Ways to Save Money in College
by: Eve-Marie Andrews. Download a printable version here.
MANAGING THE MONEY YOU HAVE
- Get free savings and checking account.
- Take maximum amount of free checks offered by bank.
- Keep track of your bank/checking account.
- Find a credit card with:
- Lowest rate
- No annual fees
- Only enough credit limit for emergency
- Pay credit card bills on time.
- Log each expense for a month.
- Save spare change in a piggy bank or a big jar
- Borrow one if the class is the same with same instructor
- Buy used
- Check www.schoolsoup.com
- Sell your books after each semester.
- Try to eat healthy.
- Trying to eat on 12 cents? Ramen Noodles
- Keep peanut butter packs on hand.
- Starbucks could cost $500 a year. Buy a coffee maker & thermos.
- Don’t tip just because someone poured you coffee.
- Oatmeal is fast, filling and affordable.
- Keep some healthy food on hand like yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, bagels and peanut butter.
- Collect coupons
- Kick the bottles water habit—drink tap water
- Avoid sit down restaurants with built in gratuity
- Split meal only if there is no charge.
- Go to low cost self serve eateries.
- Prepare a simple meal at home for a date.
COMPUTERS AND HARDWARE
- When buying a computer, save with student specials, discounts and rebates.
- Dell offers discounts through college
- Hewlett Packard’s Academic Purchase Program
- Desk top models cheaper than laptop.
- Consider refurbished laptops.
- Keep your laptop secured
- Save on software through discounts at Apple Education Store, Microsofts discounts for students and Linux software
- Look up Freeware and shareware: like Download.com—free music, videos, games and utilities or Tuscows—Products free or just a few bucks
- Decline extended warranties.
- Computer will last longer with anti-virus software and a firewall
- Ink cartridges: try shopping and comparing prices online or try ink refill kits
- Throwing away an old computer? Try recycling.
ENTERTAINMENT—MUSIC, MOVIES, ART AND CULTURE
- Forget about T.V.—watch cable T.V. through your computer
- Listen to stereo through your computer.
- Check out movies from the library.
- Watch matinee movies.
- Subscribe to Netflix with a few friends & pass along.
- Brand name video store will give credit for personal DVD’s
- Legally download music that is free-copyright-free.
- Buy used CD’s
- Start a book club.
- Get involved with study groups.
- Offer your services as a tutor.
AVOID SPENDING MONEY ON THE WEEKEND
- Go on a picnic
- Take a long walk
- Fly a kite
- Play a game of soccer or football
- Read a good book.
- Get involved with community service: Like volunteer in a soup kitchen or help build homes with Habitat for Humanity
CHECK THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER FOR FREE EVENTS
- Arts & crafts fairs
- Art galleries
- Shop at places offering student discounts
- Some regions have tax free weeks.
- Day after Xmas is a good time to save.
- Buy on clearance.
- Make your own gifts (candles, soap, beaded jewelry)
- Get friends to buy an annual membership at Costco or Sam’s Club
- Buy in bulk—split the cost with friends.
- Shop for groceries with a full stomach.
- Shop for clothes at T.J. Maxx, Marshals or Thrift stores.
- Buy clothes that are washable.
- Live close to college if you have your own place.
- Walk, bike, roller blade or skateboard your way around town
- Use public transportation.
THE COST OF KEEPING UP
- Join family cell phone plan.
- Refer to cell phone comparison sites.
- Use a pay-as-you-go cell phone plan.
- Shop around for hair salons giving student discounts
- Try a cosmetology school.
- If you share an apartment or room, share toiletries.
- Buy affordable and quality products—buy store brand & at discount stores.
- Do your own laundry at a Laundromat:
- Bring your own detergent
- Buy discounted detergent or on sale
- Bring your own drink or snack
- Fill the machines to capacity.
MAKE A FEW BUCKS
- Donate blood plasma
- Volunteer for medical study
- Sell your expertise as a tutor, computer skills, and music lessons.
- Get a job in food service—you can get free meals.
- If you are a true subject mater expert, create a website.
- Be a campus computer tech.
- Work during the summer.
- Offer a resume writing service.
- Help students with their scholarship search.