With college coming up, and being ridiculously expensive, what are your guy’s best tips for saving while in college?

With college coming up, and being ridiculously expensive, what are your guy’s best tips for saving while in college?

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82 Comments


  1. Heeres_Johnny

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Learn to cook your own food and grocery shop for yourself. Campus food is incredibly overpriced.

  2. japaneseknotweed

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    GRADUATE. ON TIME.

    Study, show up to class, get enough sleep, eat healthy, don’t party too hard, go see your professors during office hours if you get stuck.

    The most expensive degree is the one you don’t get.

  3. DildoBreath

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Learn to say no. You’re going to meet a lot of kids with bottomless pockets thanks to enabling parents. They don’t have a concept of frugality now and if they step out of college directly into a job they may never develop one.

    Be comfortable with limiting yourself when these people are trying to drag you out to the bars and restaurants. Suggest cheaper alternatives. Own your decision.

  4. sgoodnaturedone

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Don’t feel like you have to buy every single little thing in campus. If you’re on campus for most of the day, bring your own food. If you know you’re short in supplies, find a drugstore or office supply store who will have it cheaper. Shop the online deals for books and such. Rent them if you have to! I tried Chegg and I liked it.

    If you haven’t couponed before, try it out! You don’t have to go balls to the wall like some people do, but some savings here and there will do the trick.

    If you have a job whilst going to school, set aside a set amount of money from your paycheck that is only to be used in big emergencies.

    Good luck!

  5. thesauceisboss

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Pack lunches/snacks for as long as you’ll be in campus every day. Try and work a job on the weekends to minimize loans. Buy used books whenever possible, and confirm with professors that old editions will work. Buy a thermos and make coffee/tea at home if you drink it. Avoid eating out, but feel free to allow it occasionally, just set a limit for yourself based on a budget. Cook big meals on weekends and pack the leftovers for lunches.

  6. reyggg

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Apply for every scholarship and financial aid package available. Work on campus. Its okay to get loans as long as you have a plan to pay them back. And stay in your state.

  7. BoobiesMcDoobies

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Dont buy textbooks, google the isbn if you need it

  8. UselessGadget

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Join clubs. They tend to have free food.

  9. GiveMeAUser

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    The sooner you get your degree the better.

  10. Samseaster

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Get a part time job at a restaurant, fast food place, or in a sorority/fraternity kitchen. It gives you some extra cash, helps you to manage your time better, and cheap/free food. I worked at restaurants all through college and my food bill was always really low even if I got sick of eating gyros.

  11. Torentsu

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Find a work study job. These are hard to get unless you know somebody. You may start by asking someone who already has one. At my college at least the people who needed student workers wanted someone that they knew was reliable just like in a real job so if you can get an introduction that’s great.

    Also realize now that you have limited resources if you spend it all on eating out every night you’ll go broke quick. Find things that you like to eat that you can get several meals out of, but don’t accidentally starve yourself on ramen either.

  12. FoolishChemist

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If they have a special guest speaker, make sure you attend. They will often have free food.

  13. SF2K01

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Go to a local community college for the first year or two to knock out your general requirements. It’s a third of the price for the same 101 level stuff. Transfer to a bigger college at that point.

  14. 4mpers4nd

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Plan ahead! Choose a major that will both enrich you personally, and provide some means of keeping good food on the table. Try to find the most lucrative means of still doing what you love.

    Take as many academic/office jobs as you can accommodate while maintaining a full-time course load. Especially if the jobs are unionized – they’ll pay way more than similar ones off-campus. Apply for all scholarships. Google special interest scholarships that aren’t local, and apply for those too. Set “on” study hours and “off” personal hours, and stick to them. Stay ahead of your assignments and meal prep as much as possible.

    I lucked out in that I got four on-campus jobs with flex hours: research assistant, teaching/lab instructor (for intro class), lab tech, and office assistant. The RA required deliverables every week with no set hours, the TA/lab instruction required deliverables off schedule with two office hours and three instruction hours per week, and the lab tech and OA required on-site time that was largely downtime. I tried to schedule my time so that I was on campus for productive ‘blocks’ – i.e. courses in the morning, three hours off for lunch and flex work, teach 3 hour block, go to evening job for 3 hours. It was long days, but it was so, so worth it.

