Top Tips for a Frugal College Experience

Posted February 24, 2020 by in Lifestyle
College students with backpacks

Students are known for being broke, with the temptations of the college living experience and the difficulties of living alone for the first time, as well as minimal student funding, many students are left cash strapped. If you want to avoid the financial pitfalls of student living and prevent surviving on pennies for the rest of the semester, here are some top tips for living frugally while in college: 

Top Tips for a Frugal College Experience

Find Discounts

Good deals are easy to find as a student, with many companies offering you discounts and free products with a valid student ID. Not only are student discounts in abundance, especially in college towns, but many clubs and restaurants also offer student nights where students can pay less than full price for their experience.

It is also possible to find an array of coupons to use on everything from your food shop to your office supplies, with Staples coupons online providing you with huge discounts at the click of a button.

Cycle or Walk to Campus

Although it may be tempting to roll out of bed ten minutes before your lecture, taking the college bus, or booking a taxi can put a strain on your bank account. You should also avoid owning a car when you are at college, as this can leave you with large parking, insurance, and gas bills. Instead, you should get up half an hour earlier and choose to walk or cycle to your campus.

Not only will this save you money on transport, but you will also be getting the regular exercise that most students miss out on, ensuring that you are healthy enough to avoid more bouts of the flu.

Buy Used Textbooks

You will never see textbooks as expensive as those on the college curriculum. And worse—you are expected to buy them. Rather than head straight to your college bookshop, you should consider looking for textbooks on course groups online or choosing to buy them second-hand off websites such as Amazon Marketplace.

You may also often be able to buy used textbooks in bundles from old students, meaning that you will be able to get all the books that you need to prepare yourself for the new term. Get crafty and see if there is a Facebook group for your school. If someone is going to be selling the bundle of their books from their 4-years, it will most likely be there or via your local Facebook Marketplace. 

Cook at Home

Students are spending record amounts on their food bills, while the average American spends much less on their grocery shop, with averages of $54 a week. Although lectures and partying can take it out of you, doing a grocery shop every week is vital if you want to save money.

It can be tempting to pop down to your local restaurant every day or buy expensive pre-packed sandwiches regularly. 

Be Aware of Your Finances 

Staying aware of your finances is vital for a frugal college experience. To do this, you need to create a weekly budget which accounts for all your fixed costs, such as rent and bills, and all your necessary expenditure, such as your food bills. You should also set up a student bank account, many of which provide you with a generous overdraft for those times of financial need.

Stop Wasting Money

When you are living off student loans and finance, it can be easy not to consider where your money is coming from, leaving you to waste great amounts of your cash. However, rather than spend all night buying drinks and club entries, why not consider looking for free events that have been subsidized by your college or consider joining a free social club on your campus?

How do you budget and save money in college? Let us know in the comments below!