12 Money-Saving Tips for College Students

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  1. Sign up for rewards programs – many banks offer rewards or money-back programs for using their credit cards. However, as with any credit card, be sure you’re able to pay yours off each month or you’ll negate the money-saving benefits. Also, keep your eyes open for hidden fees. Other rewards programs can be as simple as coffee cards, or the like, that give you free product after purchasing a set number of items.
  2. Take advantage of student rates – a number of companies and professional associations offer discounts for college students. For example, Amazon Student gives students six months free access to their Amazon Prime program (minus instant video streaming), and then half-price on Amazon Prime after that. Hewlett Packard and Apple offer student pricing on electronics. And Sweet Careers provides free resume and cover letter reviews for current college students and recent graduates.
  3. Buy used textbooks – many schools will offer the option to buy used text books, or may have formal or informal exchange programs between students. In some cases, you may even be able to go without buying one or two textbooks in a given class! Many instructors will reserve copies of the textbook in the library for their students, however you will probably have to read the book in the library. Some students have also had success getting books through interlibrary loan.
  4. Shop using price matching – a number of grocery and retail stores offer price-matching programs that will match the price of a product that has been advertised for less at a different store. Walmart, Target, Best Buy and J.C. Penney are a few examples. This requires some coordination on your part, but can save quite a lot of money. If you are uncertain if a store offers price-matching, make a point to ask.
  5. Consider buying generic items – whether medication, personal care products, or food, many name brands have generic equivalents that are significantly cheaper.
  6. Wait for sales or deals to buy commonly used items – products like deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc. often go on sale at the grocery store or drugstore, or become available on a BOGO 50% off deal.
  7. Have a friend, relative, or student hair stylist cut your hair – if you don’t have a talented hair stylist among your friends or family members, check with your local beauty school. (This goes for massages, manicures/pedicures and other spa treatments.) If you want, you can spend a little extra by asking for an advanced student, (e.g one that just needs to get their hours of client time in to fulfill their graduation requirements), and it will still be less expensive than going to a salon.
  8. Don’t use ATMs that charge withdrawal fees – if you like to have cash on hand, be sure to use an ATM from your own bank or use cash-back at a retail store the next time you make a purchase.
  9. Use online bill pay – not only will online bill pay save you the cost of postage, some companies reward you for saving them the cost of printing and mailing bills. Moreover, when your bank sets up the payment, they will often stand behind the service and make any late payments if they are the ones responsible for the delay. Just make sure the bill pay service at your bank is free.
  10. Take public transit – come colleges are able to offer deeply discounted, and sometimes free, student transit programs. Especially if you commute to campus, using public transit would remove the need for costly parking fees.
  11. Wait for free shipping deals when shopping online – many online retailers will offer free shipping deals with a coupon code or with a certain purchase amount. When you sign up for the company’s newsletter, like their Facebook page, or follow their blog, you will often find out about upcoming sales and coupon codes. Just be sure to only buy products that you actually need and use.
  12. Avoid unnecessary printing/photocopying – your campus library likely provides you access to electronic journals, many of which will allow you to email full text copies of articles to yourself. Also, check if your instructors will accept electronic versions of your papers and other assignments.

What money-saving strategies do you use? Do you know of good student deals in your area or online? Let us know in the comments.

1 comment on “12 Money-Saving Tips for College Students”

  1. Stew Reply

    Hey hope you don’t mind if we share with you our 10 biggest money saving tips…students can never have too many, right? ;)http://studentfever.com/10-money-saving-tips-for-students/

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