7 Ways College Students Can Save on Living Expenses
There’s no way around it, being a college student is expensive. Between tuition and fees, housing, food, books and maintaining a social life, it’s no wonder that “starving student” is a commonly used phrase. Of course, the trade-off is getting a degree, along with life-long memories, so it’s more than worth it. But how can college students save on all those expenses? We have some ideas:
Take Public Transportation — Sure, Uber and Lyft are fast and easy. But they’re also expensive. When you need to get somewhere, use public transit as a cheaper alternative. Or if your destination is within walking distance, get your steps in and walk there. It’s free!
Limit Take-Out Orders — With Seamless, Door Dash, Postmates and Grub Hub all just a tap away, it’s way too easy to spend way too much on take-out food. Keep your dorm room or apartment stocked with fast and easy basics like pasta, cereal, peanut butter and canned soup so you’re not tempted to order in all the time.
Carry Snacks with You — Speaking of food, you’re going to get hungry between classes or when you’re studying at the library. Instead of feeding your cash to the vending machines or fast food places, keep snacks in your backpack. Jerky, protein bars, or trail mix taste good and have protein to fuel your brain and fill you up. Plus, they don’t need to be refrigerated.
Get Thrifty — Whether you’re dying for a new outfit to wear out or you need some furniture to fill up an empty apartment, hit the local thrift stores. You’re sure to find cool, unique stuff and you’ll pay next to nothing for it.
Buy Basics in Bulk — We’re talking toilet paper, tissues, shampoo, soap, cleaning supplies and non-perishable snacks (like those protein bars we talked about). Use your parents Costco or Sam’s Club membership, if you can. If not, split the cost of membership with friends or roommates. Sam’s Club actually offers a special Collegiate Membership for $45 and you’ll get a $25 eCard when you sign up or renew online.
Make your I.D. Count — Your student I.D. is your constant companion, you might as well make the most of it. Show your student I.D to get discounts at restaurants, movie theaters, local attractions and even some national retailers, including J. Crew, Apple, Adobe, Banana Republic and many more. Not sure if there’s a discount? It never hurts to ask!
Find the Freebies — Whether it’s free drink refills or a new promotional T-shirt, seeking out those little freebies can add up to big savings. Find out which coffee places and restaurants offer free drink refills and make them your go-to. Marketers love your demographic, and you’ll always find a promotional team on campus handing out free goods like razors, toiletries, snacks and promotional swag, such as T-shirts and tote bags.