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Tips for Saving Money in College Wize Blog


Feb 14th, 2020

10 Tips for Saving Money in College

For the first time in your life, you’re in charge of your own finances. No one is telling you what to spend your money on and what not to spend it on. While this can be exciting, it can also be easy to find yourself making unnecessary purchases or losing money faster than you’re gaining it. Check out these tips to figure out how you can save money while in college!

1. Make a Budget

The classic tip that everyone always hears. However, this tip is great for everyone, not just students. No matter what stage you’re at in life, you’re always going to need to understand where your money is going. By beginning to do this in your college years, you’re able to start putting away money for the future while also getting yourself in good financial habits.

2. Check Out Student Discounts in Your Area

Student discounts are a great way for businesses to make more money while also attracting more customers to buy from them. Because of this, many stores, attractions, and companies have student discounts for a multitude of different items. Especially in college towns, you’ll find many places such as grocery stores and movie theaters having special discounts just for students!

3. Utilize Your Campus Meal Plan

While it might be tempting to order meals in or eat out at a restaurant, you’re already paying for your campus meal plan so you might as well use it as much as you can. By eating out less, you’re able to save money on meals that you’re already able to get at your own cafeteria and not paying delivery fees!

4. Buy Second Hand Textbooks

Textbooks are one of the biggest costs when you’re in school. Depending on what classes you’re attending and what your professor’s requests, textbooks can cost upwards of $200. Before buying brand new textbooks, try to see if you can buy them second-hand or on Amazon. Amazon tends to have popular textbooks available in addition to most colleges also have a Facebook page full of students selling their textbooks.

5. Walk or Use Public Transportation

Walking or using public transportation is a great way to save costs in college. While it’s hard to beat the convenience of a car, parking and car maintenance can eat away at your wallet. If public transportation is not an option for you, try to find someone you can commute with to save time and money to get to campus!

6. Go to Your School Events

If one of your main costs comes from always doing activities around town, check out what activities your college has to offer. Most colleges have movie theaters, game rooms, fitness classes and sports games available on campus that you’re able to go to for free or at a cheaper.

7. Consider Getting a Part-Time Job

If you’re getting really strapped for cash, consider getting a part time job. Check out your college’s HR board and see if there are any jobs that might be of interest to you such as lifeguarding, being a camp counselor, serving, or working at the bookstore. By having a part time job, it can help ease the stress of your financial situation while also allowing you to live out your college experience.

8. Learn the Difference Between Needs and Wants

You’re out on your own for the first time and you finally have full control over what you do with your money. Start asking yourself if it’s a need when deciding on a purchase. One tip to help with this is to stop, put down the item, and think about whether you’ll still want the item in a week. While it’s easy to justify why the $6 coffee is a need not a want, it’s important to understand the difference so you can make a realistic budget.

9. Understand Your Banking Situation

As a student, it’s easy to fall into the trap that banks are there to help you save money and keep it safe. Therefore, it’s easy to overlook the extra fees and transactions that are easily forgotten about. When deciding on bank accounts, ensure you understand how to not lose easy money to extra fees such as ODP fees, transaction fees, and account minimums.

10. Ask Around for Secondhand Furniture

When you’re moving out of residence, it can be daunting to think about everything you need to fill your new home. Luckily, there are many students and families in the community always looking to get rid of their old furniture. Ask graduating students if they have anything they’re able to sell you for cheap, some even give furniture away for free!

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