As a college student, we know life is non-stop and there is always something going on. That also means that the cost of everything can creep up on you and it is very easy to find yourself in financial troubles. And no one wants that, right?
Here at MoneyStrands, we have put together 7 Ways to Save Money As A College Student which can help you save some cash while you continue to enjoy and live your college years.
So, let’s get started!
1. Look For Second-hand Textbooks
Usually, at the start of every semester, your professor or teacher asks or recommends buying one or more textbooks to accompany your studies. However, as many of you already know, these textbooks can be surprisingly expensive and the costs can add up, especially if you have multiple classes.
Therefore, the simple solution is to buy second-hand books. Check online, visit bookshops, or ask previous students for their used books, and you might find the same book at a much lower price. Or, if you are very lucky, a special friend might let you borrow the book or photocopy the pages you need.
2. Watch Your Expenditure On Food
This is one category where money management, if not done properly, might lead you to spend way too much on eating out. Eating at home can be cheap, tasty, and quick; and it doesn’t have to become a daily chore. Instead, cook large quantities and have meals prepared for when you return home.
Cutting down unnecessary costs of eating out all the time can help you meet your budgets and help you utilize that money elsewhere. It doesn’t just apply to meals either, coffees on the way to class, or drinks after, can be cut down and made more as a treat, rather than a daily necessity.
Tip: save your favorite snack or drink for Friday as a reward for working hard all week and try one of these 5 budget bites as well.
3. Use Student Discounts
One of the main benefits of being a student is exactly that. Many shops, restaurants, and other businesses offer student discounts. These usually vary between 5 – 20% and can really help you save, or make a difference when making a larger purchase such as a laptop or tablet which you might need for your studies.
Make sure to do some research, as frequently businesses will offer these discounts even if they don’t advertise them. This also applies when shopping online.
4. Make Some Money
Now, it doesn’t all have to be about cutting costs. Increasing your income helps you save money as well. There are loads of student jobs available, from cleaning to bartending to online side hustles.
Working will add to your expendable income as well as give you some valuable experience. And, who knows, you may meet some new friends along the way. If you can squeeze in a few hours between your college timetable, it’s worth giving it a shot. For more inspiration check out our blog post about 8 Easy Jobs for You to Make Money Online.
5. Live Without A Car
We know this might not be applicable to all students, but for those of you who have a choice of using multiple modes of transport – ditch the car. Having and maintaining a car is expensive when you consider all the costs: gas, parking, tickets (hopefully none of those), and servicing your car. All that is money that could be spent elsewhere.
Instead, try a bus or train, carpool or even use apps such as Uber or Lyft to get around. Better still, cycle or walk to class as not only is it good for the environment but the fresh air will wake you up for those early classes and you can catch up with a friend along the way.
6. Make The Most Of University Events
If you are lucky enough, your college will put on a range of events that you can attend free of charge. How would that help me save money? Chances are some of them might offer free food and drinks or gifts, and that could help you save money that way. The idea is to stay open-minded and give some of them a chance.
We can’t stress how important this one is. Keep it simple and make sure that your expenses do not exceed your income, and plan in advance. Set yourself daily, weekly, and/or monthly budgets and stick to them in order to avoid finding yourself in difficulties down the road. Here are other posts we wrote that give you some good personal finance habits to follow as well as tips to budget better.
The first step you will want to take it to write down your expenses and see how and where you are spending excessive amounts of money, which will allow you to work on reducing those costs. If you are not a big fan of writing things down using pen and paper, then check out our free MoneyStrands App which allows you to easily take manage and control all of your finances from the palm of your hand.
If you have any tips or advice you want to share with us, we would love to hear them. Feel free to email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org