Not only do many students go into debt for college, but they often times find that money seems to just slip away during the semester. Use these 40 money saving tips to help you avoid spending when you don’t need to and save money in college!
- Actually go to class & pay attention
– Tons of students don’t even pay attention to the education they’re paying for. It’s an expensive investment in your future. Therefore, pay attention and work hard!
- Utilize various college discounts (locally & nationally)
– Does your school provide you with any discounts at your local shops/restaurants? It’s not wise to go out too often, but if you do, make sure you’re saving! At my college, we had a discount at Chick-fil-A where we basically got a full meal for $3.94… pretty great.
- Buy your books cheap & used!
- Sell your old text books
- Pay off some student debt in college
– Paying off debt early can help prevent interest on your loans from growing. This will help save you money in the long run!
- Don’t be the community driver!
– Don’t be that guy/gal stuck driving everyone everywhere. That’s not to say don’t help a friend out, but just don’t be over the top dropping dollars in your tank!
- Apply for every scholarship/grant possible
– There are a lot of scholarships out there that you could be scooping up! It can do you a service by at least applying and putting in some effort for the scholarship!
- Go to community college first
– Depending upon what you want to do, it might save you some money in the long run by going to a community college to get your standard, required courses out of the way. Although you’ll miss out on the initial experience (which might be what you’re looking to do), you will probably save thousands by getting those courses out of the way.
- Try to graduate early
– If you stack your semesters up with classes and test out of a few courses, you might be able to graduate a semester early which can end up saving you a decent amount! Check with your advisor on this! (This is what I did!)
- CLEP (test) out of classes
– As I just mentioned, you might be able to test out of some courses. If you feel confident enough, check out the CLEP website for courses you think you can pass. You can study for it and take a practice test beforehand to see if you can actually do it. This could either help you graduate early or free up some time that you could use for other things like work and studying.
- Eat at your school’s cafeteria
– Trust me, I know… the cafeteria is usually terrible. However, it is possible to eat healthy and sustain yourself eating there. Get creative and make it work! It’ll save you a decent amount by not going out to eat.
- Work part-time
– I know this sounds more like making money in college and not saving money, but working part time will help focus your time on making money instead of spending it. Usually when you’re bored, you end up spending money on stuff you wish you didn’t. So find some work and don’t be bored!
Not to mention, you could use this extra money to get a jump on paying down debt!
- Use your school’s amenities! (gym, library, cafeteria, etc.)
– Using your school’s amenities for things like the gym, cafeteria, entertainment events, WiFi, etc., will help save you from spending money on things that aren’t exactly necessary.
- Go thrifting instead of shopping
– Do you need new clothes or something? Go to your local thrift store and shop there. You never know what you’ll find! You might find things you need like clothes, appliances or a couch for cheap!
- Commute instead of living on campus
– If you’re within driving distance from your school, it might be worth it to just commute instead of living on campus. In fact, it could probably save you thousands. Although, you’ll miss out on the experience, you won’t miss out on the cost!
- Study for a degree that will actually give you a return on your educational self-investment
– I hate to be the negative guy, but don’t pay thousands of dollars for a degree that won’t get you hired or give you a return. So many students are going to school for random things that are for mere hopes and dreams as opposed to an investment in one’s self.
I’m NOT saying don’t go for what you want to do in life. But be sure that you can actually get a job with your degree to be able to pay off your debt!
- Don’t get into credit card debt
– As a college student, you will be offered many credit cards. If you don’t know how to use them, don’t bother. If you want to make them work for you, check out my post on credit cards!
- Do your laundry efficiently!
– Look for ways to do your laundry for free (like going home to do it). Also, be sure to use your clothes effectively. It might sound funny, but don’t wash clothes that might already be clean. But don’t be gross about it…
- Car pool when you can
– If you’ve got a good friend group, you should be able to divvy up the driving for your various adventures. This can help save you some gas!
