Attending college can cost a ton of money, whether you’re attending a state university or a private institution. Even if you received a solid financial aid package from your college, you will still be spending money on textbooks, food, and nights out with your friends. If you want to reduce your student debt, or simply help you save some money in your bank account, there are dozens of easy money saving tips you can incorporate into your life as a college student. Here are 15 simple ways to help you save some cash while you’re earning your degree.
Shop Where They Offer Student Discounts
If you live in a small town, or even in a city, look into what businesses near your university have student discounts. These can be anything from coffee shops to bookstores and beyond. Always ask if the store or restaurant offers a student discount at check out and keep your student ID handy to save a few dollars when you’re shopping.
Use Your College Library
If you’re worried about the expensive textbook costs, use your college library to help you possibly save hundreds of dollars. Some libraries will have your required textbooks in its collection. If it doesn’t, your college library can find another copy at another institution and get it shipped for free. Using your college library for these resources will help you save a ton of money.
Get A Job
If you’re looking for a way to make consistent income, you can always apply for both off and on-campus jobs. If you received work study as a part of your financial aid package, try to find a position that allows you to get your work done while earning money. Desk jobs at the library, department offices, and fitness centers are a great way to balance school work and your shift. If you have additional time in your schedule, a job off campus is a great way to bring in a consistent income.
Buy Used Everything
Whether you need new supplies, electronics or decorations, buying anything used is an excellent way to save some money. Websites and applications such as Ebay, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are excellent resources to buy almost everything you need for your dorm or apartment. You can both buy and sell things on this website to help you earn or save hundreds.
Take Full Advantage Of Your Campus Resources
Your college likely offers dozens of resources on campus that can help you save money. For lower income students, your college can help you with purchasing necessary equipment or technology for your program. Additionally, you can use your campus fitness center instead of paying for a gym membership elsewhere. Research what programs your college offers and make the most of those opportunities and resources.
Apply For Scholarships
There are dozens of no-essay or simple scholarship applications that you can apply for online. If you specialize in a certain skill, there are likely several applicable scholarships where you can show your abilities. Do some research and see what kinds of scholarships fit well with your strengths and interests and get to work.
Take Classes Over The Summer
One of the easiest ways to save some money is to take classes over the summer. If you take your courses online, colleges typically offer a reduced tuition, saving you thousands of dollars in the long run. You can also look into taking your required classes at a local community college to save even more money.
Choose A Bank That Offers Perks For Students
If you’re looking to start a new checking or savings account, do some research into student benefits that banks in the area offer. This can include cash back for students for credit cards, or banks even offering free money for opening a savings account. Banks are consistently offering deals, so keep an eye out as you’re doing your research.
Use Your Meal Plan
While you’re still on campus, be sure to get the most out of your meal plan. Use as many meal swipes as you can, or use the university dollars on your account for snacks. Use it for things you would normally find yourself spending real money on to help save a few dollars in your bank account.
Invest In A Coffee Maker
If you’re a huge coffee drinker and find yourself spending money at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, invest in a simple coffee maker and make your cup of joe from home. Although the four dollars you’re spending on your coffee each day might not seem like a lot, it’s a non-essential expense that really adds up.
Use Groupons For Restaurants And Other Activities
When you’re planning a night out with your friends, be sure to check out groupon to see if you can find any Groupons to help everyone save a few extra bucks.
Walk, Ride A Bike, Or Take Public Transportation
While bringing your car to campus might seem like the most efficient mode of transportation, it’s not the most cost effective. Look for alternative options such as public transportation, biking and walking to help save some money and to also help you get some additional exercise.
Complete Your Degree In The Minimum Time
Another way to minimize your student debt after graduation is to finish your college education. This will allow you to get into the job market sooner, and will also allow you to save money on housing. One of the best ways to do this is by taking classes over breaks, which also saves you money.
Sell Things When You’re Done With Them
One of the easiest ways to save some money is to sell things when you’re done with them, whether you want to sell electronics, textbooks, or clothes. You can put your used items on sale on platforms such as Poshmark, Ebay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. While you won’t get the full refund off your items, you’ll still get some of that money back.
Ask For Gifts That Are College, Life Essentials
Instead of asking for video games or clothes, fill your holiday or birthday wish lists with stuff you’ll need for college, such as Barnes and Noble gift cards, school supplies, command strips, dishes, and more. With your relatives helping out with your college shopping lists, you’ll save money on things you would inevitably need anyways.
When it comes to reducing your student debt as much as possible, there are a ton of small things you can do that will have a large monetary impact. Implementing any of these tips into your life as a college student will help you build up your savings, and get your money’s worth from everything you purchase.
Lara Hill is a senior Public Relations major at Emerson College from Groton, Massachusetts. She has contributed to several college publications, holding multiple editing positions and focusing mainly on sports journalism. When she is not in class or writing, she loves to sail, watch sports with her friends and family, sing with her sisters, and play with her dog, Cassie.