How to Save Money in College


Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get a higher education without spending a single dollar out-of-pocket? Well, not everyone can be so lucky. College is often one of the most expensive endeavors of your life, which is why there is so much pressure for you to do a good job in class. Still, stressing out about money during an important lecture never helped anyone graduate with high marks.

At some point, students have to learn more than what is written in books. There comes a time when a student must buckle down and try to save a little money for a rainy day. However, because college expenses can be pretty high, hanging on to pennies isn’t always easy. Luckily, there are some pretty simple ways to get it done without living in poverty every semester.

  1. Eat the Campus Grub

Although some students might be taking trips to a local restaurant or ordering pizza, you have to be more careful about your money than they are. Eating and partying seem like par for the course when it comes to college, but the bottom line is this: you are there to learn a skill for a profession. Unless you plan on being professionally broke, it’s probably best for you to eat what the campus cafeteria has to offer. The food usually isn’t too bad and it will nourish you through your classes and study groups. On top of that, you can take some back to your dorm with you for a snack later, saving even more money as others go into debt for a cheeseburger.

  1. Borrow Your Books and Materials

Saving money in college is about more than just choking down unappetizing food. Frugal students are often bothered by the high price of books and materials, especially when the cost of supplies takes a huge portion of their stipend. That is why borrowing is such a great money-saving idea. Since courses are typically taught the same for a few years at least, it should be no problem for you to simply borrow some of the temporary things you need for the class instead of buying them outright. This could include books, reading materials, tools, and other supplies. You are not alone in trying to save money in college, so there’s bound to be someone out there who is willing to help you out.

  1. Buy Used Items

If borrowing isn’t your thing, then you could always head straight down the middle and buy used items instead. Your campus bookstore usually has access to used supplies at a discounted cost. Although you will still be paying out-of-pocket for your items, you can stand to save quite a bit by going this route. If your bookstore is sold out of what you need, there are several online merchants who specialize in buying and selling used college textbooks or supplies. There’s no way you should be paying full price when options like that exist.

  1. Take the Path Less Travelled

Going to college means having to shuffle from one place to another for classes, projects, lectures, study groups, and research. You cannot make a good grade without being involved in the lesson, but that sometimes calls for transportation. Instead of paying for parking and upkeep on a vehicle, why not use alternative means to get from place to place? Most campuses offer some sort of shuttle for students and faculty, carpools are everywhere, and a bike is still an accepted mode of transportation. When the exhaust smoke clears, there really is no good reason for you to be spending your money on a way around if you don’t have to.

  1. Get a Job

While it might sound like something your parents would say, you should probably get a job. College is expensive but eventually you will graduate and move on to bigger and better things. Instead of using the next few years to go into debt, why not use the time to save some money for the future? Campus jobs are easy to come by and can be quite accommodating to student schedules. What’s more, you could earn valuable on-the-job training and experience this way, which might ultimately lead to you landing your dream job after graduation.