When you go to college, you need to save as much money as you can, and that is not always going to be easy. However, college all on its own is. You have to pay for tuition, room and board and all of the books that you will need for your classes. You’ll already be in debt, so finding ways to save money is always going to be important. Many students have no idea what to do to save, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are the top 10 money saving college tips that you probably never even thought about.
1. Live On Campus
It may seem like a cool idea to move off campus and live with all of your friends in an apartment where you do not have to worry about resident advisors watching your every move, but it is also between 10 and 40 percent more expensive to live off campus. You will have a lot more to pay for as well. When you live on campus, you get all of your utilities paid for you and use of the college’s internet. You will also have an on-campus parking pass, but when you live off campus, you have to pick up the tab for your own utilities, phone bills, internet and you will have to pay for a commuter pass, which can be pretty pricey. Even though living on campus may not be cool, it’s a good way to save on cash.
2. Learn How to Cook
Another way that you can save money when you are in college is by learning how to cook. Whether you live in a dorm or off campus, buying food at the store and cooking it for yourself is always going to cost way less than it will to eat in the school cafeteria or at a restaurant every night. Meal plans are not cheap and they can get pretty pricey depending on how many meals you plan to eat in a week. Just think. If you go out and purchase a package of hamburger at the store for $10, you can make multiple meals for yourself with it and have all that extra cash in your pocket.
3. Recycle Those Text Books
At the end of the semester when you no longer need the books for the classes you have just finished, always make sure to take them back to the bookstore and sell them. You will see that the campus bookstore will actually buy them back from you and give you real, cash money for them. They will resell the books next semester to students who will just be taking the class, and they won’t be sitting in your dorm collecting dust. If you don’t want to take them to the campus bookstore, many book buying vans will probably show up on campus at the end of the semester and you can sell them there as well. Just be sure wherever you sell them, you are getting the most money for the books.
4. Take Advantage of Freebies
Even if you think that your tuition just covers room and board and your classes, you’re wrong because it covers so much more. Yes, that money pays for things you’re probably spending more out of pocket money for. When you pay to go to a school and live on campus, you are entitled to movie rentals from the library, a membership at the college gym, dorm dinners and student clubs at no extra cost. Many people don’t know this and go off campus for their entertainment rather than banking on the freebies. Don’t be one of those people!
5. Make the Most of Summer
Many students cannot wait for summer so they can go home, pick up jobs and hang out with their friends but if you want to spend the least amount of money possible on your college education and you want to get out of there much faster, you should always make the most of summer and this means taking summer courses. They may cost you a little out of pocket, but when you think about what you will be spending to stay on campus for four years instead of the three you could spend by taking summer classes between semesters, you’ll be saving a lot. Plus, you may even be able to take those summer classes online, so you will be able to go home and get a job anyhow. It works out well. After all, summer should be about more than sleeping in and partying.
6. Don’t Try to Transfer
When you have gotten yourself into a four year school, stay where you are. Many students go and decide that they are not happy where they are or they just don’t like the school they chose. They may regret choosing that school, but whatever you do, stay where you are because when you transfer, you are actually losing a lot of money and nearly a full semester of credits. Think about the future and the fact that you will be able to choose a different college or university for graduate school and let that motivate you. You won’t be there forever ever.
7. Don’t Take Out Credit Cards
When you are in college, you already have to deal with enough debt when you graduate, so don’t go making things harder on yourself in the long run. Sure, getting a credit card now may seem like a good idea because you won’t actually be spending money and you can just make the minimum payment, but in the long run, that is just more debt for you to pay back and if you do not find a job immediately after you graduate, you’re going to be struggling to repay your loans. You won’t need to worry about making another payments and you won’t need to ruin your credit so just save yourself the headache and avoid credit cards at all costs, no matter how much easier they may make the right now.
8. Car Pool
If you are a commuter student and you live near other people who are going to the same college as you, by all means, car pool with them. You will be saving on gas and you will be able to get back and forth much easier. Gas is never cheap and when you are going to the same place and you can’t ride with someone else, then you both have to pay for gas. Take turns paying and take turns driving. One week, one of you can drive and the other can pay for gas and the next week, you can flip flop. In the end, it saves you both money and wear and tear on your cars.
9. Don’t Go Nuts Decorating Your Dorm
Sure, it may seem like a lot of fun to decorate your dorm and make it look great, but at the end of the day, decorating is costly and your dorm is small. You may spend a lot of time there, but you may also spend a lot of time out of your dorm, so if you’re just in there to sleep, it’s not that big of a deal. Don’t try buying your own bed or mattress and don’t waste money on expensive beddings or rugs. Just buy the basics and get the cheapest things you can because after college, you won’t need any of those things anyhow.
10. Get a Keurig
This may sound absolutely ridiculous or seem like it goes hand in hand with the whole cook for yourself thing, but its completely different, trust us. When you are in college, you will find yourself drinking a lot of coffee. You will need it to wake up in the morning and you will need it to get through the day. You’ll also need it to keep you awake when you are doing homework or studying so instead of spending $4 on a cup every time you need your fix, buy a Keurig coffee pot and plug it in in your dorm. If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on K-Cups, buy the re-usable K-Cup and a can of coffee and do it that way. One can of coffee will go a long way and you’ll be saving a ton of money!