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10 Money Saving Tips for College Kids

10 Money Saving Tips for College Kids Infographic

1) Save on laptops and software

Check for sales and student discounts before buying a computer or software. Labor Day and Black Friday are good times to get deep discounts on electronics. Many companies offer reduced prices to students, and campus bookstores often have good deals. Protect your investment with anti-virus software.

2) Shop thrift stores

When you feel the need to splurge on clothes, check out the local thrift store. With a little rummaging, you can often find the same name brands and college apparel you want at a fraction of the price. When you get bored with your wardrobe, host a clothing swap with your friends and trade items.

3) Pay your bills on time

Whether it is for a credit card, utility bill or cell phone, most companies will charge you late fees and/or interest for not paying your bill on time. Stay organized with your bills by having a place in your home for paper bills to make sure nothing gets overlooked. Consider automatically paying bills online to ensure you’re making payments on time!

4) Limit credit card use

Many credit card companies prey on college students to take advantage of their new-found freedom, their new expenses as independents and their lack of financial literacy. Don’t use credit cards if you can’t pay them off every month.

5) Do campus activities

Most college campuses offer tons of free (or cheap) activities, including movies, art exhibits, concerts, social events and more. Sign up for email newsletters and check your student newspaper to stay in the loop with upcoming activities. And bring your student ID!

6) Make a budget

Once you know where you’ve been spending your money, make a budget. You may need to add some restrictions in areas where you’ve been overspending. Then start socking a little away in a savings account each month. Keeping a budget will ensure you are living responsibly within your means.

7) Track your spending

Track your spending with an app, spreadsheet or notebook. You’ll be surprised to see where all your money is actually going. Late night fast-food runs and early-morning energy drinks add up. Tally up all the things you’re buying monthly until you fully understand where your money is going.

8) Buy used textbooks

The average college student spends more than $1,200 a year on books and materials. Buying used books costs as little as one-third of the new book price. Also, consider checking out books from the library that you need only for a short time. Check too with older students to see if they have textbooks you can borrow.

9) Get a roommate

Living with a roommate (or multiple roommates) will save you tons of money over the tenure of your college education. Sure, living solo allows you more control over the noise and tidiness of your space, but learning to deal with roommates will prepare you for “the real world” and save you big bucks.

10) Drink frugally

Each year, college students spend about $5.5 billion on alcohol (mostly beer). The most frugal thing to do is avoid alcohol altogether. But if you decide to drink, set a spending limit for an evening out based on your budget. And by all means, never take your credit cards to the bar.

Sources:

Book prices: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-behind-the-soaring-cost-of-college-textbooks/

Alcohol: http://www.alcoholpolicymd.com/alcohol_and_health/faqs.htm