Finance Hacks: College Students’ Edition

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Lexie Harris
A photo collage featuring the text: Finance Hacks: College Edition, and 5 photos highlighting locations mentioned in the blog including campus events and dining locations on campus.

From tuition and housing to food and entertainment, college is expensive! It seems like everywhere you look is somewhere you have to spend money. To help with expenses, many full-time college students have jobs, which can make it difficult to manage your schedule and maintain academic success. Sometimes you may feel like you’re putting too much time toward one, and not enough time on the other. No matter your situation, we could all benefit from some cost-saving tips. Here are three tips to help save money while in college!

Attend Events on Campus

At the beginning of each semester, a lot of colleges hold free on-campus events! These types of events aim to help new freshmen become more comfortable in a new environment. It helps the new students meet other people, get to know the campus, and learn about on-campus groups (i.e. sororities/fraternities and clubs). These events are not only for new students but are often open to returning students. While these events are a great way to get involved with your campus community, there are often free giveaways and swag items up for grabs. From t-shirts to bags to notepads to mechanical pencils, there is a lot of free stuff being given away. As the semester goes on, keep a lookout for more free events on campus. Get involved with on campus events and enjoy the freebies which can help you save money, too!

Take advantage of the Meal Plan

Many colleges require students who live on-campus to select a meal plan. Even if you live off-campus, you can take advantage of this! Especially if you are required to pay for it, you might as well use it! This saves you from having to spend extra money on groceries and having to go out to eat. Most colleges also have multiple meal plan options for students to pick from. Starting out it may be difficult to know what meal plan will work best for you, but you will quickly learn how to maximize your plan and can always adjust the next semester. This way you save money and eat the food you want to eat, whether it be on campus restaurants, in the cafeteria, or at home.

Borrow or Rent Textbooks

In my experience, many teachers use presentations to teach instead of closely following the textbook. That being said, this doesn’t mean textbooks are useless and never required. There are professors who still rely heavily on their textbooks, and even if the professor doesn’t really use the textbook, it can be a great resource for studying and learning more about a topic. The one drawback to physical textbooks, however, is that they are pretty expensive. Instead of buying all new textbooks, try renting them or using a digital eTextbook format. I have found that eTextbooks are available for less than half what the textbooks cost and have other great features such as audiobooks, study tools, and video for on-the-go learning.

From tuition and housing to food and entertainment, college is expensive! It may seem like everywhere you look is somewhere you have to spend money. By using these three tips, you can save some money and still get the full college experience!

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