By the time students start school in September, they have limited time to think about the ways in which they could save a few bucks. In fact, many students often don’t think about their finances at all. However, there are many tips and tricks that I used in college that saved me over $6000 in my five years. If you follow these tips, you could save yourself a year's worth of tuition. The best part is they are so simple!
1. RENT YOUR TEXTBOOKS: The cost of textbooks in university is astronomical. Students are often paying $100-$300 per book. Textbook costs for a student can total over $7500 throughout an undergraduate degree. Instead of buying textbooks, I used to rent them. Every the semester I would head to the library before classes even started to make sure I got a copy. It saved me thousands of dollars and if you can’t find the textbook at your university just head to your city library! It also saves you the headache of selling the books after your course.
2. OPT OUT OF HEALTH COVERAGE: Most students receive medical and dental coverage through their university as a student. This cost is approximately $200-$300 a year that automatically gets added to student fees. However, most students are actually covered by their parent’s medical while they are a student. There is zero need for double coverage so if you are covered by your parents then I recommend opting out of university coverage and saving yourself $1000 over the course of university.
3. LIVE AT HOME OR OFF CAMPUS: Campus housing is ridiculously expensive. Particularly as a first-year, because you automatically have to opt in to the meal plan at some schools. First year residence can cost over $10,000. If you live slightly off campus you can cut your living expenses in half! The great thing about being a student is that you some schools give you a discounted bus pass that automatically comes with your school fees.
4. STUDENT DISCOUNTS. Always ask for a student discount! Many places offer discounts to students. Most gyms, cable companies, phone companies, restaurants and retail stores have discounts of up to 25% off that aren’t necessarily being advertised. If you don’t know, just ask!
5. CUT THE COFFEE. For a while, I had a terrible habit of buying a coffee every day at school. Spending $2.50 on a coffee may seem insignificant. But when you add up those costs over a month it can end up costing more than your phone bill. Buying a coffee maker could save you $750 over the course of a year. Obviously, I am not speaking strictly coffee. Whatever your indulgence may be, try to find a cheaper option.