Tips on Saving Money in College
For a college student, saving money can be a big boon. You can do this by controlling the amount of
money that you spend toward various things. Spending money without a plan can put you in a
vicious cycle of debt, which can cost you dearly in the near future.
By making few adjustments in the way you spend money, you could save a substantial amount of
money. Here are some tips for areas that you could definitely make a good saving.
Live with a group: If you’re living alone, you will end up spending more. But live with a group
instead. When living in a group, you can save substantially on rent, food and other expenses
Prioritize things: Make a list of things that you need and want. Needs and wants are
different. Listen to your needs and not for your wants. If you can differentiate between
needs and wants, then most of your work is done.
Limit the use of credit card: Credit cards are great when you don’t have money of your own.
But, having a credit card is like having a double-edged sword. Even you can get hurt while
using it. So, limit the use of credit card as much as possible and pay off your debts on time to
avoid late fees and interests. Always remember your credit card billing cycle.
Buy in bulk: As much as possible buy stuff in bulk. Gather around your friends and
roommates and plan for buying things in bulk. Bulk purchases result in heavy discounts. Also,
whenever you’re buying, look for coupons. Collect as many coupons as you can and redeem
them whenever you’re running short of money.
Buy used text books: You could save money by buying used text books. Ask around in your
college; look at your college notice board for a senior who’s selling away his text books. Or
place your own note asking for used text books. Also, as far as possible, use reference books
in library. If you’ve access to virtual library, you could also it. This can save a lot of money
being spent on books that you hardly study from.
Eat less outside: Many students feel that cooking is a waste of time. But in reality, if you
spend about 1 hr per day in cooking, you’d end up saving a lot more than you can possibly
think of. Eating outside these days is very expensive and on top of it, there is a risk of
infections. You don’t want to be sick and miss out your classes. By cooking, you not only eat
healthy and fresh, you’d also save money.
Limit mobile usage: Another area where you can save some money is the mobile phone.
Mobile phones are necessary but, limit the use of your mobile by opting for a suitable plan.
These include free night calls, free unlimited messages, free incoming calls, low rate outstation calls, etc. Another area where you can save is in data plan.
Limit data or packet usage as well: As much as possible, use internet on phone whenever
there is free wi-fi available. Turn off data or packet service as much as possible. For every
important or a big download that your phone makes on packet service will cost you in terms
of “per MB of data downloaded”. This also means for data buffering as well.
Look for ways of free entertainment: It is always better to look for free sources of
entertainment than those costly movies and games. If there is a possibility of internet TV,
you could cut back on the cable TV subscription. If that’s not an option, opt for a cheaper
plan for limited number of channels that you watch regularly.
Save on commuting as well: Commuting between your college and apartment can cost you
a lot. Use your student privileges like public transportation discounts, etc. You could also
think of a bicycle than a car. A bicycle is a healthier and frugal option than a car. A car is far
more expensive to maintain than a bike, right!
Avoid expensive vacations: Avoid expensive vacations during spring breaks as much as you
can. You could end up spending a month or month and a half’s expenses worth of money on
a 10 day trip. So, be very cautious and calculative.
Never take out loans: Taking out loans for anything other than your education can cost you
dearly in the present and can continue to haunt you in the future as well.
Use recycled books: Avoid writing on paper as much as you can. If you’re a smartphone
user, try typing down or recording your lectures and back them up in your laptop for later
use. Ask around in your town for note books made from recycled paper. Recycled paper
books cost less compared to regular note books.
With such tips at hand, you could save a lot of money while in college. Always remember the old
saying, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Instead of spending more and working on a part-time
job, jeopardizing your education, you could save money with these tips and manage a comfortable
living while studying.