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Money-Saving Habits To Practice Throughout College

Everybody knows that college can be expensive. Whether you’re at a community college, a top-tier university or anything in between, higher education can create a significant financial burden and loans can accumulate even before graduation. Because of this, students may feel restricted in terms of spending money. You don’t have to let this feeling put a damper on your social life, though. There are plenty of ways to save – and even make money – that all students should take advantage of throughout school. By adopting a few of these small changes in your everyday life, you can put more of your money towards what really matters to you.

Limit Your Coffee Buying

You’d be surprised how much spending on coffee can really add up. If you spend $3.15 on coffee five mornings a week, that’s $63 dollars a month. From August to May, that’s $630. Four years makes $2,520. That’s probably more than you’d make at a summer internship, and it’s a good chunk of what you’d spend on textbooks.

  • Treat yourself to a coffee a week, or maybe one before a big night of studying.
  • Invest in a small coffee pot for your dorm or apartment to save money in the long run.

Create a Budget

If you know there are certain things you need or want to buy each week, then you need to plan around that.

  • Create a budget where you take into account your expenses and your income. Figure out how much you can spend a week, and always put some money into savings, even if it’s only a little.
  • Make substitutions when possible. Anytime you make a purchase, ask yourself if there’s something you’d rather spend your money on.

Land of the Free

This one’s obvious. Always take advantage of free stuff on campus. Be on the lookout for free:

  • Food provided by your dorm
  • Coffee chats with professors
  • Discussions and seminars
  • Acapella concerts and theatre performances
  • Snacks during finals

Student Discounts

Discounted prices for students are everywhere. Find deals on concerts, store purchases, transportation, restaurants and movie tickets. You can get inexpensive rates to major museums and other venues, so take advantage of it while you can.

Research before Large Purchases

Whether it’s a new cell phone, a computer, new shoes or any large purchase, make sure you do your research.

  • Use a comparison shopping engine to see where to find the best deal and what products are least expensive for their value.
  • Since textbooks are one of the biggest college expenses aside from room and board, buy textbooks online or even rent them to save money.

Money-Making Alternatives

You may have a job on campus, but there are always creative ways of making money. Sell some old clothes to a thrift store or find a weekend babysitting job. If you attend a research university, then participating in paid research studies is a great option as well. Researchers are always looking for participants, and studies are usually comprised of a few questionnaires or small group tasks. These can easily pay around $15 an hour.

Get in the habit of following these steps, and you’ll easily be able to spend more money on going out with friends or treating yourself to a fancy dinner. Not only will you save as a student, but you will become more money-savvy beyond your college years.

Today’s guest article is provided by Lindsay T. She recently graduated from Northwestern University, just outside of Chicago, and currently writes for Skyo, an online site for renting or buying college textbooks at a discount with flexible rental options. For more information and tips, visit www.Skyo.com and Skyo’s college blog.

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