Attending college can be expensive; the costs of tuition, books, board or supplies can really add up pretty fast. These are the main reasons why saving money while in college is crucial.
There are different ways to save money while in college. The more you save the better you will be prepared for any unexpected expenses or other costs that can come along the way during your college years.
Saving money as a college student will not only help you keep more money in your pockets but also develop the foundation of good financial skills that you might need later in life. The list below describes some of the best money saving tips that would help you save money while attending college.
How to Save Money While in College
1. Make a Budget and Stick to It
As a college student, budgeting your expenses every month will save you a lot of money. A budget will help you determine in advance whether or not you will have enough money to spend on things you want or need during the month. Try to see ways to cut your monthly expenses in order to save money during college.
Another advantage of budgeting while in college is that it might help you avoid impulse purchases because you need to keep track of every single expense. Keep in mind that when using a budget and making it work for you, you will need to stick to it, so no overspending. You will be surprised at how much money you can save by creating a simple budget.
2. Apply for Scholarships
Scholarships are a great help to get your education cheap or even for free! Take note of every application’s requirements and don’t fall behind with deadlines. Most entities that offer scholarships to college students will require you to write an application essay. So, it is a good idea to keep up with all the requirements for each entity that you apply for. By doing this you can seriously save a lot of money and finish your college education at a low cost.
3. Rent or Buy Used Textbooks
While I was in college, the thing that most shocked me was the high cost of college textbooks. I remember prices from $250 to almost $400! That’s a lot of money! A great way to save money on textbooks is by renting or buying them used. There are different places where you can get your textbooks cheap. Take advantage of Amazon, Chegg or eBay where you can find the best prices for valuable books without going broke.
4. Make Payments Towards your Loans
I am a firm believer that college students should start making payments towards student loans as soon as possible. Do not wait until you finish college to start making payments. If you do, you will be surprised how much interest your loans have accumulated over the years. Even if it is $30 or $50 dollars per month, put it towards your student loans. Also, when eliminating your student loans debt try to attack the loans with the highest interest rate first. By doing this, the amount of accumulated interest will reduce significantly and you will pay off your loans very quickly.
5. Avoid Maxing Out Student Loans
Maxing out your loans can be very tempting especially if you know you will need money for those college expenses. However, this is not a good idea at all! Remember that once you graduate, you will be responsible for paying back all the money you take out today. Try to take only what you will need for the current semester.
6. Take Advantage of Student’s discounts
As a student, you will have the opportunity to save a lot of money by getting student discounts. Use your student ID card to save money on different things. Many places such as restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores or even Amazon offer student discounts! With Amazon, you can get their Amazon Prime Student membership at a 50% discount after your first 6-month trial!. So, after the six-month trial, for $49 dollars you will not only get two-day prime shipping services for tons of items sold at Amazon but also you will get unlimited streaming for thousands of movies and TV episodes. You can sign up for Amazon Student Prime membership here.
7. Buy School Supplies on Tax-Free Days
Many states offer the back to school free sales tax, try to not let the opportunity go to waste. Plan your purchases during tax-free days and take advantage of this event. You may be able to get great discounts for your school’s needs. Buying your schools supplies during these days is a great way to reduce your college costs!
8. Minimize the Use of Credit Cards.
If you own a credit card try to minimize the use of it. It is very easy to stay behind bills and damage your future credit score when good financial habits are not well established. Always stay on top of your monthly payments so you can avoid late fees.
9. Limit Eating Out
Eating out can take a big part of your budget as a student. The costs of eating or drinking can add up quickly. If you already have a campus meal plan then use it; you can save good money by going this route. However, if you don’t have a meal plan set up, then a great alternative is to cook your own meals. Create a budget for your grocery expenses and stick to it.
Take advantage of Ibotta, which is an app that allows you to save money on groceries, clothing and more! by joining Ibotta you may be able to earn a $10 sign-up bonus with this link using the referral code: WIKIJSJ, after submitting your first rebate.
