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7 Ways to Save Money as a Broke College Student

When students start college it can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. It can also be an expensive one. For me college I didn't realize how expensive being a college student could be. Who knew that the cost of college is more than just the typical ones we all think about - classes, books, room, and board.

Once it hits that the costs for college go beyond that, it becomes clear that going to college is like getting your first takes of adulting.

Saving money in college | A Relaxed Gal: Hair + Beauty + Blogging + Finance

Well, there are ways that you can limit these other costs. In fact, here are seven.

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Use student discounts

Who knew there were several companies out that will reward you for being a student by giving you a discount?

You can find these discounts by visiting sites like studentrate.com. There you can find student discounts for clothing retailers, technology like computers and cell phones, entertainment, and even travel.

While student discounts aren’t anything new, there are more now than when I was in school. Over your college years, student discounts could save you hundred dollars a semester.

Have roommates

My college roommates and I would take turns purchasing grocery staples or foods we all eat like milk, eggs, sandwich fixins and ice cream. We would even carpool to the store and other places.

Splitting living costs like an off-campus apartment or groceries two or more ways can help you save a lot of over your college career.

Use coupons

I’m a big believer in coupons. No matter where you are in life or how much money you make or don’t make.

Students today have more options now than when I was in school for how to get and use coupons. Most of them make saving money convenient because they are apps you can easily use on your phone.

Some of my favorite places for coupons are Ibotta, coupons.com, and ebates.


Eat out less

This can be a hard one to do since eating out is a great way to make friends and build relationships. But it’s also a costly one.

You can eat out less by finding ways to have meals in your dorm room or apartment. When I lived in the dorms I would bring pre-made meals from home that I would freeze and then defrost and heat up in the microwave.

You can also find ways to have breakfast in your dorm room. Foods like cereal, bagels and microwavable sausage make easy breakfasts that don't cost a lot or require a kitchen.

After I moved off campus I would cook most of my meals and only eat lunch a few days on campus and the occasional dinner with friends who still lived on campus.

Do less decorating

I admit all of the pretty dorm room essentials advertised by retailers can be pretty tempting, but many of those “essentials” are items you don’t need.

Things like bed skirts, vanity mirrors, lounge seating, ottomans and picture frames I found weren’t necessary. Besides, what you buy for your dorm room most likely won't fit the type of aesthetic you want for your first apartment. And you’ll end up throwing it away or giving it to Goodwill.


Limit the extracurriculars

Don't sign up for non-essential or elective classes that require you to buy or rent equipment or special clothing.

Also, try to limit the number of concerts and movies you attend. And whenever you do, opt for places that have a student discount or go to the matinee. Or opt for the free movies and entertainment offerings that your school provides.

Saving money as broke college student | A Relaxed Gal: Hair + Beauty + Blogging + Finance

Shop off campus

If you can avoid it, I highly recommend that you don't buy items from campus stores. Items such as snacks, toiletries, school gear etc. I've found these stores mark up their items quite a bit making them so not a good deal.

When it comes to your books, you may want to look off-campus for those as well. When I was in college I found much better deals in off-campus stores and online.

Another alternative for your textbooks is to rent them. Then you don't have to worry about whether or not you can re-sell them and not lose a ton of money.

What money saving tips do you have for college students? Share in the comments.

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