If you’re finding it difficult to make ends meet in college, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The rise of tuition cost and living expenses make it challenging for students to keep up with your budget. But it doesn’t mean you have to struggle with finances constantly.
Top 10 Ways to Save Money in College
Here are some practical ways to save money while in college.
You Already Have Some Money, Save It
You probably have some money saved up when going to college. It might not be significant, but you need to manage it at all costs.
1. Get A Free Checking Account
Do you already have a checking account? If so, then you’ve probably seen the fees involved. Numerous banks waive such fees for college students or if you’ve got a direct deposit or a different account with the bank. However, other banks don’t.
If you want to save money, get a checking account. Frankly, banks have many ways to make money, and your savings and checking account shouldn’t be one of them.
So check out banks that offer free checking accounts.
2. Get A Job In College
If saving is a priority for you, you must get a job because you get to earn money. That can help you solve other problems like paying off your student loans.
Aside from that, you get to learn invaluable life skills like business communication and problem-solving, which can be necessary for the future.
Save Money On Your College Expenses
College comes with huge expenses. Here are some of the best ways to save money on your tuition, textbooks, and more.
3. Apply For Scholarships And Grants
Most people think you only apply for scholarships and grants only in high school. That’s incorrect. You can apply for scholarships and grants each year throughout college.
If you get approved for a scholarship, you can get lots of money to pay for your college education. But before you proceed, make sure you find out the terms and conditions whether you qualify or not.
4. Sell Your Textbooks Online
Textbooks are one of the biggest expenses each semester, with some science and math books costing more than $200. But did you know you can make money out of it? Here are some options available to you.
First, you can sell your textbooks online and get a fair amount of your money back. There are numerous bookselling sites like BookDeal.com that make the selling process easy.
All you have to do is type in your textbook’s ISBN, choose the quote you want, and ship your books for free on BookDeal.com. There are even ways to sell your nursing books and get the best offer.
Other options include buying used books or renting them. You can find numerous places to buy used books. Some include Powell’s Book, Abebooks.com, Amazon, etc.
Save Money On Meals
Of course, you have to eat, but the expenses on food can be expensive. So here are some best ways to save money on food and drinks.
5. Make Full Use Of Your Meal Plan
College meals turn out to be a waste of money or a great deal for most college students. So if you want to save money, make sure you get everything you pay for: lunch, breakfast, snacks, dinner.
If you don’t leverage your campus meal plan, you can still consider eating in the dining halls. That’s because most of the food there is usually priced well. And don’t forget your meal plan for snacks.
You can take a banana or apple every morning. Put it in your bag, and take it as a snack during the day. That way, you don’t have to spend much money on a coffee cart.
Yes, food is expensive, so find ways to make use of it.
6. Consider Restaurant Promos
If you love going out to eat, you might as well save money while doing it. One excellent way is to track all the best happy hours, including restaurant promos near your campus. And don’t forget to sort by day.
That way, if it’s Friday, you know where to go for the best deal. When you do these, you’d be surprised with the amount of discounted and free food and drink you can find in your locality.
7. Learn To Cook
It’s always cheaper to cook than buying pre-made food. So even though dinner for $5 sounds cheap, it adds up over time. Meanwhile, you can probably cook the same meal for a much lower price.
Learning to cook is not difficult, but you’ll need to practice. You can start with simple, easy-to-cook meals. When you do that, you can significantly save lots of money.
Cut short the Expenses wherever Possible
Yes, there are many expenses that you can cut short in your college. So let’s see what they are:
8. It’s not necessary to buy new books
Buying books is one of the biggest expenditures in college as books are really expensive. Don’t buy new books right away. Visit the college library and try to get some from there and arrange the rest of the books from the college seniors. Buy only those which you can’t find anywhere. There are many websites that give books on rent like Amazon. You can consider them.
9. Always Carry your ID Card
It’s a smart option to carry your college ID card with you as you can get a good discount on many things like laptops, computers, etc. Companies like Apple and Adobe give heavy discounts to college students on their products. This way you can save a huge amount of money.
10. Be Careful with Credit Cards
Select the credit card with the lowest interest rate which you can easily pay off every month. This will help you to avoid late fees and costly debit cards along with setting a good credit limit for the future.
There are countless ways to save money in college. But you can use this guide as a step in the right direction.
By the way, if you have a car, you might want to sell it since cars are expensive. The gas, insurance, maintenance, and maybe car payment seems pointless if all you do is ride your car around campus.
If you don’t use it for something more relevant, consider selling the car.