College is one of the most defining and enjoyable experiences in many people’s lives. Unfortunately, one thing most of these people will remember is being constantly short on cash or being broke altogether. While it might be fun to reminisce about those penniless days, living them is another story and, as it turns out, there’s plenty of tricks to saving money while studying by taking advantage of the resources available to students and being smart with your finances. Here are a few things that can easily save you several dollars.
Food is a necessary expense and many students go day in and day out either living on a combination of pizza, instant noodles, and cereal or gaining the infamous “freshman fifteen” by overeating at dining halls. One of the best ways to save on food is to not eat out so often. It’s the easiest option, of course, but also the most expensive. If it’s your first time out of the house, learn to cook. You’ll get cheaper, healthier, and better tasting results most of the time. There’s plenty of books and websites with easy recipes specifically designed for students. Another great secret is attending club activities on campus. Many groups offer free food at events so it’s a wonderful opportunity to socialize and get a meal at the same time.
Find Deals Online
Almost anything you find in a store, you’ll be able to find at a better price on the Internet. Using online stores and auction sites can easily knock several dollars off most items. Textbooks, in particular, are outrageously priced at school bookstores and the secret here is go online and go used. Buying an older edition of a book is one of the best ways to save, as the price drops by about half with no significant changes to the text.
Buy Second Hand
In high school everyone might have cared what you were wearing, but you’ll soon realize that in college no one does. At college you’re more likely to stand out with unique clothing styles so hit up those second-hand and thrift stores. You can easily make yourself several outfits in a thrift shop for the price of a single pair of jeans at the mall. If you’re lucky enough to have a roommate with similar sizes, try sharing clothes or if you’re crafty start making your own.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
That student card the college gifts you with as a form of identification can get you deals on things like movies, museums, transportation, and even flights or tourist attractions if you travel. Bring your card with you everywhere and always ask if there’s a student discount. Universities often have deals with surrounding eateries as well so these are good places to get started.
Get A Bike
Having a bike suddenly becomes cool again when you enter college and it’s also a great way to save money. Instead of wasting money on gas and time trying to find parking, get yourself a bike. It’s a great way to commute to campus and around your school’s area. If you’re not into the biking or it’s not an option, you can still save on transportation by carpooling with friends or using the public transportation system.