You’ve spent so much time saving money to get into college; you probably thought that was the end, right? Not so much, because once you hit the campus and finally assert your independence, you’ll find that you have to save even more. Your budget becomes your new best friend, but don’t worry—saving is actually kind of fun.
Be Book Smart
This is the golden rule for any college student: never buy books new. Buying used books when you can is a great way to save. If your professor chooses a new edition that costs a lot, ask if you can safely use an older edition. The information probably isn’t that different and it will help you save. Don’t forget to sell your books back at the end of the semester either. Whether buying or selling, make sure you compare prices and offers. Campus bookstores don’t always offer top dollar so you might find better deals online or from other students.
Take Time to Tutor
Tutoring is extremely lucrative in college, not to mention beneficial in several ways. Take your talents to a local high school and tutor juniors and seniors in SAT Prep or AP exams. Hit up any classmates who need help in the classes you share. Organize a study group with yourself as the leader. Taking this route not only gives you the opportunity to earn money, but you also get to take advantage of extra study time yourself, so you’re more likely to ace your own exams.
Get a Group Mentality
When you live on or near campus, it pays to do everything in groups. Get together and wash your own cars or do your laundry together, with everyone pitching in on the effort and the money. Go shopping together and split the costs between you. Consider getting a cheaper off-campus apartment and share the rent—that way any grants, loans, or scholarships you receive can either go to other expenditures or right into your bank account.
Buy It in Bulk
Buying necessary items in bulk is an ideal way to save money. Shampoo and conditioner, soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper are worthwhile bulk buys. There are also certain foods and drinks you can and should buy in bulk. Get yourself plenty of cereal and Pop Tarts, cans of soda and juice, bottles of water, Ramen noodles, and similar items. You won’t run out any time soon and bulk rates are often cheaper for these types of purchases.
There are lots of temptations in college. Local bars and clubs often have student nights, but the food and drinks they serve typically cost more than they’re worth. Credit card companies troll campuses, trying to tempt students with their very first credit card. Don’t give into the temptation! When it comes to partying, stick to campus parties. With credit cards, just wait until you’re a little older, otherwise you’ll find yourself in debt very quickly.
Who says you have to leave college broke and in tremendous debt? With smart habits, you can actually graduate surviving college with a healthy savings account.