Money-Saving Tips for College Students II

More ways to conserve cash while attending college

Money-Saving Tips for College Students II
September 2, 2015

Earlier, we presented some money-saving tips for college students. Here are additional ways to save cash:

  • Car Pooling -- if you go to school close enough to drive home every so often, be sure to establish a car pool. Considering the price of gas and tolls, this could result in a substantial savings. Many students know this, but fail to lock up riders or rides well before major holidays or other occasions when students might go home. Plan ahead. Check out Facebook for groups of students you don't know who might be from your hometown so you have options and fallbacks.

  • Part-Time Jobs --you go to college to focus on studies so you can graduate and start a good career. In the meantime, you will want to find a part-time job to help with cash flow. Remember, when you are earning money, you are not spending money. If you land a restaurant job, it could also provide you with a way to save on meals. What’s more, you can learn valuable lessons in the workplace – such as the importance of diligence, organization and teamwork – that will serve you well in your studies and your future job path.

    When spring arrives, be sure to schedule time early to search for summer jobs. College students have an edge over high school students because classes end earlier. Use that advantage. If you want to take time off, take it at the end of the summer.

    Also, if you live off-campus, advertise your apartment for a summer rental early. Many students attending school in the summer are looking for housing. Why rent a place for twelve months when you really only need it for eight?

  • Banking -- there are a few ways to save here. First of all, ATM fees can be a killer. When you visit the campus, find out which banks are near school with access to ATMs, and check the fees. It might behoove you to open an account in a local bank to save on ATM fees. At an average cost of $2.95 per withdrawal, ten withdrawals and you just threw away nearly $30.

    If you can, always keep a reasonable amount in your checking balance. Withdrawing money on the run can cause overdrafts that can be quite costly. Also, read the fine print to make sure you are not paying more than you have to on monthly maintenance fees. Some banks offer special accounts for students.

    If you have a credit card, do not use it except for emergencies. The temptations are too great. In a study conducted by Fidelity Investments, students who graduated in 2013 had an average of $3,000 in credit card debt. That is on top of the student loan debt they are about to face.

  • Go to Class or Drop Quickly -- you might think you are going to attend all your classes and then there is the reality of discovering you just cannot seem to get to that 8 a.m. lecture on the other side of campus on time. If you don't think the class will work for you, then there is no shame in dropping it. But drop it right away so you do not incur any penalties. Be cognizant that failing that class also means you will not get the credits you need to perhaps graduate on time. Do that a few times and you are adding another semester.

Naturally, at school you will be focused on studies. But be sure to focus as well on your budget right from the start. Adopting smart spending habits immediately will result in significant savings over the course of a four-year degree.


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Erin | 09.02.15 @ 15:03
More great tips. Some of these could be applied to non-students as well. Those ATM fees are highway robbery.
trish | 09.02.15 @ 15:05
I worked 3 jobs while in college to save money and while it was hard, I am so thankful I did, because I didn't have to pay a ton of student loans.
Elaine | 09.02.15 @ 15:06
Great info and I would add try to buy used books. That could save hundreds of dollars.
Jackie | 09.02.15 @ 15:08
Prepaid debit cards are a good way to keep track of what you're spending. It's much better than using a credit card where you can overspend.
Victor | 09.02.15 @ 15:09
I love those tips, some of those actually work for people out of college, if we know how to apply them and change a few things.
Britt | 09.02.15 @ 15:17
As a college student, I always find these articles to be extremely helpful and full of useful tips.
Christina | 09.02.15 @ 15:17
I don't think a credit card is necessarily a bad idea - if you're taught at an early age how to best use it to improve your credit and have a job to ensure that you can pay it off each month.
Christina | 09.02.15 @ 15:20
Good tips for everyone. When trying to save as much as you possibly can, look into everything that you use to see if there's a cheaper way.
Daniel Dohlstrom | 09.02.15 @ 15:30
Kids in school need every tip they can get - not only is school and books expensive, but so many college towns have higher costs to live in just because the school is there
Nancy | 09.02.15 @ 15:34
Renting text books is a great way to save money. And apply, apply, apply for scholarships and grants!
Steffanie | 09.02.15 @ 15:57
Great information. Will be keeping these tips close by as my son is starting college next fall.
gracie | 09.02.15 @ 16:11
Good tips all around for everyone. I think the "Go to class or drop quickly" is a really good one, because so many people I know ended up paying for classes they didn't like and didn't drop in time so it was lose/lose. A loss on class credit and the class fee.
Irene | 09.02.15 @ 16:12
Great ideas, especially the car pooling!
Zanna | 09.02.15 @ 16:15
Stock snacks and avoid late night runs to grab food because you're hungry and the cafe is closed. Skip the recreational drinking, smoking, or other expensive bad habits. You'll save more money than you think!
Carla Truett | 09.02.15 @ 16:48
Make a budget and stick to it! Eating out adds up quickly too.
Kamie | 09.02.15 @ 17:08
A simple thing that I think all college kids should do: Stalk your spending. Even if you give a homeless person change document it. Document everything you spend, and every month look at what you can remove. Not only college students can do this, I think it is a great eye opener for everyone,
Heather | 09.02.15 @ 17:27
ATM fees are a killer. And finding yourself at home car pooling is a very smart idea.
Rychana Vingia | 09.02.15 @ 17:54
These are some great tips for students. Also they can rent books or buy electronic version which is cheaper.
Sarah | 09.02.15 @ 18:25
These are some very good tips for college students.
Angie | 09.02.15 @ 18:36
These are great tips. Another great idea that my son's university has employed is to give so many slots in a pool for bike invoices. About a 1,000 students are drawn, and in exchange for agreeing not to have a vehicle on campus, they are given a $400 voucher toward a bike. My son was going to get a used car until he heard about this, but decided to forgo the expenses of parking passes, gas, insurance and a car payment. Those really add up!
Bobbie | 09.02.15 @ 19:06
I am always telling my daughter to use her credit card only in emergencies, and to save up for everything else.
Alec | 09.02.15 @ 19:07
I'll be going back to college soon, but as a family of 3, we already use some of these tips. We live off-campus from my Lovie's school and he sometimes will give rides to other students for gas money. We are with a bank that has a local branch and no fees at all. I do extra things to help out with bills and savings while Lovie works part-time.
Jane | 09.02.15 @ 19:28
Buy books online using an aggregator (a company that will search all textbook sellers and give you the best prices for each).
Jo | 09.02.15 @ 19:51
These are important tips for students and non-students.
Katie Greene | 09.02.15 @ 19:52
Great money saving tips, but they can be for anyone, not just college students!
Chelsey | 09.02.15 @ 20:12
I think part of cutting down costs is to apply for as many scholarships and grants as well. Those help out a lot if you qualify.
Meredith L | 09.02.15 @ 20:21
I call ATM fees "sneak-up" fees because you don't realize how much you waste on them. College students may also benefit from work study to help offset the cost of classes.
Crystal | 09.02.15 @ 20:55
Great tips and full of useful info.
Debbie | 09.02.15 @ 21:11
With my daughter starting college in the winter this is all good information.
Wanda Langley | 09.02.15 @ 21:12
Great tips for those young people attending college. I have heard of some getting credit cards and not understanding the fine print. They get in a bind by the time they are out of school with high interest charges.
Andrea | 09.02.15 @ 22:42
Thank you for sharing.
Beverly | 09.02.15 @ 23:52
Great tips for the college bound. Learning how to handle your money is something you need to learn young!
Vaughn | 09.03.15 @ 01:42
I feel like these are pretty common sense, but it's nice to have a refresher.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.08.16 @ 08:08
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