07 Sep

Written by Kathryn Vercillo on September 7, 2010

University students rarely have any extra cash to spend. They’re always looking for new ways to save money. The following 20 tips can help:

1. Rent textbooks. Instead of spending full price to purchase your textbooks, rent them for a much cheaper rate. Alternatively, get e-book or half-price versions of your books.Whenever possible (such as with lit classes) just get the books from the library.

2. Get renter’s insurance. Protect yourself from the inevitable thefts of items like your laptop, mp3 player and bike by protecting yourself against those losses. Yes, you pay a little now but it’s one those times when spending can save you a lot of money.

3. Get drunk for cheap. University students spend more money than they should on drinking with their buddies. Check out our article on 20 ways to save money on getting drunk.

4. Go on frugal romantic dates. It is a lot of fun to spend your university years going on dates. It can also end up being expensive especially for the guys. Check out our ideas for 30 frugal romantic dates.

5. Take public transportation. University campuses and the surrounding areas usually don’t require cars. Why pay for one? Give up you car until after graduation and save yourself a lot of money. Plus public transportation is often offered cheap or free to students.

6. Enjoy a cheap adrenaline rush. Need to show off for your friends? Feeling restless after being cramped up in a classroom all day? Check out the 10 hottest adrenaline rush activities for people who are broke.

7. Take advantage of student discounts. You can get a cheaper price on everything from museum admissions to computer software. Always ask if there’s a student discount before you pay for anything.

8. Get a smart student back account. Read the terms carefully to make sure that the bank accounts and credit cards you select are ones that offer good rates and perks for students.

9. Keep applying for scholarships throughout the year. There is a lot of free money available and often all that you need to do is write a good essay. Many students do this before their first semester starts but then stop. Keep applying for scholarships throughout your time at university.

10. Get your dorm furniture for free. Take the time to hunt down free furniture from other students, online sources and street corners. You don’t need high-end furniture if you’re only going to use it for a semester or two.

11. Eat fresh produce. College students often eat fast food. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables is both healthier and less expensive. For some other food tips, check out 20 ideas for spending less without resorting to Ramen. Eating right means you’ll get sick less often and spend less on medications and health cures.

12. Buy half of the high-tech services that you think you need. You want cable TV, high speed Internet, a landline, a mobile phone with a complete data plan, etc. However, you don’t actually need all of this. This is especially true when you’re spending a lot of time on campus where you probably have free Wi-Fi access (and maybe even access to cable tv shows in the lounges). Pay for half of what you think you need and whittle it down further from there.

13. Don’t pay for a gym. If the school offers free gym access then take advantage of that. Otherwise get your exercise in without spending money on a gym membership. Walking, jogging, swimming at a free local pool and doing yoga at home are all options. Adding an exercise class to your school schedule is another option; it fills a school credit and gets you fit at the same time.

14. Be cheap with your vacations. When summer and winter breaks roll around, keep on being frugal. Carpool back home and stay with the family. Take a student rail pass through Europe and stay in hostels.

15. Work for your room. Dorm room resident advisors and apartment maintenance people or managers often get free housing in exchange for the work that they do on site. You may also work part-time as a nanny, housekeeper or tutor in exchange for your room.

16. Use student discount cards wisely. You can join membership programs that are just for students and save a lot of money if you use them wisely. The NUS Extra card is the most popular example in the UK.

17. Make a rule out of avoiding fees. Pay all of your bills on time. Make sure that you don’t go over the limit on credit cards or overdraw your checking account. College students often get trapped with fees and it can get them in a lot of trouble.

18. Choose a degree that offers you paid work opportunities as a student. Million Dollar Journey points out that certain degrees, such as social work and engineering, are more likely than others to offer paid internships and work opportunities to you while you’re still in school.

19. Get a part-time job with money-saving perks. Get a job that not only earns you money but saves you money. For example, work at a grocery store or restaurant and get discounts on food. Clothing stores, electronics stores and movie theaters are other options. Just make sure that you don’t spend more than you save by being there!

20. Work off some of your college debt immediately after graduation. There are programs that you can join after graduation to pay off some of your college loans for you. For example, volunteering with the Peace Corps has educational financial benefits.

If you liked this article then you might also like our 20 Ways to Save on Back to School

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