Everyone knows the rumor: “College kids are broke.” However, there are simple and easy ways to save money on a college campus, but many people overlook them. Here are some tips on how to have a good college experience without emptying your wallet.
1. Forget the bookstore. It’s the twenty-first century, and we are blessed to have online resources such as Amazon and EBay. Why pay full price for textbooks that you can buy online for half price? Although you can save the most money through buying them used, some of the new ones are still cheaper than those at the bookstore. Renting books from the bookstore is another affordable option if you don’t mind giving the book back at the end of the semester.
2. Rethink the meal plan. When most people think about purchasing a meal plan, they think, “Great! I can save money by not having to rely on restaurants.” Think again. Some meal plans can charge about $15.00 a meal, but many people don’t even realize how much they’re spending per meal because they pay for the entire semester package and don’t break down the cost. Therefore, even if you decide to just eat a small wrap or a bagel for a meal, you are still spending $15.00 because of the fixed semester price. Instead, students can save money by going grocery shopping for packaged foods such as bread, lunch meat, and cheese which can be used for multiple meals a week. In addition, restaurants near campuses usually give really good specials such as half-price Tuesdays or free “Fry”-days! Instead of paying 15 dollars for a bagel at the dinning hall, you can buy one at the bagel pantry for less than half the price and use the extra money you saved to buy your sandwich for lunch that day. In that sense, you are getting two meals for the price of one!
3. Think before throwing anything out. Some people have a habit of using only half of a notebook for a course and then throwing it out at the end of the semester. Once the next semester comes, they buy brand new notebooks and school supplies all over again. Don’t be one of those people! Tear out the pages that have been written on, and use the now blank notebook for another class!