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22 Tips to Help You Save Money in College

Moving away to college is one of the most exciting times of your life, but will also bring new responsibilities. Perhaps for the first time, you will be completely in charge of your own budget. Since most students live on a combination of financial aid, income from a part time job, and occasional help from Mom and Dad, budgets can be tight. Try these tips to lower your spending, and prevent the stress that comes from a strained budget.

  1. Buy used textbooks and resell them at the end of the semester
  2. Rent books instead of buying
  3. Compare the cost of living alone to the cost of sharing an apartment with roommates – sharing is probably cheaper
  4. Investigate whether your campus offers Resident Advisor positions. You might be able to score free room and board.
  5. Walk, ride a bike, or use public transportation; cars are expensive!
  6. Avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry
  7. Purchase store brand items rather than name brands (they’re usually identical anyway)
  8. Use a calendar to keep track of bills; late fees can hit your budget hard
  9. Use your credit card responsibly; only charge what you can pay each month, to avoid racking up interest
  10. Evaluate campus meal plans carefully, and only purchase the plan you will actually use
  11. Investigate student discounts offered by many local businesses
  12. Check out what your campus has to offer. You can probably avoid paying for services like a gym membership, counseling, and so on by using the free ones at your university
  13. Resell used items like clothes, furniture, and so on rather than giving them away.
  14. Evaluate your need for school supplies. Typing notes on your laptop eliminates the need for notebooks and binders.
  15. Avoid adopting a pet until after college. They’re fun, but food and vet bills really add up.
  16. Look into alternative spring and summer break options, like volunteering.
  17. Buy a reusable water bottle, so you don’t have to purchase drinks everywhere you go.
  18. Purchase a coffee pot (look at thrift stores) so you can escape high charges at coffee shops.
  19. Open an interest-bearing savings account. You might as well earn interest on any money you keep in the bank.
  20. Avoid payday loans like the plague! The interest rates are terrible, and you can find yourself trapped in a cycle of debt.
  21. Use free music services like Pandora or Spotify.
  22. Consider asking for an Amazon Prime student account for your birthday or Christmas; the subscription price is 50 percent off for students

And of course, make sure to fully investigate your financial aid options as you apply to different colleges and universities! We can help with that part. Give us a call, and we will help you learn about your different options for scholarships, federal aid, and more.

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