Students are known to be reckless with their money. It’s understandable, they’re young and don’t really have proper money management. I used to be reckless with money as well, so here are 10 money saving tricks for students.
1. Buy or Rent Used Textbooks
Have you ever noticed that the used textbook section is always cheaper? In my opinion I say buy rather than rent. When you buy the textbook you have the option to resell it and get some money back for it. It will rarely be how much you paid for it, but you will at least get something back. If you want to rent instead I suggest renting the used textbooks. The difference between renting a new and old textbook is that the old one is cheaper.
2. Don’t Go Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry
I’ve done this countless times. I went to our local market hungry af and bought a cartful of groceries. It turns out a quarter of those things went to waste. When you go to the market hungry, everything looks appetizing so you’re more inclined to buy more than what you’ll actually need.
3. Don’t Get the Most Expensive Meal Plan
At Kutztown University there are 9 meal plan options. I chose the MyTime Dining Maroon Meal Plan. “This plan provides those students who are not required to have a meal plan unlimited access to both all-you-care-to-eat residential dining locations 24 hours a day 5 days per week ( M-F when open) plus 5 guest meals and $50 in dining flex per semester.”
There are other far more expensive plans but I realized I didn’t need all that they were offering. What you should do when choosing a meal plan is figure out when and how often you eat and choose the option that best fits your eating habits and schedule.
4. Go to Class
Of all the money saving tricks, this has to be the most obvious one. This isn’t high school where you can just skip class. You are paying lots and lots of money for each class that you’re in. Skipping class can only lead to two things: you are so behind you withdraw or you are so behind you eventually flunk. Withdrawing and flunking your classes is like throwing money in the garbage, you honestly should just go and get what you paid for.
5. Make Your Own Coffee
I bought a Keurig as a gift for myself because I had just got my driver’s license. I also bought it because I knew I drink about 2-3 cups of coffee a day and I would like those cups free and on demand. When you make your own coffee you save a lot of money and there’s no waiting in line. When there were days when I couldn’t make my own coffee I opted for the 85 cents refill deal at the school Starbucks. The deal was if you buy a reusable 2 dollar cup, you get refills of regular coffee for 85 cents. Not only are you saving money, you’re helping the environment with your reusable cup.
6. Don’t Buy Music
I know songs range from 99 cents to $1.99, but buying songs can add up. Instead of buying music you should subscribe to a music streaming service like Pandora or Spotify. Spotify Premium has a deal with Hulu where you get both for just $4.99 a month.
7. Ditch Cable
Honestly, nobody watches television anymore. Nowadays, people use Amazon Video, Netflix, and Hulu. Cable can be pretty expensive so unless you’re on your parents’ television plan, I’m sure you can do without.
8. Use Public Transportation and Shuttles Instead of Your Car
I know, public transportation sucks and shuttle buses are cramped. You know what’s worse though? The price of gas.
9. Skip the Decorations
The collegeinvestor.com made an excellent point on decorations. “If you’re trying to save money, just don’t decorate. Seriously! This sounds weird, but too many people spend hundreds decorating their apartments and houses, just to toss it all and redecorate when they move.”
10. Live at Home
This is probably the best of all the money saving tricks out there. If you can, live at home. You’re in college do you really want to struggle with rent, car payments, utilities, etc?