10. Make Your Own Coffee
If you need that morning cup of coffee before heading to class, don’t waste your money buying coffee on campus. You can save money by investing in a small coffee maker to make your own coffee. By doing this small change, you could potentially save at least $60 per month!
11. Enjoy Free Campus Activities
Most universities offer free activities to students. It can vary from movie nights to free tickets to college musical concerts or performances. Take advantage of these free activities on campus instead of spending money by going out. You will not only save money but you will also have a lot of fun while socializing with other students and meeting new people.
12. Cut the Cable
Getting rid of cable will save you hundreds per month! There are other options to consider when replacing cable TV. For example, with a digital antenna like this one, you can watch local channels for FREE! Besides all the free channels you will also have the opportunity to enjoy HDTV shows. By cutting the cable you could potentially save an average of $80 to $100 per month!
13. Get a Cheap Cell Phone Plan
Cell phone plans are pretty expensive nowadays. Every month the cost of wireless service can eat a big part of your student budget. Try to switch to a cheaper service such as Republic Wireless With Republic Wireless, you can get a monthly cell phone plan for as low as $15 per month! You will save hundreds per month with a type of service like this one. You can learn more about Republic Wireless here.
14. Save Money on Transportation
Keep in mind that with a car you will have to pay for parking, gas, repairs, maintenance, and insurance. A great way to keep your expenses low is by using public transportation, riding a bike or walking. Walking short distances or sharing a car with a friend will help to keep costs down.
15. Make Extra Money
Making extra money while in college could really help you in the long-run. During college, you will need to buy certain things that are not cheap such as a laptop to work on your research papers or to study for those mid-term exams. Also, you will need money for any other expenses like school supplies, clothes or gas if you own a car. Use your extra time to make a side income and save it for future expenses.
- How to Make $1000 working from home
- 12 Money Making Apps to earn Extra Income
- How to Make $300 Working from Home
Things that you can do to make money while in college:
- Blogging: this is how I earn money on the side. I started my blogging journey not too long ago and it was one of the best decisions I made this year. Last month, I’ve made almost $2,000 by blogging and I am sure my earnings will increase in the future. If you want to start your blogging journey and make money from it, I’ve put together an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to start a profitable blog the right way! You can start your blog for as low as $3.95 per month with Bluehost, plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
- Answering surveys: Survey companies I recommend: Swagbucks ($5 Free for signing up) Inbox dollars ($5 Sign up bonus, Free), MyPoints ($10 Amazon Gift Card), Survey Junkie (fastest and easiest way to start earning money), Pinecone Research and VIP Voice. These survey companies are FREE to join and easy to use. Also, it is best to sign up for MORE than one survey site. This is because each company may send only a specific amount of surveys you might be qualified for. So, the more survey sites you sign up the more money you are able to make.
- Swagbucks: This is one of my favorite sites that I use every single day to earn money. Swagbucks is a very reliable and respected company among online survey sites. This article shows you how you can easily make $300 a month with Swagbucks. With Swagbucks, you earn SB points each time you answer surveys, search the web, shop online, play games, watch videos and more! Then you can redeem your accumulated SB points and convert them into cash via Paypal or gift cards. Also, with Swagbucks, you can earn up to $35 per survey. So, it is definitely an option to try. Also, you will receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up today through my link.
- Inbox Dollars is one of the largest “get-paid-to” programs. I use it often to make extra money. Their system sends you all the qualifying surveys straight to your inbox. So, you just click their link, complete the survey and make money. Similar to Swagbucks, you can make money by playing online games, reading emails, searching the web, shopping online, redeeming grocery coupons and more! Also, if you sign up through my link you will receive a $5 FREE signup bonus!
- Also, you can start using Nielsen app on your phone to make free money. Basically, Nielsen pays you for using the internet as you do every day! Nielsen’s app runs in the background and keeps all data anonymously without interfering with the performance of your device. The best part is that active members receive sweepstake entries for their registered computers and each mobile device you register you will receive up to $50 a year! Click here to sign up for Nielsen Mobile Panel
Definitely, there are many ways to save money as a college student. By following these simple tips, you will be able to save a lot of money every single month. Back to you: How do you save money in college?