Everyone knows budgeting is challenging, especially for college students. Seriously, it feels like there is never enough money for anything! Here are some money saving tips, especially for those of you in college. If you save on these essentials, you can splurge on some other more fun items!
1. Utilize All Aspects of Transportation
There are so many ways to get around campus, including bike rentals, walking, and utilizing your schools shuttle system. Bike rentals are common among campuses and are usually free. A short walk or shuttle ride can take you around the campus and to class.
2. Have a Small Meal Plan
Many colleges require you to have a meal plan. These plans give you a certain amount of meals weekly. The key to keeping payments low is to have one of the smaller meal plans. If you have a small amount of meals per week, you'll most likely use them. It's much cheaper to buy food at the store than it is to eat at the student union daily.
3. Eat at Home
Eating in is your best friend. While eating out is easier and might seem affordable at the moment, it's actually not. Three dollar meals from McDonald's can add up quickly. By making your own meals, you can create a budget to spend at the grocery store weekly and make meals accordingly.
4. Buy Your Textbooks Online
The college bookstore is not your BFF. There's plenty of places you can buy your books for half the price, such as Amazon. You can also talk with your professor to see if you can buy an older edition of the textbook or ask him after class if the text is even mandatory.
5. Sell Your Textbooks
Text books in good condition will sell for a lot. At the end of the semester, list all your books online or sell to classmates. There's thousands of websites where you can sell your used books. Amazon will sell them for you for a small fee.
7. Apply for Every Scholarship You Find
If you're paying your tuition out of pocket, it's extremely important to do this step. You can save yourself thousands just by writing an essay. While this may not always work, there's hundreds of scholarships out there that go unclaimed. Deadlines happen throughout the year so always be checking in your spare time.
8. Save Your Change
At the time, change might not seem like a lot, but it adds up. By creating a change jar, every few months you could have extra cash to use to buy books every semester or a use at the grocery store. All you have to do is add your change every time you have some, and eventually you'll have a full container.
9. Utilize Your College ID and Coupons
Student discounts are everywhere. Before purchasing something, try to find a student discount and always ask stores if they have one. Discounts are a college student's best friend. A few dollars saved can add up to be hundreds over the year.
10. Use the School Campus
Schools have hundreds of free activities going on, and some just might be fun. Always check to see what's happening on campus. Instead of going to a movie, stay on campus and participate in one of the activities. The campus is your free spot, so use it.