5 Ways to Save Money in College

College GraduationCollege was one of the best growing and learning experiences that I've had. It was there I first discovered that laundry doesn't just clean itself, it's helpful to keep a list of emergency contact numbers in your wallet (in case you lock yourself out of your dorm room OR car) and Iowa has more to it than corn and hogs.

I also learned that college requires a lot of cash. You got your daily meals, laundry, soda, books, candy,  supplies, and more candy costs. To top it off, you're going hundreds of dollars in debt, by the day!

That said, there are ways in which you can save money there. Here's a few I know about:

  1. Food
    • Two words, Ramen Noodles.  There are many different ways to jazz up the noodles. My favorite is to add egg, onion, broccoli, and carrots…yum.
    • Buy in bulk and split food with your roomies.
    • Try to avoid going out to eat. Even if it’s only 3-4 bucks per day. That ends up being $100 per month!
    • For dates, make food and light candles in your apartment. Saves money, and it impresses your date.
  2. Rent
    • Live off-campus. Find some roommates to share rent with.
    • Find an old house. It's only a few years.
  3. Car
    • Buy used! Ask a professor if they have an old jalopy they can sell you. Never get into a car payment during college.
  4. Textbooks
    • Rent! At campusbookrentals.com you can get books for up to 90% off and there is FREE SHIPPING both ways! Click here to see an example of the money you could save by renting. You might also be able to avoid buying a textbook altogether if you take online courses. Many of these classes provide the reading and textbook materials online. By going digital you can be environmentally friendly and at the same time save some money compared to the cost of traditional textbooks. Nearly every kind of class is available online and most working adults choose to pursue a graduate degree online to save time. Choosing an all online college or by asking if there is an online version of required courses could save you some serious cash.
  5. Entertainment
    • Avoid going to movies. If you have to, go to the cheap theaters (we went to the cheap one almost every weekend).
    • Go to the library! You’d be surprised how good the movies are at your library. Or, just ask around and borrow movies.
    • Instead of buying tons of music on iTunes, listen to music on Pandora…it’s free.

What were some of the ways you saved money in college?

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  1. nice ideas. I think some sites take it so far and name ridiculous things that I could never change. For me we got rid of a landline which was not so much saving.. approx 15 dollars but we took our two cellphones ( iphones) and switched over to get smartphones still but samsungT404G’s which has pretty much all that you need with a cellphone. Unfortunetely to leave our contracted phone we had to pay a one time fee… but we switched to a different non contract company named tracfone and we each are paying 29.99 a month.. so basically… We are paying half of ONE of our old iphones. We are both in grad school and have student loans for the rest of our lives… so every bit helps!

    • I’ve heard good things about Tracfone, Britta. My mom actually has one and likes it. Big savings there!

  2. My dad and I shared a car while I was in college. He used it during the week and I took it on weekends. Of course, I went to college in the town my parents lived in so this was easy.

    Also, hold off as long as you can on buying a computer. Many colleges have computer labs you can use for free. If you need a computer, look online for a low-cost refurbished one.

    • Good thoughts on the computer Ryan..

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