10 Money Saving Tricks for College Students
College Life |  Source: Mawsaow

10 Money Saving Tricks for College Students

Money makes a college student holla!

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.

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College Life |  Source: peekingpines.com

Shit You Can Easily D.I.Y. Instead

Why pay when you can do it yourself?

Lots of trends today are so incredibly easy to make yourself, but there are always brands who loves to make it easy (and expensive) for all the lazy-asses out there. Here are three things you need to stop buying, and start making yourself.

Chokers
I'm an offender of buying a ridiculously priced black string, as I'm sure some of you are. Chokers are really nothing but black suede cord. You can buy this at the art supply store for under $5, and the best part is that you'll have a roll of chokers waiting for you every time you lose your current one.

I like taking a longer piece about the length of my arm and taking a small bead or charm and centering it in the middle of the cord. Then, I tie it around my neck a few times for a more detailed choker. You can also buy some black lace and loop the cord through the ends to create a clasp for a lace choker.

Embroidered Pieces
I'm obsessed with anything embroidered recently. It's kind of vintage looking, but every time I search for an embroidered jean jacket or pair of jeans they're always sold out or ridiculously expensive.

I thrifted an old jean jacket, bought some iron-on patches from Free People (they're everywhere online) and made my own embroidered jean jacket, which is now one-of-a-kind. Doing this yourself is not only cost-effective, but it's way cooler than saying "I bought it like this." You can iron embroidery onto basically anything, so have at it.

High-Waisted Pants/Shorts/Skirts

First-off, the jean skirt is coming back, so don't look at the title and think, "Why would I want a high-waisted skirt?" Educate yourself. Anywho, you really shouldn't have to buy expensive denim, because there's a ton of vintage pants, shorts, etc. at the thrift shops.

Personally, I've found that guy's denim makes the best high-waisted shorts because the crotch is longer, thus making it easier to hike them up to your waist. If the guy's stuff is too large for you, then definitely still look around in the ladies section. Try on your denim before buying, of course. When you find a good pair, all you have to do is take some scissors to the pant legs. Make sure to leave some extra length if you're going to fold the bottoms or distress the pants further. You can do this by taking sandpaper and rubbing it across the bottom of the shorts.

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College Life |  Source: ohiopolitics.blog.daytondailynews.com

How to Save on College Textbooks

More money for drinks!

College textbooks are so expensive. They're $1,200 a year on average, and that's a lot when you're adding it to hefty tuition and room and board. The good news is you don't have to be average. I'm here to give you my top 10 tips on how to be below average.

The college bookstore is not your friend, so plan in advance.
Fourty one percent of college students agree that textbook prices are too high to shop at the college store. If you're not shopping at the college bookstore, however, you have to leave some time to find your books somewhere else, so get your list of required books ASAP.

But the library is your friend.
It's especially useful when novels are part of your required reading, but it works for textbooks too. School libraries almost always carry a copy of the textbook you need. They typically limit borrowing textbooks to a couple of hours at a time, but that's just enough time to get through the week's reading and you'll be saving hundreds of dollars.

Check your college's Buy/Sell Facebook Page.
Don't have one? Start one yourself! Skip the middleman bookstore and ask if anyone can beat the best price you find online. College bookstores don't give you a lot of money when you're selling books, but they mark it up by a lot, so doing the trade directly is a win-win for buyers and sellers.

Check the internet. Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and Chegg are my go-to's for comparing prices. Amazon even offers a free six month Amazon Prime trial for students, which means you can get free shipping during that period.

Get the old edition.
You probable already know that buying used books and renting can save you a lot of money -- 60 to 80 percent, to be exact. What you might not know is that buying an old edition of a book can give you access to pretty much the same material, at a much lower price.

Publishers "update" books frequently to undermine the used book market, but the updates aren't typically big changes. Chances are, knowledge on American History hasn't changed a lot between now and five years ago, and neither has your book.

Share with your friend.
Find a classmate or friend taking the same class and split the price. You don't need the book to be in your room all week. Just be sure to make the terms and conditions clear - make a schedule and decide who's responsible if something happens to the book.

Choose your courses wisely.
Fourty eight percent of students consider textbook prices when choosing classes. I'm not saying you shouldn't take a course you're interested in or one that's important to your major. These tips all help you choose classes based on interest, not textbook cost, so you don't have to be part of the 48 percent, but if you're deciding between two classes you like equally, looking at textbook prices might not be a bad idea.

