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How to Save Money in College

College can be an expensive time in a young adult’s life. Many adults report that they’re paying off student debt well into their 30s and 40s. Here are some tips for saving money in college so that you don’t carry the burden into adulthood:

1. Be smart when purchasing your textbooks
A lot of times books can be a surprising hit to your bank account at the very beginning of the semester. Since professors make you buy new books for every semester, the costs can add up over the years. Luckily, there are a few options that can help save your bank account. First, don’t buy the books before the first day of classes. Some professors put a book online before classes start, and then discuss in class if you actually will need to purchase the text book or not. Another option is to go in on buying the text book with a classmate. You guys can set up study hours when each of you can use the book or even benefit by studying for exams together! If you decide to purchase books on your own, always rent or buy used. There is usually a big difference in pricing and not a big difference in the quality of the different options.

2. Take advantage of what is free around your campus
Many colleges spend a lot of time and money on putting together events for the student body to attend. Sometimes events are hard to keep track of, but they are a great place to grab a free meal or free giveaways. Whether it’s a water bottle you were going to have to buy at the local convenience store, or a free dinner you can eat instead of ordering takeout for the night, being aware of what is available can help lower weekly expenses.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for your student discounts!
It can seem insignificant to ask for a student discount when you’re out buying a new pair of shoes, but it is always worth it. Most places do give discounts to students but only if you ask for it. Some shopping stores that offer student discounts include Amazon, J Crew, Banana Republic and Madewell. Gyms, convenience stores and restaurants are also places where you should ask for the student discounts. The money you save will definitely add up.

4. Open up a Rewards Checking Account
Regardless of how hard you try to save money in college, there is no way to stop your spending altogether. One way that you can benefit from your spending is applying for a Rewards checking account that offers cash back deals based on your purchases. Make sure to look for an account that doesn’t charge any maintenance fees and offers ATM rebates. Rewards Checking from Radius is the perfect account for students to open.

5. Apply for an on-campus job
Colleges often set aside a certain amount of on-campus jobs exclusively for students. By asking around, you could find several different job offers that do not require too much of your time. Working just 10 hours a week can help offset your weekly spending and will keep you productive with your free time. Plus, it is always good to have another job on your resume.

About the author

Eileen Flynn

As the Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator, Eileen has grown up with the online and mobile banking industry. Eileen writes for other generation Zers and recent college graduates who are balancing both saving and spending and explains how online and mobile banking is there to help.