    I was super fortunate that I could use my OA/lab downtime to do my marking and RA work and save most of the rest of my schedule for actual studies. I also got a merit stipend in the final couple years, so I was pulling in about as much as an entry level professional in my field. It was amazing.

    As for savings, pay yourself first. I tried to put as much of my whole stipend away as possible (after living costs), and allotted myself only the flex money from my smallest-earning position for ‘fun’ stuff. That way, I knew when I was at the desk dealing with office crap, A) I was earning my fun money, and B) it wouldn’t be long until the work was done and I could double-dip for my RA/teaching work.

    Live simply. Wear modest clothing, eat simply, walk or bike where possible, don’t splurge on the textbooks (rent or borrow from the library – usually a free copy is on 1 or 2 hour reserve, so it’s never more than a couple hours away from access). Only splurge on books if A) it’s critical reference material to your future career, and/or B) the re-sale value is high. You don’t need a fancy backpack or the best computer. Be in the moment, attend your classes wholly (get that educational bang for your buck!), and don’t pay for the convenience of saving time for anything unless necessary.

  15. charlieboydawg

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Thanks for all these awesome tips and knowledge everyone!

  16. acepincter

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    So, I joined the military right out of school, and because I tested high on the ASVAB I landed a position in the exact field I wanted to be in. So, I basically got .5 years of hyper-accelerated training and 3.5 years of on-the-job training.

    And then the GI bill.

    The end result is that right out of the military at age 24 I was making $25/hour (more than any friend I knew at the time and more than most of my *current* friends) and I was receiving $1100/month to take a full load of college classes that cost me $900 in tuition. I was allowed to pocket the leftovers.

    The Marines isn’t for everyone – but I’m so far ahead of most people. Do you know a lot of 35-year-olds who paid off their primary home in 5 years, have no debt, and get paid an $85,000 salary and benefits to basically surf reddit and play Dead Cells for 6 hours a day? I live close enough that I can even bike to work. Life is awesome.

    My life story is that I took what *seemed to be* the hard road, and it ended up leading to such an easy life. Who knew?

    While most of my college friends are asset-less going deeper into debt pursuing what they thought was the easy road, and now pursiuing grad school because a Bachelor’s wasn’t good enough to earn them more than $15/hr.

    Doesn’t answer your question… but it’s ended up being the most frugal thing I’ve ever done, and its a path I can only suggest is worth considering. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gung-ho type.

  17. catalit

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Live off-campus *with roommates* and get a part-time job.

    In your later years when you already have made friends, consider living with your family if possible.

    Rent your textbooks.

    Cut the meal plan and cook your own food.

    Apply for scholarships! They’re open every year, not just your freshman year coming into school.

    Avoid drinking. If you want to drink, learn to like beer or cider. Half the price of a cocktail.

    Keep your heater at 65 at most during the winter, and invest in warm clothes.

  18. dekd22

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    I wish I had worked a part time job and used 25-50% for recreation and the other portion to save towards my loans

  19. expired_bagels

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Make friends IN YOUR CLASSES!!! You guys can share resources which saves money (they may know of cheaper resources too!) and you can help each other study, etc. I was a loner for too long in college (all my friends were a different major) and it wasn’t until senior year that I realized the value of interacting with classmates who’re studying the same stuff as you.

  20. Well_Lurk_No_Further

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If you need dorm / apartment stuff, or clothes, etc buy second hand (thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist) if you can, its way cheaper and bonus, you’re recycling. Or, if you live in a college town or near one wait until moving out day and score super cheap dorm stuff (or even free if you’re not adverse to a little dumpster diving)

  21. mechemechita

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Unless the professor demands it, DO NOT buy your textbooks until you have attended the first day of classes. You might end up dropping/switching out of the class, or the professor might end up telling you flat out “We will only be using x and y problems from this book” or “you don’t need the most current version of this book.” Most university libraries will also hold onto reference copies for textbooks, so if you can get away with it I highly recommend using the reference book to copy off pages for textbooks you’ll only be using briefly in class. For literature/English classes, absolutely use the library (even the public library works!) for texts unless you’re an avid highlighter/note taker. Of course, rentals are also an option – chegg.com and half.com were where I rented most of my books.

