7 Money-Saving Habits to Save $1,000+ for College Students
This school year looks nothing like normal. If you’re trying to make it through the first semester and find that you’re having a hard time making ends meet then you’re not alone. Reports show that at least 81% of college students are facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 and at least one in four students have recently lost their job due to the ongoing pandemic.
Now is the time to learn how to save money. Not only will it help you stretch your 2020-21 school budget, but it’s a great way to begin practicing exceptional financial habits that’ll serve you well after you graduate and beyond. Here are our tips and money-saving habits for college students.
1. Take Advantage of Your Student Discount
Never go anywhere without your student ID! With it, you can get discounts nearly everywhere that’ll help you save your cash for more important things. From insurance to entertainment and electronics to travel, using your student ID allows you to receive discounts on purchases large and small. For example, did you know that just by showing your student ID to the waiter or at checkout, you’ll get 10% off your meal at Waffle House, Burger King, and Pizza Hut?
2. Save on Laptops for College Students
Every college student needs a great laptop and large retailers often dish out deep discounts year-round for students. Numerous tech and software companies offer education pricing for students and faculty members. Apple, for example, currently offers education pricing on MacBook Airs for less than $1,000 brand new. You can also browse the Best Buy Student Hub to find great deals on laptops for college students (and their big Black Friday discounts are just around the corner).
3. Learn How to Get Free Textbooks
Here’s a little secret that your university likely doesn’t want you to know: As a college student, you should never pay full price for your textbooks. At the very least you should be purchasing used textbooks from the school store. Chegg, however, allows you to rent books at a much cheaper price. And, if you need to make money, you can sell old textbooks and other books. If you’ve got a lot of textbooks lying around, you can get instant quotes for the sale price from Chegg (and shipping is free!).
4. Start a Side Gig
One of the easiest ways to save money as a college student is to start earning more money on the side. Side hustles are a fantastic option for college students as they often allow you to create your own schedule. Whether you decide to teach guitar lessons online, walk dogs, sell your graphic design skills, or become a copywriter, starting a side gig in college also allows you to build your resume before you even graduate. You’ll leave school with great client testimonials and more cash in the bank; it’s a win-win!
5. Cut Back on Unnecessary Spending
Find a budgeting app that you like, download it, and learn how to use it. Get in the habit of using it. It’ll help guide you each month as you learn where you’re overspending and where you can cut back a bit. One of the easiest ways to save money in college and reduce spending? Reduce your subscription spending. Try to stick to one subscription per category. This means only one video streaming subscription and only one beauty subscription, for example. Also, make sure you’re getting the student discount on everything you sign up for (Amazon Prime Student, for example).
6. Get the Right Bank Account
Building your credit as a college student is a great way to begin building your financial health. And, there are credit cards for students that are optimized for savings and rewards. The Discover it Student Cash Back card, for example, allows you to earn up to 5% cashback on certain purchases. However, before you even begin to think about building credit, we suggest opening the right bank account. For savings rewards, check out our guide to the 4 More Rewarding Alternatives to Savings Accounts, which includes money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts.
7. Save Money Fast with a Cheese Debit Card
Saving on textbooks and signing up for rewards credit cards are great and all, but if you want to simplify the way in which you save money in college, we suggest signing up for a Cheese Debit Card. Every time you swipe, you can earn a bit of cashback. Plus, you get to enjoy other features, such as:
❌ No Monthly Fee 🧀️ $5 cash bonus
❌ No ATM Fee 🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase/transaction
❌ No Overdraft Fee 🧀️ Potential Double Cheese Cashback
❌ No Insufficient Fund Fee 🧀️ Up to 3% Deposit Bonus
❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement 🧀️ Early Paycheck