Every person has their own reasons for always trying to save money, but the broke college student is one of the most prominent stereotypes around and would likely benefit from some good budgeting tips. If you’re paying for college on your own or simply have less spending money than you’re used to while in school, taking these budgeting tips into account may help you save a little or a lot, depending on how strict you are with your finances. In any case, these are all-around great tips for anyone going to school.
It’s unavoidable: your professors require you to have access to a textbook or three in order to pass the course. If you ever made the mistake of buying directly from the college bookstore, and if you ever bought a brand new textbook from the aforementioned bookstore, you know how the cost can add up. Being in a bookstore that is tailored to your college also includes trying very hard to resist the temptation to buy a mascot-imprinted journal for each of your classes, as well as a matching pen in your school colors and logo. You are much better off searching for your textbooks through a textbook rental service that will allow you to keep the books until after your finals, or scouring the Internet for forums where students sell their old textbooks for cheap. If you did make the mistake of buying a severely overpriced textbook in the past, those forums are also a great way to get rid of an unnecessary book and get some money out of it. Some students might even be willing to trade textbooks.
If you live on campus, it is probably best that you make plans to live without a car. Car care can become expensive if you have very low cash flow, and the price of gas these days is outrageous anyway. Walking or biking around campus is healthier for you and cheap (if you have to buy a bike) or free. You can also avoid those expensive parking passes your college likely requires. If you don’t own a bike, can’t afford one, and walking is too much of a hassle on campus, learn about the mass transit systems. They are relatively cheap and sometimes free if they are campus-based.
Are you the kind of person who feels the need to be entertained all the time? Saving money doesn’t mean you have to give up on entertainment. Take advantage of campus activities like music concerts and plays put on by the students. Many of these activities are cheap or free, and in turn, you’re supporting your classmates. Getting involved with an organization on campus can also guarantee you inexpensive entertainment and sometimes even food!
Knowing how to pinch a penny here and there will help you avoid an empty wallet while in school, but these tips can also become best practices for life after college. If you’re having trouble finding money to pay for college, read about the financial options you may have as a college student.

By Amanda Rodriguez

College students

Pay for college