Let your school know what you think.
Some colleges are starting really great programs to decrease textbook prices. Tidewater Community College in Virginia uses Z Degree, a program that uses free, high quality, open-source textbooks available online.

Students claim it makes a huge difference in college costs. Marshall University started a Textbook Affordability Committee and started offering the option to rent books. Encouraging your school and professors to follow suit with more affordable options is a good idea. Send a email or call them, and be persistent.

Stay up to date with the law.
There are many bills out there trying to limit college textbook costs. The E-BOOK Act would encourage more schools to use open source online books. House Bill 33 in Texas would require colleges to let students know what textbooks they need a month in advance. Other bills would provide tax incentives for textbooks and class materials. Let your state representatives know you support it!

Just don't buy the textbooks.
More than 50 percent of students say that they've occasionally purchased a book for a course and found that it wasn't used, and about 25 percent said this happened frequently. If your school has a Facebook page, it's a great place to ask if a book is actually necessary for the course you're taking. Chances are, you won't even open it.

No matter what your major is, what classes you need to take, or what required books are on your list, there's no excuse for paying full price. Save your money and treat your self.

The $200 you save can buy you a lot, like not one, but two high-tech cups that track how much water you're drinking (though you're probably better off investing in some math books if that's what you're buying).

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College Life |  Source: huffingtonpost.com

Tips for Traveling on a College Budget

Start saving now.

1. Start saving now.
I know it's hard. Especially with all the money you spend on gas and alcohol. But if you just put away a little cash with your paycheck, loan refunds, and birthday money, you can make it to a great place! The more you save, the farther away you can go and the more drinks you can buy. Spring break is far away, so if you start this summer, you can easily make up the money to get yourself to Cancun.

2. Ditch the dream hotel.
While it would be nice to stay in the Marriott, you just don't need to. Almost all of the money you save for your trip is going to go towards where you sleep. And honestly, if you're in an awesome place, you should spend your time exploring!! Realistically you're not going to spend that much time in your room.

If you're traveling abroad, try staying in a hostel. Hostels get a bad wrap, but they are nice and they are a third of what you're going to spend on a hotel. I have stayed in hostels in Argentina and Ecuador and I spent $10 a night and they gave me breakfast in the morning. It sounds sketchy, but it really isn't and is definitely worth looking into. If you find the right one, they are clean and you have a hot shower. Check out this great article on tips to staying in hostels!!

If you're traveling inside the US, hostels can be a little more expensive. They can range from $30 to $80 per person, which still isn't terrible. But another awesome option for housing while you're on a road trip is airbnb. You can stay in an extra room in someone's house for WAY cheaper. It makes it easier to make pit stops to cute places during your road trip!!

3. Groupon Getaways
This is something I've recently discovered and I'm obsessed. I love scrolling through Groupon and seeing all the places I can go FOR SO CHEAP! At first, I thought it was a scam because there's no way you can go to the Bahamas for $549 including airfare. BUT I consulted my mom who works for a travel insurance company (I also consult her for everything in my life), and she says most Groupon Getaway deals are legit. If you read the comments and reviews and the fine print, there's no scamming. Just a great affordable vacation. And who doesn't want that?

4. EF College Trips
This is another website like Groupon, except it is specifically for college kids. College Trips has a trip for every kind of college student. The trips range from a week to 15 days and usually tour a couple of cool cities during the trip. There are tons of fun places to chose from, like London and Paris or Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. There are trips that go south too, like a Costa Rican Adventure or a trip to Belize.

All of these trips look amazing and the prices range from $2,000 to $4,000. It seems like a lot, but unlike the Groupon Getaways, it includes EVERYTHING. The price includes your flight, hotels, planned activities, tours, and excursions! Every day has a plan and this travel site is awesome because every activity is aimed at college students, so they look freakin' FUN.

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College Life |  Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Five Creative Ways to Save Money In College

Need. More. Money.

College is difficult enough as it is. Balancing a social life with extracurriculars and getting good grades is a challenge, especially if you're dealing with the added stress of a a bank account that's running low.

But, there's no need to worry about running out of cash. Here are five creative ways to keep from going broke in college, while still going out and having fun.

