How to save money in college
College is an important part of a person’s life that can open up the opportunities available, but it is also a very expensive ordeal. Luckily, there are also a multitude of ways for students to save, which every student should take advantage of during their time at school. It may require a little extra work, but the dollars saved makes it worth it.
Unless you’re required to have the newest addition of a book or if the book has a code for online assignment, you should not be paying full price for the book if you’re looking to save money. There are many ways to get textbooks for cheap: buy the books from those that previously took the class, buy it used from the bookstore, and check if your library has copies of the textbook for free that you can check out every time you need it. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask the professor if you really need the book, or if it just a recommendation to have it. Depending on the difficulty and set-up of the class, you may choose to not even get it if it’s not required.
The idea of going from a care-free high school student to an independent adult in such a short time is scary for sure. But being aware of your options and taking the risk gives you the freedom to live comfortably and also save a lot of money. One option is to live off campus, either alone or with a group of people. The rent and utilities of an apartment or group house are bound to be cheaper than living on campus, and you won’t have to share the shower with your entire floor. You can also cook for yourself rather than eating on campus or ordering food. It may sound like a drag to cook often, especially if you have a grueling schedule, but the little bit of effort here can save you a surprising amount of money.
You can save money by maximizing your summer in two different ways. First, you can get a job or two that pays well so you can have some money in the bank for expenses for when you go back to school. Seasonal jobs give you the flexibility of working the hours through the summer that you are comfortable with. You can also take classes over the summer at a local school, since entry level classes are the same no matter what college you take them at. This will free you up for taking higher level classes at your normal school, and you can even graduate a year early, which will save you quite a lot.
As a student, a myriad of discounts are available for you, more than you may know. Especially in places that are college towns, many retailers, restaurants, and services offer discounts to encourage more students to come in. Make sure to check up on these the next time you need your computer fixed or you’re going out with friends. Similarly, places like movie theaters or bars also offer “college nights”, where college students can show their ID and get in for cheap or get a massive cut of their bill. You and your friends can plan around these events and hit two birds with one stone.