Without a doubt, being a college student is often one of the most financially trying times that young adults go through. As the first time that many people are on their own without family, figuring out ways to save money can be challenging. If this sounds familiar, do not worry. Instead, check out these eight ways that you can start saving money in college today.
Create a Budget
Being in college comes with a lot of expenses. From tuition and boarding to books, food and gasoline and parking if you drive, things can get pricey. That does not even go into paying back public or private student loans if you want to get ahead before repayment requirements set in. For this reason, creating a budget is one of the most effective ways to not only know how much money you have but also to save money.
Buy Used Textbooks
Speaking of expensive books, one way to make your required textbooks cheaper is by buying them used. Often, college and university bookstores offer used versions of textbooks, but you can usually find them cheaper online or at other local used bookstores. Do not be afraid to shop around and tell your professor you need an extra week to get the book. It can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars every semester.
Brew Your Own Coffee
How often do you go out for coffee? Think about how much it costs each time that you do it. Then, add that up. Another way to potentially save a significant amount of money is by making the choice to brew your own coffee every morning instead of buying one at the cafe on the way to class. If you absolutely cannot resist, do your best to limit yourself to one fancy coffee a week.
Use On-Campus Printing
Often, new printers are a common graduation or going-away-to-college gift, but they are not exactly practical in terms of cost efficiency. A major reason for this is that most college students pay for a certain amount of “free” on-campus printing at their college or university. Look into this by contacting your school’s library or computer labs for assistance. Try to use it as much as possible instead of buying your own ink.
Spend Free Time in Nature
Where do you spend your free time? Although it may be tempting to go to the movies or a concert, doing so too often can break the bank. The same is true for going out to the bar or club every weekend. Instead, try spending some free time in nature. Not only is it free (or available for a low park fee), but it is also good for your health, especially if you go walking.
Split Memberships With Friends
From cell phones to gym passes, television subscriptions and more, you can also save money by splitting memberships with your friends. Often, the cost of a shared membership can save you anywhere from 20 to 50 percent off of the individual cost of the same plan. Talk to your friends and find out what kinds of savings you can work out together.
Test Out of Classes
Depending on the classes you have already taken before college, another method of saving funds is by testing out of courses that you already have significant knowledge about. For example, it is common for college students to test out introductory math, English and foreign language classes because many high schools offer extra coverage in these areas prior to college.
Start a Side Hustle
If you manage to find some extra time between classes, you can also try to earn extra income with a creative side hustle. Think about your favorite interests and hobbies. Are you good at making anything? Whether you sell crafts, walk neighborhood dogs or drive people back and forth to doctor appointments, there are many possible side hustles to try.
Saving money can be a challenge, especially when you are in college. Following these tips can help you out.