7 Ways to Save Money While Earning Your Degree

7 Ways to Save Money While Earning Your Degree

College can be expensive enough without all of the extra day-to-day living expenses. While you can’t really get around how much tuition costs, there are things that you can do to save some money. By developing responsible spending habits, you can save money while you are earning your degree.

Buy Preowned Textbooks

Unless it is specifically required that you get a certain edition of a brand new textbook, buying preowned books can save you hundreds of dollars each semester. That can add up to a lot over the course of your time in school. While a preowned book might have some aesthetic blemishes, it will serve its purpose. 

When buying preowned textbooks, make sure to check the inside for damage to the pages or text. You will want to make sure that all of the pages are there and intact so that you don’t accidentally buy a book that you can’t use or that is missing information.

Something else to consider to make a little extra money is selling your books back to the bookstore after the semester is over. While you won’t get as much as you paid for them, you should usually at least get something, which you can then put towards next semester’s books, further saving money.

Limit Eating Out

While eating out with friends can be fun, it can also be expensive. Even if you go to an inexpensive restaurant, if you go often, it can add up to be more than you would think. The average cost per meal at a restaurant is around $13. The average meal for one person when prepared at home costs around $4. That’s a $9 difference, which can add up when you eat two to three meals per day. 

According to Moneycrashers.com, the average household spends $3,000 per year eating out in restaurants. Think of what all you could do with all of the extra money you would have if you just limited the number of meals you eat out per week.

Use School Amenities

You are paying tuition to go to school, so it’s smart to take advantage of the amenities they offer. Such amenities can include an athletic center, health center, counseling, career services, and more. You can save a lot of money over the course of your time in college by not having to pay for doctor copays, gym membership fees, academic help such as tutoring, and more.

Don't Waste Time

If you can help it, don’t waste time while in school. By figuring out your major early on, you can avoid wasted semesters. With a lot of majors, you have to take classes in a certain sequence, and sometimes some of the classes are only offered during specific semesters. If you can start the classes required for your major early, you can sometimes cut out extra semesters that you would otherwise have to be in school for.

If you are able to, summer school is something to consider as well. Not only can you finish a class or two in less time than if you were to take it during the fall or spring semester, but summer school is often cheaper than a class in the fall or spring. This can help you to shave time off of your college years, thus reducing the total amount you will have to spend on tuition.

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

While in school, taking advantage of student discounts can help to save you money. If you are in need of a computer, companies like Dell and Apple give discounts to students. You can usually get programs you need for school, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe, at a discount as well. 

Other companies that offer student discounts include Amazon (for an Amazon Prime account), certain car insurance companies if you have a good GPA, Spotify, Hulu, and more. Local businesses such as gyms, restaurants, retail shops, movie theaters, and museums will oftentimes offer student discounts with a valid student ID.

Continue Applying for Scholarships

Scholarships aren’t just for college freshmen. It is advised that you continue to apply for scholarships throughout your time in school. The more scholarships you apply for, the higher your chances of getting more of your school paid for. Even if your tuition is currently paid for, college tuition rises all the time, so an amount that will cover your full tuition this year might not cover everything next year. 

Create a Budget and Stick To It

This may sound like a no-brainer, but just creating a budget can help you to save money. By listing out what you spend your money on each and every month, it can help you to see areas where you can cut back or even cut things out. Simple things like getting Starbucks several times a week can add up to a lot of unnecessary spending. Unless you see the big picture of what you are really spending month to month, you might not realize how much little things can add up.

Posted by Michelle Gilbert at 3:02 PM
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