1. Bring cash out instead of your card.
When you go out at night, withdraw and bring cash instead of bringing your card. If you only bring a set amount of cash then once you've spent your allotted amount you can't spend any more.

When you're out having fun, throwing the bartender your card, it can easily feel like you aren't actually spending much money. Not only does handing them cash feel like you're spending more money, but that cash will eventually run out.

2. Recalibrate your zero.
Pick a number, any number, and tell yourself that that number is "zero". Whether it's 30 dollars or five thousand, tell yourself it's zero and when your bank account hits that number stop spending, as if you have no money left. That way, going "bankrupt" isn't ever actually zeroing out.

3. Categorize spending (and actually keep track of it).
It sounds like something that's just for adults who function in the real world, but college is a great time to budget. It may take a few months of trial and error (it's scary how few of us actually know where our money goes) but budgeting is a great way to save.

Once you determine how much you spend per month, figure out what you feel is a reasonable way to divide your monthly spending between different categories (food, clothes, entertainment, etc.). Once you've done this, keep track of your spending (there are plenty of apps to help with this). After a few months you'll be surprised where all of your money actually goes and seeing it broken down into different categories can help you determine which areas of spending you need to cut down on.

4. Clean out and sell (or swap).
We're all guilty of having closets and drawers full of clothing and items that we just never wear or use but for some reason won't get rid of. Selling these items is a great way to earn some extra cash. With the influx of websites and apps dedicated to doing just that, it's never been easier.

Not ready to completely let your stuff go? Organize a clothing swap between your friends who wear the same size. There's no reason to buy a brand new black skirt when your friend down the hall has the perfect one in your size that she's trying to get rid of.

5. Pick up small jobs for money.
There are plenty of ways to earn money in college without having a full time job. Many colleges have programs for students to tutor, or you can even try more out of the box ways to earn some extra cash. There are plenty of websites that pay college students to write (i.e. FlockU).

Another great way to earn some extra cash is to look into local focus groups. They often pay decent amounts of money for you to come in and test out and review their products. The jobs usually only take a couple of hours tops and often times they are specifically looking for college aged kids. Happy saving!

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College Life |  Source: _eliseyy

A Girl's Guide to Saving and Splurging the Right Way

Must... not... swipe... card...

Buying new shit feels really good. Looking at a pair of new jeans in my closet or a new highlighter in my makeup drawer gives me some kind of sick satisfaction. Unfortunately, my bank account doesn't always agree with my obsessive behaviors.

Some things are definite needs, while some most are just wants. Being in college means having to decide. If you struggle with this concept like I do, here's a short list of things you should save on and things you could probably swing without ruining your life.

Shoes: SAVE
Most shoes are a save item. Yes, those Free People gladiator sandals are amazing and everything you've ever dreamed of, but what are you going to do with them after gladiators die the inevitable trendy death? Shoes you should splurge on include anything black (kidding, but am I?), a good pair of heels, a good pair of boots, a good pair of sandals and a good pair of sneakers. Find the mules and other trend based shoes somewhere like DSW or Forever 21.

Bags: SPLURGE
A good bag (maybe two) is all you'll ever need. If you have one nice bag you have a staple. A black or whiskey color is a good go-to for every day. The shape of the bag depends on you as a person. Do you carry a lot of shit with you, or are you a super minimalist? Do you like carrying your purse in the crook of your arm or do you prefer a backpack? Once you narrow it down, don't be afraid to spend a little extra. If you carry it everyday and bring it everywhere, you can consider it a personal investment.

Jeans: SPLURGE
If you were going to splurge on anything, it should be a pair of jeans/jean shorts. Jeans are a pivotal item in your wardrobe; they go with any top in your closet and you will probably wear them more than once a week. The good news is you can get a great pair of jeans for around $100, which is pretty damn affordable for a splurge item. The best feeling is finding a pair of denim that fits you just right.

Jewelry: SAVE
Jewelry is one of those things that goes in and out of style so often. I even have my doubts about cartier bracelets. I would wait for jewelry to be gifted to you because spending a couple hundred on earrings for yourself is a bit risky. There are so many great affordable jewelry brands that make great pieces. A lot of stuff on Etsy is legit af. I would check them out before breaking the bank on a David Yurman ring.