Saving Money & Budgeting While in College

College is such a fun time where you get to live with your friends, take classes on subjects and areas of study that you love, and experience lots of new things. However, one of the aspects about college that can be hard is how to save money or budget while you’re in school. Today, we’re sharing some of the ways we were able to save money while in college.

Apply for Scholarships

Scholarships are a BIG way to save money while in college, because it’s basically like free money. Both of us applied for lots of scholarships while still in high school but then also while we were in college as well. For some scholarships, you may have to write essays or submit a portfolio, but it’s worth a couple hours when you think about how much it will save you in the long run.

Buy Books Online

Even though your campus bookstore may have all the books you need, we found that buying our books on Amazon or even just renting them for the semester saved a lot of money. If you’re in a class with friends, split the cost of the book and share it, rather than buying all your books at full price. Before buying or renting, make sure you’ll actually use the book in class because there were times when we bought a book and never actually used it in class or for assignments.

Find Odd Jobs

There are so many different jobs you can have during college, such as babysitting, work studies, or on-campus jobs. Here are some of the jobs we had in college: Jordan babysat for a couple families, worked at the library info desk, was the marketing coordinator for the campus ministry, and worked at an interior design boutique. Carm worked for the athletic department, was a teacher’s assistant, cut people’s hair for $10/cut, and interned with an event company. Jobs where you can work on your homework while getting paid are awesome, so check out on-campus jobs at your library or rec center.

Use the School’s Amenities

Instead of getting a gym membership somewhere else, use your school’s workout center to save money. Do you have a meal plan or flex money? Eat at your college, rather than eating out or buying a bunch of groceries. Use the school’s library for studying, printing off papers and researching for projects. Since you’re already paying for the use of the buildings, sporting events, and more with your tuition, take advantage of those opportunities. We loved going to football or basketball games, playing intramurals, and going to different events put on by our colleges.

Have a Full Course Load

With our majors, public relations/graphic design and communication, we were able to take 18 credits each semester. This was a huge benefit since at both of our schools, you technically paid for 18 credits whether you were taking 13 or 18. Also, both of us came into college with PSEO credits from taking some online college classes during our last 2 years of high school. The combination of having credits coming in and maxing out our credits each semester allowed us both to graduate a year early and save a whole year of tuition.

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