Instead of buying textbooks, new or used, just borrow your textbooks from the library in order to save money. Odds are, unless it’s a math class, you won’t need to refer to the book all that often and it won’t be useful to actually purchase a $75 (or more!) textbook that you’ll never touch again after the class is over. Or, you can even rent textbooks online at a reduced price!
Try to bring your own lunches and snacks to campus rather than buying the overpriced food at on-campus stores. Many schools will hike up the prices of items like pretzels or fruit because they know that it’s your only option when you’re rushing in between classes. So, save money by buying pretzels in bulk and putting them in reusable containers or bags to bring to class!
Take advantage of all the free events on campus. A lot of different colleges have free movie viewings before they are even released in theaters. So, not only can you brag that you’ve seen a movie that isn’t even in theaters yet, but now you don’t have to pay a ridiculous fee to see it! You might even get some free food, too.
If you’re living in an unfurnished apartment, don’t simply go to Ikea or some other furniture megastore to pick up everything for your new place. Yes, you should probably buy your utensils new, but try looking at your school’s Free & For Sale group on Facebook to find steals on a bed frame, chairs, tables, etc. Odds are, you won’t treat your furniture that well in college, so you might as well buy it cheaply so you can purchase nicer decor once you’re living on your own.
A lot of college towns have smartphone apps that can give you deals on movie theaters, local eateries or other events around town that are specifically for students. Look it up when you get back on campus so you can save some cash!
When shopping for items like clothing or food, don’t worry too much about the brand’s name. No one cares that you bought that shirt at Target instead of Neiman Marcus—in fact, it might even be something to brag about. You also don’t want to be that one person in class who obviously tries “too hard” with their outfits anyway.
Recycle containers. You used a jar of pickles? Instead of just throwing the jar away, you should wash it out and use it as a container for oatmeal or salad to bring to campus. It’s easier than going out and buying plastic containers.
Want to go on vacation during spring break and don’t have a lot of money to travel? Try picking a place where you have a friend or relative and can drive to. Let’s say you’re from Chicago and have a friend who goes to University of Michigan—go hit up your friend to stay with her for the weekend and explore Ann Arbor.
Become a Power Creator through StudyBlue by creating two pieces of content that is studied by another user–you’ll be upgraded to StudyBlue Pro for one month! The more flashcards you make and notes you upload, the better grades and more studying you’ll get done and out of the way so you’ll be able to spend time with friends. And, you can peek at other people’s flashcards to help you get through hard classes.
Okay, technically this doesn’t apply to your life in college, but take at least one finance and accounting class in college because it’ll help you financially in the future. Whether you’re a business or bioengineering major, it’s essential to understand the importance of money and how to manage your finances when you’re out in the real world and your parents don’t do everything for you.