Saving money as a college student can often go against everything that we already know, and everything that the media tells us about student life. And for many students, after forking out money for tuition, accommodation, textbooks, and everything else that you need to buy in order to eventually graduate successfully, saving money while in college can quickly drop further and further down your priority list.
However, it’s not impossible, and saving money whilst studying offers students some massive benefits. It allows students to build up some much-needed financial savings to help them afford the lifestyle that they need both while studying and after graduation, while allowing them to build good personal financial habits for the future. Here are some of the best way to spend less and save more in college:
#1. Study for Your Program Online:
Without a doubt, tuition fees are one of the biggest costs of going to college. Whether you’re attending for the first time in order to get your bachelor’s degree or are returning to college as a graduate in order to improve your resume and increase your qualification record, tuition fees are often impossible to pay upfront and more often than not, leave students in massive amounts of debt before their career has even begun.
Studying online can be a great alternative since it often comes at a much lower price; on average, online programs cost one-third less than campus-based study, giving you less to worry about in terms of student debt and extra money in your pocket to transfer to your savings account. There’s an online program available for all kinds of students in every industry imaginable, from programs in graphic design and art to nursing qualifications like this ADN to MSN.
#2. Buy Second-Hand:
When it comes to buying college essentials like textbooks and gadgets, you can often make massive savings by looking for second-hand or refurbished options rather than buying brand new. If you need to buy textbooks that have been available for a while as opposed to brand-new editions, it might be worth asking students who are a year or two above you if they are selling any of their old ones; you’ll often be able to get them at a heavily discounted price. Make use of your campus library, too – there’s usually a wide range of textbook options that you can use or borrow. And when it comes to getting gadgets for study, save money and get better quality for less by opting for refurbished tech. Just make sure that you purchase it from a reputable retailer with a good warranty.
#3. Look Out for Student Discounts:
When you show your student card, you’ll often be able to enjoy a discount in many stores. Whether you’re buying fashion items, furnishings for your accommodation, stationery and other study essentials, tech, travel tickets or anything else, do your research beforehand to determine which retailers are offering the best student discounts.
You might also want to consider signing up for apps and special cards that allow you to take advantage of even further discounts both online and offline.
#4. Generate Some Extra Income:
Earning money to save when you’re studying full-time can be tricky, but the good news is that there are several things that you can do to generate some extra income in your spare time. This could be something as simple as listing old, unwanted items of clothing on Depop or selling your old textbooks and other essentials to freshmen in the year below.
You may also want to consider flexible, freelance or work-from-home jobs that you can do when you are not studying, such as freelance writing, taking and selling stock photos, graphic design or online tutoring.
#5. Automate Your Savings Approach:
Finally, it’s important to have a solid plan for how you’re going to keep hold of all the extra money that you save by cutting down the amount you spend with these savvy strategies. Automating your savings approach is a great way to do this and after a while, saving money will become second nature. You can set up regular transfers into your savings account each week or month; this doesn’t have to be a huge amount as even the smallest of deposits will quickly add up.
‘Skimming’ your checking account is also a good idea – for example, each day check your balance and put the pennies into savings. You can also get some bank accounts that automatically save the difference between what you spend and the nearest dollar each time, so if you spend $5.25, you’ll automatically save 75 cents.
Did you find these ideas helpful? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.