    Find out if you qualify for textbook vouchers through student societies. I’m black and made a connection at the multicultural student union during my freshman year and found out there were textbook vouchers up to $600 available for students who asked. It’s worth a shot!

    If you have the option of buying school supplies at the campus store vs. going to Office Depot or Staples for that same item, 99% of the time Office Depot/Staples will be cheaper. Notebooks, pencils, scantrons, etc can all be stupid expensive at the campus store.

    Attend as many student events as you can! Aside from being a great way to make friends, a lot of these events feature free food during the first few weeks of the school year to attract new club/team members. A lot of clubs even have games/competitions with prizes during the first few weeks where you might have the chance to score some nice college swag. Definitely take advantage!

    Volunteer! Also a great way to make friends, it adds some color to your resume and can beef up your marketable skills later on when it comes to getting internships/jobs. There can also be other perks like free access to places/events/memberships you might not have otherwise had or free food at events. Local museums, zoos, food banks, libraries and festivals are some fun places to volunteer that don’t usually require too much experience to start off.

    Student discounts are plentiful, and usually all you need is a college ID card to get them. Always ask at the counter when you’re shopping or going to the movies if there is a student discount available. Find out if you have access to discounted public transportation passes (some schools offer free monthly public transportation passes as a part of the tuition) and use it whenever possible. If you’re living off campus, it might even be cheaper to park your car at a park ‘n’ ride and finish the trip to campus on bus/train rather than buying a parking pass for the semester.

    I’m not sure if it’s still allowed, but a lot of banks advertise on campus during the first few weeks of school to get students to sign up for accounts or credit. DON’T SIGN UP ON THE SPOT! Always do your research about what the best options might be for your finances.

    This isn’t directly related to finance, but can save you money in the long run: use ratemyprofessor.com when making your schedule to find out which professors are better fits for you than others. Find out which professors are more helpful than others, which ones offer more extra credit opportunities, which assign the heaviest workload, which have more pop quizzes, and which have a droning monotone that inspires sleep. Yes, the content is what matters the most in college, but often the way a professor delivers the content can directly impact your grade in the class. Reading reviews for your potential professors can help you avoid dropping out of a class with an unhelpful or boring professor.

  22. dinosaurfacedude

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Don’t buy from the campus store. Like, ever. A 60 cent chocolate bar could run you a buck fifty there. I have seen ten buck USB drives being sold for fifteen bucks. Also, it is best if possible to buy your textbooks online used. If it has a code to use on a website you may have to buy new, but again, stay away from the college store.

  23. ColtPale

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    * Look for a student job on-campus. The pay usually sucks, but they’re typically very easy and it gives you a place to get school work done.
    * Walk/bike as much as possible.
    * Leave your credit card/cash at home each day to avoid impulse spending.

  24. willowhair

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    The public transit in my town allows university students to ride for free. Eliminating or greatly reducing your car use can save money on gas, maintenance and (if you can live without a car) insurance/rego.

    Take advantage of your professors office hours, free tutoring, and study groups that are available. It’ll help your education, but also distract you from downtime where you may want to spend money.

    The local public library can be a great source for movies, music and books for non-study times.

    Most colleges have gyms that are free for students. If you currently pay for a membership somewhere – cancel it!

    Keep your grades up, you can lose scholarships if you do badly.

    Don’t overdo trying to work and go to school. I burnt myself out trying to work full-time and go to school full-time. My grades slipped, I felt constantly behind and overloaded, terrible sleep, etc.

  25. BigBlueWookiee

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Make sure you are going for the right thing/reason.

