How to Save Money in College
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How to Save Money in College

Posted on Monday, September 10th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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College is expensive. Tuition, classes, and textbooks all cost a lot of money. Students have to figure out how to pay for food and housing and how to fit a part-time job around school. In the end, there will be a huge student loan to pay off. It’s a good idea to be frugal. Here are some ways for students to save money in college.

Rent Instead of Buy

Don’t purchase brand new appliances while living in a dorm or apartment. The less expensive option is to rent a microwave, mini-fridge, or air conditioner. Search the local area for appliance rental places that cater to college students. Don’t forget to compare prices!

It might be possible to rent the textbooks your classes require. Some good places to start are Amazon, Chegg, and Barnes & Noble. Find out if the local library carries the edition of the textbook you need. It may be possible to borrow it.

Test Out of Classes

Many colleges and universities allow students to “test out” of some college courses. The student takes a test on the content that course would teach. If the student passes the test, they are given credit for completing that course.

The student will have to pay for the test. It’s worth it because paying for the class and the required textbooks will be much more expensive than the test.

Use the Campus Amenities

Tuition covers more than a dorm room. It can also include access to the campus gym. Students might be able to attend concerts and speaking events for free on campus. Sporting events may be free for currently enrolled students.

Take advantage of this! Use the campus gym for free instead of paying for a membership at an off-campus gym. Attend the free concerts. Go to the game and cheer for your school’s sports team. These freebies can keep you entertained and help you save money.

Students who live in dorms may be eligible for a meal plan. It is often included in tuition. All the student has to do is arrive at the cafeteria and show proof that they are a student.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.