Whether you are a college student yourself or the student in your family is one of your children, you probably don't think about college as a time to save money. At best, even if you are working full time while attending classes, your hope is probably that you don't go too far into debt.
However, it is possible to make smart money choices in college and graduate with money in the bank.
In This Post:
1. Student Loans and Interest
Many students take out loans to pay for some or all of their education. The government, banks, credit unions and online lenders are all potential sources for borrowing for college. You should shop around for the loans that offer you the most favorable repayment options, but what you may not realize is that you can often start paying off the interest on those loans while still in college. It's not necessary to make a large payment either. You may be able to put as little $20 monthly toward those loans and reap significant savings in the years ahead.
2. Take Advantage of Student Discounts
From travel to movie theater tickets to meals out and more, many places offer substantial savings for students. Of course, you should try to be thrifty and avoid spending too much money on any of these items, but everyone needs a break now and again to take in a movie or enjoy a vacation somewhere. Do your research ahead of time and choose the option that offers you the most savings.
3. Shop Around for a Bank
Banks can vary a great deal in the kind of deals they offer customers, and some banks, especially in college towns, may offer very good terms for their student customers. This might include free checking, free money transfers and other free services that there would normally be a charge for. There might even be interest checking for students or other options that can actually make you a little bit of money.
4. Buy Secondhand
One of the biggest costs you'll face is textbooks, and you should always buy used books where possible. However, you can stretch your money a lot further if you look for other types of secondhand items as well. From furniture to kitchen supplies to clothes, secondhand items go for a fraction of the cost they do if purchased new, and in a college town, they can be easy to come by. You might even be able to pick up some items for free since people who have graduated and are moving away might be largely concerned with getting rid of belongings they no longer need as quickly as possible.
5. Look into Online Classes
Online classes can offer significant savings at some universities. They may be taught by the same faculty as on-campus classes, and you don't have to spend money on the commute. It may even be possible to do most or all of your degree remotely, meaning you don't have to go through the expense and hassle of moving to another city or state to continue your education.