Going to college is exciting. It’s an opportunity to experience life and take charge of your future. But college can be expensive, especially if you aren’t used to having to budget money and pay your bills. This makes a lot of people wonder how to save money in college. If you’ve been wondering the same thing, here are a few suggestions.
Save on living arrangements
One of the biggest expenses you will have are room and board charges, but there are ways to save.
Have a roommate – Many schools have several dorms or campus apartments available, and if any of them offer single rooms they will undoubtedly be more expensive. Living with 1, 2, or even 3 other people can lower your costs.
Live off campus – Often it can be cheaper to live off campus, especially if you can get a roommate or two. If you prefer to live alone, you may be able to rent a room in the surrounding neighborhood, meaning you can still walk or bike to class.
Become a resident assistant – If you work for the college as a resident assistant, you can get a break on your room charges.
How to save money in college on food
We all have to eat, but we want to save money too. Here’s how you can do both.
Pick the right meal plan – Every school has more than one option. Know yourself, your activity level and how much time you spend on campus and choose accordingly.
Learn to cook – If you live in a dorm your options may be more limited, but microwaves, toaster ovens, hot plates and crockpots can all produce tasty meals.
Grocery shop and use coupons – Depending on what you eat and where you are, buying your own food can be more economical, especially if you can use coupons.
Eat inexpensive foods – There are plenty of healthy and inexpensive foods you can buy when grocery shopping. Oatmeal, bananas, whole grain brown rice, frozen veggies, and eggs are all good examples and there are many more.
Saving money on entertainment
Just because you want to save money doesn’t mean you have to avoid having a social life.
Take advantage of on campus entertainment – Campus groups sponsor events that are either free or less expensive than going out to a bar or club. Make use of the rec center, attend guest lectures or recitals and join some kind of social club. Definitely attend events with free food or drinks.
Make use of city parks – The great outdoors is completely free. Play sports with friends, exercise, go for a walk or just study.
Look for student discounts – Often businesses near campus offer student discounts on things like admission to movies, shows or dining out.
Other tips for how to save money in college
Purchase used textbooks – Books are always a big expense, so this can be a real money saver. Check online pricing to save even more.
Get a bike or take the bus – Both are cheaper than a car and you won’t have to worry about parking.
Find student checking or savings accounts – This type of account usually has fewer fees and restrictions, making it easier to manage your money.
Buy used – Shop thrift or second hand stores for clothing and household items.
If you have already tried lots of suggestions for how to save money in college but still find yourself coming up short, Fast Access Finance can help with a personal loan. Complete an online application today.