- If you’re living on campus, pick the right housing
– Some schools have different prices for their various dorms. Be sure you pick the one you want that’s the best deal for you!
- Kick the bad habits like drinking, smoking, drugs, etc.
– Don’t be a fool and get caught up with dumb stuff like this. Not only would you be killing your bank account, but you’ll also be killing yourself. Be careful who you hang with!
- Don’t buy stuff to fit in
– I’ve seen kids buy things they would NEVER buy just for the sake of fitting in or being cool. Don’t let your college experience destroy your common sense. Don’t buy dumb stuff because you can.
- Only date if you know she’s/he’s the one
– Not to get too deep on you, but I’ve seen guys/gals waste money on girls/guys they know they’re not going to end up with in the long haul. Only get yourself tied up with someone who you know you want to be with. Otherwise, you’ll find a nice little leak in your bank account!
- If you’re living off campus, get roommates & split the rent!
– Look into finding some roommates to help pay down the cost of your rent and utilities. Share the cost!
- Stay away from getting cable or expensive subscriptions
– Let’s be honest… you don’t need it. Open a book and learn maybe one of these:Warren Buffett: The Life, Lessons & Rules For Success
- Don’t get the biggest meal plan (if possible)
– It is rare that you eat 3 meals a day at college. The cheapest meal plan will probably serve you best instead of overpaying for convenience. These meals you’re not getting from school can easily be replaced by a cheaper alternative. Which leads to the next tip…
- Utilize coupons and deals when food shopping
– There are gazillions of ways to save when food shopping. There are apps like ibotta that save you money when you shop. Heres a list! there’s also coupons scattered across the earth for just about any store…
- Drink water
– It’s healthier, cheaper, more satisfying for the body, and smarter. If you drink water you will probably lose a weight and save money… it’s a win/win situation.
- Avoid the Starbucks & other coffee shops… unless it’s your birthday or you can get sweet deals
– I know, I know I’m such a bad person for insulting your Starbz habits. But really, there are cheaper ways to get your coffee fix. Try getting a French Press Coffee Maker like this and make your own!
- Get free banking accounts for being a student!
– Among other things, banking for students at many places is free! Amen.
- If you do decide to eat out… Get water to drink.
– Restaurants have pretty high prices for beverages. Especially alcohol. Thus, be cheap and get a water!
- Speaking of water… instead of buying bottled water, get a filtered water bottle like a Brita 34 Ounce Hard Sided Water Bottle or a LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
- LOCK YOUR DOORS!
– There are kids out there who don’t care about you or your stuff and are more than happy to just steal it. So don’t risk it and don’t trust many people. Having to buy a new laptop or something of that nature is a pain in the booty.
– You can probably find some sort of combo deal that includes a nice laptop and Microsoft Office Suite. Shop around for some deals here!
- Don’t buy shady software
– I know too many people who made the mistake of trying to download some free shady software that ended up costing them their computer. Viruses and hackers prey on the people looking for software freebies. BE CAREFUL.
- Watch movies the smart way
– If you want to go to the movies, do it the smart way and go to a matinee showing or the early bird specials. Not only will you get a good discount but you’ll find the perfect seat! Or if you have Amazon Prime, I’m pretty sure there are tons of movies you can watch for free.
- Don’t spend money on music
- Share books with friends in the same class
– If I had roommates in the same class, we would usually share the book and end up saving some decent money per class. This might not work for everyone, but it worked for me.
- Don’t spend too much money on decorating your dorm room
– Some people like to go all out. My roommate and I intentionally had the most boring room of all time, yet it still managed to bring in 10-12 people. A Yankees poster, Phillies poster and a Tim Tebow poster was all we needed…
- Be responsible with your time and money
– Although it’s college and it seems like it’s all about fun, just remember why you’re there. Budget your time and money effectively and maximize your education and your impact at the school!
I hope these savings tips find you well! Enjoy your semester/school year my friends! Be brave and be wise!
Cheers & God Bless!
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