You and Me & Chasing Little G

How To: Save Money in College

Sabra GilbertComment

So money in college is pretty rare (though people try to tell you that its the most money you are going to have for a while after graduation. . . that scares me!).  Now is really the time to start learning how to be careful with money, and the way you are spending now will really determine how you think about money for the rest of your life! Do you want to constantly be in debt and never have control of your money? Or be in control and and actually be able to save a little bit of it?

I choose save!
 (Though with a wedding to pay for, its pretty hard to actually save a large amount for long!).

In college, you are given plenty of oppertunity to save and be thrifty, as long as you know how to look for them!

1| Park farther away.
         I don't know about your campus, but to get a nice parking spot here at SDSU (a self-proclaimed "walking campus" (WHO HAS A WALKING CAMPUS IN SOUTH DAKOTA?!?!) you have to pay a pretty penny to get a glorified commuter parking space. These are still most likely 3 blocks away from your actual class. For less than a quarter of the price, I bought a parking pass that is only a block farther away from classes. I maybe have to show up 3 minutes before commuter parking pass people do and throw on an extra layer to not freeze in South Dakota's subzero temperatures in the winter. Well worth the $200 SAVED!
         Also! Make sure not to park where you shouldn't! parking tickets can get expensive. Take it from a girl who knows :(

2| Pass your classes
        Retaking a class another semester may not feel like a big deal now when finantial aid is mostly footing your school bill. But just think of how much that is going to cost you in the long run! A three credit class may only be a thousand dollars now, but in 10 years it will most likely have doubled that price! So pass your classes with the grade you want the first time, so as to not have to pay for it twice!

3| Order your transcripts in bulk.
        If you are needing your transcript for something like applying to other schools or scholarships or at the moment, just in a situation where you will be ordering your transcript a lot, make sure to order them all at once instead of all on seperate occasions. Most schools have discounted transcripts after the first one. At my school the first transcript in an order is $5, but after than each one is $2.50. So people save more money by ordering them all at once, instead of on seperate occasions.

4| Use your discounts!
         I don't know if your school does this, but ours gives our coupon books ever semester for places around town. I love these coupons! It makes you explore and you can save a lot of money by going to a place to use a coupon and also splitting with a friend (since most of the coupons are for extra food).

5| Pack a lunch
         After telling you to spend money on food, I'm going to tell you to NOT spend money on food (Does that make sense?). Buying food at the grocery store is a lot cheaper than eating all the same meals that someone else makes for you. Though hopefully, you eat a little healthier by making your own food as well! It can be a pain to get in the habit of, but once you get yourself making your lunches at night and grabbing them in the morning, jsut think of all the dough you will be saving. :)

6| Don't take too many unneccessary classes.
          It's a really good thing to know what you want to go into right away, that way you aren't wasting your money (or time!) on classes that in the end won't count towards graduating in your major. THough I do encourage taking a few out there classes. Look at me! I randomly took a horse class just for fun, and now I'm an eqine minor! (Whose also picking up an expensive hobby. . . hmmm)

7| Rent, instead of own.
          Do you really want that Intro to the English Language book that you had to get for ENGL 101? No, the answer is always no, unless it is a class that pertains to the career that you want to do with your life. Like my Equine Nutrition book is used by real life barn managers on a regular basis! Of course I'm gonna keep that! So rent instead of buying, because you are gonna loose around the same amount of money either way.

8| Go digital.
          If you have the option to buy a book that you want to buy digitally, those are a million times cheaper than the hardcover will ever be! (Though I totally have to be the first to admit that I can't stand an online textbook.)

9| Split the cost
           If you can't tell, obviously textbooks are expensive and a major thing to try to save on in college! If you have a roommate or a really good friend (make sure that you trust them a lot!), that you can split the cost of a textbook with, DO IT! Yes, there is a chance that yo will have to share the book in a time that you just want it to yourself, but the price is better when its only half!
10| Choose when to splurge and when it isn't a priority.