ton of money!
Save yourself the expense and don’t drink. Or, at least don’t drink that much.
If every weekend you are going out and buying alcohol, think about how much money you are spending. Additionally, alcohol in restaurants is crazy expensive. You’re practically throwing your money away.
Being sober is a much more affordable habit, especially for a college student.
8. Cheaper Dates
Dates can be expensive, especially if you always pick up the tab.
While it’s nice to splurge on a few dates when you are getting to know someone, all the rest of the dates don’t have to be extravagant.
Instead, try some cheaper and even free options for dates. There are plenty of things to do.
Besides, if you’re with someone you really like, its the quality of time you have together that matters, not the amount of money you spend.
Related Posts: 10 Fun Valentin’s Day Dates on a Tight Budget
9. Grocery Shop
If you want to save money as a college student, you can’t eat out all the time. Spending money on fast food and restaurants is one of the easiest ways to spend a bunch of money.
Instead of eating out all the time, grocery shop and cook your food.
Now, I personally hate cooking, but ever since I started doing it I have saved hundreds of dollars.
Grocery shopping also helps you eat healthier options, which is just another perk of it all.
10. Cut Back on Subscriptions
The cost of subscriptions can really add up.
Make a list of all the subscriptions you are currently paying for and see where you can cut back. It may not seem like you are saving a lot of money, but it really adds up.
By getting rid of some subscriptions, you can probably save yourself a few hundred each year.
11. Go to the Campus Gym
It’s free! Well, technically it is included in your tuition costs, but still.
The university gym is an excellent resource for students to use. There is no need to get locked into a gym membership elsewhere.
Utilizing campus resources such as the gym is a great way to save money as a college student.
12. Start a Side Hustle
A great way to save money is to make more money.
Find a side hustle and dedicate a few hours a week to it. It can be something like Uber or starting an online business. Besides, college is the perfect time to venture out into new avenues such as beginning a side hustle.
Yes, college is expensive, but there are ways to save money along the way.
If you are cautious and aware of your spending, you can save money as a college student.
Happy studying and saving!