The 10 Step Guide to Saving Money for Students

With average student loan debt now at $40,000 a year, the cost of college has become a burden for families and students everywhere. Paying for school can be made simpler by reducing your tuition and learning ways to save money outside of class. By using these ten tips, students can start saving their money immediately.

Avoid Expensive Colleges

One of the easiest ways to make big savings is to not spend it in the first place. Rather than committing to an expensive and prestigious university, start out with a college that does not come with such a hefty price tag. Choosing a cheaper school often does not make that much of a difference for someone’s education. A quality education is based more off of a passion for learning than university enforced courses.

Online Degree Options

Consider going to a university online or taking online courses. Online schools are often cheaper than their counterparts. For students who are already at a traditional university, try to take more online classes. An online program helps to free up your time for working. It can also help students to find a job: if every student in a college town does traditional classes, your online schedule can be dramatically modified. This open availability makes it easier to find jobs and helps you to beat out the competition from other students.

Pay-in-advance Discounts

Some schools offer a pay in advance discount. Gonzaga University is one of these. If students pay for the cost of their MBA program up front, the school offers a ten percent discount on their tuition for the year.

Fill Your Diet with Carbs

Buying food can often be the most expensive part of a college education. Cheap carbs like rice and bread can help stretch out your food budget without leaving you hungry. As you modify your grocery list, try to choose foods that are not pre-prepared. The more processed a food is, the more expensive. Sticking to vegetables, fruits and carbs can also be a healthier option for your body.

Buy Books Online

College bookstores are exceptionally overpriced. To avoid wasting your money on expensive textbooks, buy them online from other students. Last year’s edition will often cost substantially less. Since the textbook material changes very little from year to year, there is no reason to buy the most recent version.

Use the Library for Course Textbooks

Teachers also often put the course book on reserve in the library. If you have the time to sit in the library and read the book, you can get away with paying nothing for your textbook.

Turn Off the Heat!

As roommates walk in and out of the house, they release the heat within. Try turning off your heat and putting on an extra couple of sweaters. This saves your household in the winter from having a high electricity bill.

Drink at Home

Alcohol is a huge part of any student’s budget. Rather than expect the impossible and foolishly assume people will stop drinking, it is better to just modify college drinking habits. Buy a bottle of wine to enjoy with friends at home as an alternative to a night out on the town. Limiting your drinking habits or modifying them can make a huge difference in your budget.

Public Transportation Is Your Friend

Many colleges offer a bus pass as a part of tuition. If yours is one of these, take advantage of it! Car insurance, gas and car loans can run into the hundreds every month. Switch to public transportation to avoid the high cost of having a car.

Count Your Pennies

As the old saying goes, “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves”. Keep a careful budget and track where every penny goes. It often surprises people to realize how much they spend on small purchases like coffee each month. If you track your budget carefully for a couple of months, you will be able to format a spending plan that helps you cut down on costs.


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