Save Money in College

After paying for tuition, housing and books, you are aiming to save as much money as you can. The idea of balancing classes with work stresses you out, so you are racking your brain for other options to keep cash in your pocket while also enjoying your college years. Here are some ideas for you:

1. Public Transportation

Gas prices are on the rise again and parking permit prices can range anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on your school. It may not seem like a ridiculous amount, but imagine how much money you could save over the course of four years if you avoided using your car at college.

Most colleges have deals with public transportation systems, such as buses and trains, so you can ride them for a reduced price or for free. Try using the bus for grocery trips or for a night out on the town. You can also take advantage of a bike to get around campus, or to travel to nearby destinations.

2. Buy Used Textbooks

There are several ways to get cheaper textbooks, so do your research and find what deals you can get. If you shop at your school’s bookstore, be sure to buy used books. You will easily save a quarter of the price! Online dealers, such as Amazon and eBay, also offer textbooks for a reduced price, so be sure to check them before purchasing your books.

When your semester is over, you can sell back your textbooks and receive money, sometimes up to half the price that you paid. Try your school’s bookstore first and be sure to sell your books during the first few days of book buyback. This is when textbooks are in higher demand, which means you have a better chance of the bookstore buying your book, and for a higher price.

3. Game Night

If you are looking to have a fun night out with your friends, try hosting a game night instead. Invite everyone to bring their board games, video games and a bag of chips, throw on some music and enjoy! You will find that fun doesn’t have to come with a price. Doing this can save you anywhere from $10 to $20 easy!

4. Avoid Impulse Shopping

Buying a new shirt can be tempting, but if you avoid shopping when you really have the desire to buy something, then you can easily prevent yourself from purchasing an item you do not need. If you really want to go to the mall, leave your money behind. This way, you can still get away from campus, but you have control over your shopping habits.

If you absolutely need new clothes, shop at a secondhand clothing store or thrift store. Here, you can get an outfit for as low as $15 or $20, and still look good. Plato’s Closet is a great store for cheaper fashion. These clothes are practically brand new, but are sold for about a third of the original price.

5. Have a Roommate

Living with a stranger may seem scary, but it can easily save you hundreds of dollars in living expenses. If you find the right person to live with, you will find that having a roommate can be both fun and a great learning experience. Not only will you save money in rent, but you can save money from utility bills because more people will be splitting the cost.

6. Work Part-Time

Working even just a few hours a week can be beneficial when it comes to saving money. Not only will you have income, but you will gain valuable experience in the workforce. Yes, classes are important, but employers are looking to hire people who have some skills and work experience.

If you aren’t sure where to find a job, try utilizing your school’s Career Services. This department exists to help you find internships, jobs and information regarding employment in your degree field. They often have a list of employers who hire students from the school on a consistent basis, so take a look and see if any opportunities stand out to you.

7. Freelance

This is something everyone can do, and you can make your own hours. If you are good at writing, try submitting articles to Helium or Associated Content. Although you won’t make a fortune, you can still make a few extra bucks here and there, which can really add up if you stick with it for four years!

8. Savings Account

Although interest rates are down right now, you can still find banks that offer a higher interest savings account for customers. Banks such as Ally and ING Direct offer up to eight times more interest than the national average. Earnings begin accumulating immediately after your first deposit.

College doesn’t have to drain your bank account. As long as you follow these tips and apply yourself, you will find that saving money is possible for anyone, even a struggling college student. Be sure to take advantage of your campus resources and save as much money as you can!