From rising tuition costs to living and food expenses that come with college – saving can be hard to do. Luckily, you don’t have to be a “starving student” and can start saving early in school. Whether you’re an incoming freshmen or a current student, these tips can help you get a jumpstart at saving your money in school.
Consider used textbooks. Textbooks can make a huge dent in your wallet each semester. Ask a fellow family members or classmate if they have any books required for your courses. Borrowing a book can save you the most, but if you do have to buy, check around local bookstores for a cheaper used option. You can even talk to your professor about using a previous edition, which can save you even more.
Save money on a laptop. Search around for discounts, back-to-school sales, or tax-free days to buy your electronics. Some brands sell refurbished options at a discounted price that work and have little to no difference than new ones. You can sometimes even find stores that offer student discounts.
Consider your housing options. It’s usually cheaper to live in the dorms your first year. This will give you the opportunity to also make new life-long friends, who could also help you save the following year if you choose to move off-campus as roommates.
Try to limit eating out at restaurants outside of your meal plan. If you purchased a meal plan at school, use it as often as possible and encourage your friends to do the same, this way you can all enjoy meals at university dining areas together. Splurging on a dinner out once in a while doesn’t hurt, it’s great to treat yourself, but don’t make it a habit.
Learn about campus amenities offered to you. Before spending money off-campus, look into the activities you could join in on-campus. There’s usually plenty of fun options available for free such as university sponsored events, movie nights, or even rec sports.
Consider a coffee maker to avoid the coffee shop. Coffee can become a college necessity to most! To keep caffeinated while you study, you could join in with your roommate(s) to get a nice coffee maker or expresso machine to avoid paying those high prices at the coffee shop – those cup prices can really add up quickly each month!
Shop wisely and buy in bulk. Check around for places offering student discounts. Typically, all you need to do is show your valid student ID and you could save money instantly. Also, if you have access to a Sam’s Club or Costco membership, consider buying in bulk. Some locations now even offer the option to go in without memberships.