I was fortunate enough to graduate from University with a positive net worth. My girlfriend at the time though (now wife), had a boat load of debt. How did I manage to get through 6 years of University with money in the bank?
Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik
Here are 10 ways to Save Money in College/University:
- Live at home if you can. If not, long term leasing of off campus housing is cheaper than staying in dorms/residence.
- Pack your own lunch. I’m a big advocate of brown bagging your lunch as it’s a cheaper (and healthier) alternative to eating fast food.
- Take public transit, or if practical, get a bicycle. If class is more than walking distance away from your home, take the bus! Another solution is to get a bicycle. Weather permitting, bicycling to class is not only cost effective, it’ll help burn off the beer gut!
- Party on the cheap. Partying is inevitable in college, but you can save a lot of cash if you go to house parties rather than hitting the clubs/bars/pubs downtown.
- Get a degree that offers paid work terms. With some institutions, degrees like Business, Engineering, Nursing, Pharmacy and Social Work offer paid work term opportunities. Not only do work terms offer experience, they usually offer pretty decent money to boot. During my work terms, I saved enough money to pay for books and tuition.
- Get a part time job. I had a part time job throughout University, which is probably one of the biggest reasons why I could pay for food, booze and a girlfriend. :)
- Buy your books used. Even if they upgraded the text book to a new edition the current semester, most of the information will be the same if you purchase an older edition.
- Shop at thrift/second hand clothing stores. If you have the patience to sift through the racks of clothing, there is bound to be diamonds in the rough for a fraction of the cost of buying new.
- Use your campus for recreational activities. If you like working out or playing sports, take advantage of the campus facilities as they are most likely discounted (or free) for students.
- Use your student status for entertainment. Various movie theaters, restaurants and clothing stores typically have programs that offer discounts to students. Take advantage of them.
How did you save money during College/University?