Going to college is an expensive. Not only do you have to pay for rent, commuting costs, and groceries, but then you also have a list of books to buy before the start of the semester. And those books cost $60 each. Groan. How are you supposed to pay for all that? The key is to cut down the costs while you’re getting an education. Let this gal who went to college help you through it with 8 tips on how you can go to college, save money, and still feel like you’re living a decent lifestyle.
1. Don’t Eat Out as Much
Many of us are guilty of eating out a little more than we can afford sometimes. How can you say no when all of your buddies are heading for a post-class meal? But if you’ve had a look at your expenses (rather than avoiding it as most college students) you’ll see how much of an impact eating out has on your bank balance.
Instead, buy groceries and cook from scratch. It’s a better idea if you want to college, save money, and still have a life. Plus, you can cook for your roommates if you want to make it a social event. Just make sure that they return the favor!
2. Look for Books Online
There’s a revolution when it comes to buying college books, and many students are refusing to pay out hundreds of dollars for texts that they’ll only use for one semester. Instead, there are Facebook groups where you can buy books from ex-freshmen and online sites where you can download PDFs of books.
But be careful about what sites you use; stick to the trusted ones. And don’t pay out the big bucks if you don’t have to. You can download Persian thesis essays or medical books; it’s all out there if you’re willing to make time to find it.
3. Get a Summer Job
The summer break is a perfect opportunity to save money, college bound enthusiast you. Whether you want to get a job as a lifeguard or work at a summer camp, you can use this time wisely to get experience in the world of work and build up your bank account.
Accumulating savings can also give you the opportunity to travel while saving money. So, look at jobs in different states and even in different countries if you want to make the most of your time off before the next semester. You’ll be back in the library soon enough.
4. Save Money? College Students use Coupons
Before you buy lots of new clothes, and even books, online: stop!
Have you looked for any discount codes, or used the student discounts offered literally everywhere? You will usually get around 20% off just because you’re a student, but you can find additional offers online too.
For example, look online for free delivery and other money saving codes. This is a great hack whatever it is that you’re looking to buy. So, if you’re shopping in store, don’t forget to take your student card, and check for online deals before making your purchase.
5. Go to Student Nights
When it comes to going to clubs and bars, make the most of your student union bar or go out when it’s student night elsewhere. Why? The drinks are cheaper at these places and times as it’s probably a weeknight rather than a weekend.
Plus, you’ll be around other students so it’s an opportunity to socialize take a mental break from the books. And don’t worry about the club or bar being a ghost town on a Tuesday because literally everybody will be out. So, stop overspending on the weekends, and make the most of weekday deals. Now you’re getting smart about how to save money in college.
6. Learn How to Budget
Ok, we know what you’re thinking here. As soon as you hear the word ‘budget’ you’re immediately zoning out or turned off. If you don’t like the idea of facing your monthly spendings, we hear you. But with the new technology on the market, budgeting is easier than ever. Get yourself an app that will summarize your spending habits and then you’ll be able to see where there’s any overspending issues. Maybe you’re eating out at Five Guys too much, for example.
But sometimes seeing it in all of its terrifying glory is what we really need to change any bad habits. See where you’re spending most, and try to cut back. It’s just another way you’ll save money, college student you.
7. Invest in a Coffee Machine
When you add up how much you’re spending at Starbucks right before you run (windswept and confused) into that 9am class, you’ll probably get a shiver down your spine. While it may only be $5 a day, this amount adds up quickly. If you’re studying on the weekend too, your coffee bill will be around $140 a month. That’s $1,820 a year!
Look, we told you you’d shudder if we brought the figures out. But don’t worry, if you invest in a coffee machine and a thermos flask, you’ll reap the benefits (and the cash) for years to come.
8. Use a Comparison Site for Bills and Utilities
Before you agree to hand over loads of money to your water and electric bill company every month, check out some comparison sites first. Then you’ll be sure you’re getting the best deal. Note: this option may not be available where you live, but just in case we’re including it. Don’t just go with what the previous tenant paid, because they may not have been as money-savvy as you’re going to be after reading this post.
When you use a comparison site to save money in college, look for cheaper options instead. Don’t feel like you have to stick with the company previously providing electricity and gas to your apartment. Instead, research, research, and research some more.
There are many ways to save money in college, so make sure that you don’t miss out on these hacks. Soon you’ll see yourself with a bigger wallet than you had last semester. Good luck, and happy saving!