Did you know that eating Top Ramen for every meal every day for a year would cost you under $150?
While it’s the staple of college kids’ meals, you don’t have to ditch your meal plan and load up on noodles, because there are plenty of other great ways to save money in college.
11 Ways to Save Money in College
Here are 11 surefire ways to save money in college that you can start doing today!
While it may seem boring, this is one of the key steps to saving cash.
Making a budget for yourself is one of the key ways to save if you’re wondering how to save money as a college student. Taking a little time each week or month to create a plan for where your money is going will help you stay frugal and responsible.
Housing can be a pretty hefty cost for most schools. While it’s normally nothing compared to tuition, the place and type of housing you select can still greatly affect those college payments.
You can commute from home or somewhere cheaper off-campus if you are able to avoid paying your school. If you don’t want to commute, having a roommate (or two!) usually always lowers the cost of housing, as well as choosing between suite-style rooms or communal living styles.
Where you go and how you get there can also be a great factor in your college costs. You have to find what works best for you in terms of public transportation vs. having your own car vs. carpooling.
If you are living on campus, considering carpooling over having your own car can save you tons of money because of gas and insurance. Plus, you get to make new carpool friends!
Filling out the FAFSA, while it may be tedious, is a great way to determine how much money you can get in federal aid. It takes some time, but is worth it in the long run if you’re hoping to get some financial support that way.
You also only need to do it once a year, so it can’t be that bad to bite the bullet and fill it out when the time comes around.
Saving money is one of the benefits of renting textbooks compared to buying them full price. Both have their positives as you’ll get money by reselling and you’ll save money by renting textbooks.
It just depends on what better suits your preferences!
While the ramen bit earlier was a joke, the way you spend on food is a great way to save while you’re at school.
Limiting the times that you go out to eat with friends can help you save money (especially if you have a budget!) You can also look into the different meal plans that your school offers and see if there are cheaper options that fit with your diet.
Scholarships are one of the best ways to save money at college. Earning scholarships is basically like getting gifts for working hard at something!
However, that means you should put good effort into doing well at school, as well as search for other scholarships you can apply to. Usually schools give out scholarships that you can apply for each year and there are tons of scholarships that are eligible for college students everywhere to apply for.
8. Graduate On Time (Or Earlier!)
Graduating on time will save you tons of cash because you aren’t paying to be at the school. This also goes for graduating earlier – you save tuition, room, and board because you won’t be there!
This is all a matter of how much work you can handle of course.
If you can manage early graduation, it would save you a bunch of cash, plus you get a head start on searching for a job. Then you can get to work on paying off any student loans even sooner!
Working on or off campus can help you have a steady flow of money while at school. Then you’ll always have an amount to set aside and save gradually, as well as some to spend every now and then.
Many campuses have on-campus job opportunities as well as work-study programs that you might find to be helpful. And don’t forget about the magic of private jobs like babysitting!
Working makes a world of a difference when it comes to saving and spending your money wisely.
Conserving your utilities can make a big difference when it comes to saving money. Being diligent about not using too much electricity or water add up, as well as not using A/C or heating when you don’t need to.
Let’s not forget about how these moves can help the environment as well! You’ll be saving your money and helping the earth at the same time.
11. Make Honest Judgements
Finally, make honest judgments about what you do and don’t need when you’re shopping. We all know it’s fun to spend a little on things you don’t necessarily need, but be mindful of how often you choose to do that.
There are also tons of fun ways to buy things that you’re looking for, like hitting up the closest thrift store with your friends. It’s ok to make purchases, but make ones that will meet more of your needs than your wants!
B.F.A. in Saving Money!
And there you have it – with these 11 ways to save money in college, you’ll at least get a BFA in financial smarts!
Higher education can be stressful for a number of reasons. From big tests to licensures to GPA – not to mention the social aspects – you’re in for a lot of learning.
But money does not have to be one of those stressors – at least not as long as you keep up with these helpful tips on how to save money in college.
Make sure to check out some of our other posts for more interesting reads, and check back soon for more content!