How to Save Money as a Student

With the high cost of college tuition, books and travel, almost every student is looking for ways to save money. You can fully enjoy your college experience and still save a lot of money if you do a little planning. Here are a few ideas to get you started

Get a list of the books you’ll need for your classes before the semester begins. Go onto a website such as Half and look for the editions you need. You may find just what you’re looking for at a fraction of what you would pay at the college bookstore. If you cannot find the precise book you need, you may find an earlier edition of the same book that will suit your needs. See the Resources section below for more information.

Buy your dormitory needs from a graduating student instead of paying full price at a retail store. Many colleges have online bulletin boards listing furnishings and room accessories at great prices. If you can’t find what you need on the school’s website, try using an online bulletin board such as for many good deals in your local city.

Use your student ID to save money on everything from restaurants and movies to Amtrak tickets and even some airline tickets. Always ask retailers if they offer a student discount before making a purchase. And sign up for Guest Rewards if you travel by Amtrak. You will earn free rail travel by accumulating points each time you buy a ticket.

Use your meal plan wisely. Most students, who live in dormitories, purchase a meal plan. These plans are costly, so you want use every single meal and every single point that you get with your chosen plan. If the semester is coming to a close, and you haven’t used all your available points, be sure to use them by purchasing non perishable items such as drinks and cereal. Store these items in your room, or take them home with you when you leave campus for the summer.

Save gas and toll money by carpooling back and forth to campus over vacation periods. Post a “ride wanted” or “ride available” advertisement on your college’s website and on dormitory bulletin boards.

Look into travel agencies that specialize in student packages if you are lucky enough to be going on spring break vacation. They can save students a lot of money by setting up group trips. Check out websites like STA Travel. For more information, see the Resources section below.