10 Ways to Save Money as a College Student

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

It’s that time of year again: Back to school. Many college students are headed back to campus — or going away to school for the first time. When you get to school, it becomes apparent that there are costs that you may not have anticipated. If you are looking for ways to save money as a college student, here are 10 suggestions:

  1. Get the “right” kind of job: One of the smartest money moves you can make a college student is to get a job. If you get the right kind of job, you can save money, as well as make it. Get a job in student housing or as an apartment manager, and you could save money on your housing costs. Work in the university cafeteria, and you could walk away with a free meal each day. These are both strategies I used to save money while in college.
  2. Get a roommate: A roommate can help you split housing costs, and you might even be able to work out a way to save on the grocery shopping if you take turns with meal prep. If you live on-campus, choosing a shared room is usually less expensive than a private room. I like my personal space, so this was never a strategy I employed, but working for University Housing meant a free private room for two years anyway.
  3. Look for student specials and discounts: Many retailers and grocers in college towns offer them. Take advantage of student specials and discounts.
  4. Clip coupons: Don’t forget to clip coupons. These can come in handy if a student discount isn’t available, and it can save you money.
  5. Be smart about your phone use: Get a phone plan that meets your needs. If you can swing it to get a cheaper plan, consider using your computer as a phone. MagicJack is also a great option.
  6. Use university resources: If you live off-campus and don’t get free Internet, you can use school resources. Many campuses have free Wi-Fi. Just bring your laptop on campus and use free Internet. And, if you can live without your own computer, you can avoid that big cost altogether by using a school computer lab. Many campuses even have a health clinic you can use instead of going to the doctor.
  7. Don’t buy textbooks at the bookstore: Avoid buying textbooks at the bookstore. Instead, look for book exchanges, check Amazon, and buy used. You can even rent textbooks for much less. You can even get ebooks. There is no reason to pay out the nose for your textbooks.
  8. Leave the car at your parents’: Cars are expensive, from maintenance to gas. Instead, use public transportation, or take your bike. Live close to campus so you can avoid the need for a car. You’ll be amazed at what you save.
  9. Attend university events: College campuses are notorious for hosting events where you can get free food. Go to these events, and you could snag a free meal. You might also get other free swag, including bags and shirts. It’s a great way to save a little extra cash while meeting people.
  10. Be realistic about your needs: Realize the difference between needs and wants. Understand that just because you can get a new bed set, there is no reason to. Take a look at what you have, and what you can bring with you. No need to buy a bunch of new stuff.
What is your best tip for saving money in college?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

George greene March 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

Another way to save on textbooks is to check out the library for them. If you only need the book to read a few chapters or just a quick study review,this will save you tremendously.
Another way to save is to split the costs with a classmate who is either close-by or a roommate.

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