Family Horizons offers 10 awesome money-saving ideas for new or returning college students.

money saving tips for college studentsWhether you’re a freshman in college or a seasoned graduate student, you know that attending college can be overwhelmingly expensive. Between tuition, housing costs and added expenses, the strain on your budget can take quite a toll.

Luckily, there are lots of ways you can save money and make every penny count. Here are Family Horizon’s top money-saving tips for you or your college student. And don’t forget, we can help your family with everything from budgeting and account management to special savings plans and even college loans. Make an appointment at one of our branches, and we’ll help you with all your college planning and savings needs.

10 Money-Saving Tips for College Students

  1. Borrow, don’t buy. Instead of paying for movies and entertainment on Netflix or Hulu, take advantage of movie catalogs available at your college or university library. The same goes for any books or other resources that are available as free e-books or files online.
  2. Stay for refills. Sure, high-dollar coffee is tasty, but it can really add up over time. Instead of getting your drinks to-go, plan some study time (or socializing) onsite, and stick around in those nearby establishments that offer free refills.
  3. Pack a snack. For days when you have back-to-back classes, pack your own snacks and drinks so you won’t have to shell out more cash for higher-priced versions on campus. And depending on your meal plan, grab an extra piece of fruit when possible for healthy snacking later on.
  4. Eat with friends. A few nights a week, coordinate meal pitch-ins with your friends or roommates for fuller but easier meals. Or go grocery shopping with others in order to buy in-bulk and reduce your grocery bills.
  5. Use those coupons. Using coupons really does add up. Get a coupon organizer and take advantage of even the smallest of savings. Or organize a communal coupon file that your roommates or friends can freely contribute to and take from. And most importantly, don’t forget to use them.
  6. Work and save. Find a part-time job with benefits, namely places that offer employees free or discounted foods or services. Making money while also cutting down on necessary expenses can really make a difference in your bottom line.
  7. Find the free. Keep track of campus events that offer free food or entertainment. And take advantage of any local restaurants or businesses with regular student discounts or specials.
  8. Reuse and recycle. Get connected with any local online communities that buy and sell clothes, décor, books and furniture. Visit consignment stores to beef up your wardrobe, and sell anything you no longer use or wear.
  9. Shop at a dollar store. You can find huge savings at your local dollar store. From generic over-the-counter medicine, to cleansers and school supplies, you can find almost everything you need for your dorm or apartment at a fraction of the price.
  10. Stick to a budget. Take the time to figure out your monthly expenses and income, then set a sensible budget – and stick to it. We can help you with that, by way of our easy-to-use budgeting tool, Famile-Funds. Need help? Give us a call … we can offer solutions.

What are your college money-saving ideas?

We know there are countless ways to pinch pennies and save cash, but we’d love to hear from you. What are your tips or tricks when it comes to saving money as a college student? Please share your ideas by leaving your comments below.