5 Ways Students Can Save Money in College

Learn how you can easily save money in college with these tips.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

March 04, 2016

5 Ways Students Can Save Money in College

As a college student, you know what it means to barely scrape by and pinch pennies. You probably take three months’ worth of dirty laundry home for Christmas break just to avoid paying at the laundromat and are responsible for keeping Ramen in business. However, despite your attempts to live frugally, you could be missing out on money saving opportunities that are right in front of you. Check out these not-so-obvious ways to save money as a student.

1. Student Discounts

Your student ID can serve as a golden ticket all around town. Restaurants, museums and movie theaters all provide discounts to students – especially when you live in a college town. Typically, establishments advertise their student discounts, but in the event that you don’t see a discount, just ask.

2. Textbook Rentals

The amount of books your college courses require is astonishing. And so is the bill for all of those new textbooks. Instead of shelling out thousands of dollars each semester for brand new books, you can actually rent them from your campus bookstore, Amazon or Chegg. You’ll be able to save up to 90% on your textbook costs by renting.

3. Housing

Once you live in the dorms with a roommate for year, it can be very tempting to move off campus and live on your own. But it’s not as frugal. Whether you find housing savings on campus or off, you’ll double those savings by living with one or two roommates. They’ll cover half the rent and utility costs, but you’ll still have your own sanctuary within the apartment.

4. Food

Your next meal doesn’t always have to come from the campus dining halls or take out restaurants. Many organizations and events across campus provide free food for attendees. Just check bulletin boards, the student newspaper or newsletter and social media accounts for notices of these events. And who knows? You may get more out of your college experience than free food by attending these events.

5. Gas

Sometimes, college campuses are as big as small towns – or you may live several hours from your parents. In these cases, a car can be great thing, but it can also be a real drain on your funds. Instead of driving all over campus, opt to walk or take campus transportation. Use your car only when it’s absolutely necessary.

Chances are, you’ve worked hard to build up your savings to use on college life expenditures or you’re depending on student loans to fund your fun. With that in mind, you need to save in as many ways possible. Get creative and think outside the box when it comes to college spending, and you’ll save big.

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