  26. jamestht

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Here are some tips I wrote down throughout college:

    1) Always have a roommate whenever you can. This will not only save you money on bills and living but will aid you in essentially making friends without having to do much or spend a ton of money.

    2) Learn to cook! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Rice, top ramen, tortillas, beans, eggs, and cheap veggies are your staples. Go to the dollar tree and buy 30$ worth of food and you will be set for at least 2 weeks if you actually prepare the food.

    3) HYDRATE! I can’t tell you how many times people I’ve known that have easily gotten sick or ate too much / often because they were simply dehydrated. Water is essential and keeps your costs down. Drink one glass of water first thing in the morning and once before each meal or snack. You will eat less food and keep your health solid.

    3) Textbooks. Ask people who have taken the class before you if you actually need the textbook and make your own determination. You can also google textbook search websites like http://www.book.ly where you put in the book’s ISBN # and it searches the internet for your textbook (ebay, amazon, bookrenter, etc.) it also has used, renting, e-book, or new options so you can find exactly what you are looking for. I saved approximately $2,300 with this alone.

    4) Transportation. Try to live as close to campus as you possibly can. Usually this will be a little bit more expensive but it’s worth the extra bit as you will more likely go to class, you don’t have to drive to class, etc. If you do live more than a couple miles away then look into carpooling with a roommate or a local bus ride. Local bus companies are DESPERATE for riders and will usually discount college students.

    5) Partying. The first thing that is the most cost saving aspect of partying is to stay out of trouble with the law. Getting an MIP (minor in possession if you’re underage) or a DUI will cost you a TON of money. Start slow and easy. Drink in a small party environment for starters and learn your limit. If it’s a Friday and you know you are going to be drinking, drink some extra water throughout the day. Then for cheap alcohol, go to a gas station and buy a 40 oz beer like Mickey’s or Old English. Drink half of it and fill the rest of it with orange juice. Total cost is maybe $5.00 and you are solid for the rest of your night. Then if someone offers you a drink, take it but make sure you know when to stop. Go home sooner rather than later because anytime you are out and about past 3 am you are looking for trouble.

    TL;DR – Take care of your body, make consistent decisions, and don’t worry about looking poor. You’re in college 99% of people there are poor and won’t remember half of it in 10 years anyways

  27. xsvfan

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Community college. Saved my $40,000 and my resume says UC Berkeley.

    Community college also allowed me to go to school full time and work full time saving $50k for college.

  28. Angelicylime

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Brew your own coffee.

  29. ExtremelyQualified

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Use the free athletic facilities and get in shape. It will never be easier physically do get in shape than it is now and you’ve probably got access to an amazing gym for no additional charge.

  30. Wachaking

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Use birth control/condoms

  31. Weft_

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Go to a in-state School.

    See if the in-state School has any “satellite” campuses (which teach you the same classes but at 1/3 the price), which is driving distance from your parents house.

    Don’t live on campus.

  32. Qu4ttro87

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Live like a student when you are a student, otherwise you’ll have to live like one for 20 years after.

  33. bsbbtnh

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Network. The biggest perk of going to college is that you are going to be surrounded by people who are going to be entering similar fields/jobs as you. People in the years ahead of you are valuable. They’ll have a couple years real world experience by the time you graduate, and can provide you with valuable job leads.

    Frats are great for networking. So is getting involved in the alumni association (before, during and after). Lots of different organizations around campus that are beneficial, though not all.

    Doing work for the administration can also help out a lot.

    Don’t forget to intern over the summer. You shouldn’t have a problem finding a paid internship if you’re networking your heart out.

    And by the time you graduate, you’ll likely have a well-paying job, compared to most other graduates in your class.

    Also, don’t stress over your grades too much. As long as you pass, it really doesn’t matter. Most of what you’ll learn you’ll never use in your job, or you’ll have a reference to use (or google). At the end of the day, your diploma is the same as the guy who partied every night and passed by a hair, and the same as the guy who never took their head out of a book and was top of the class. None of it will matter after your first job (and it’ll barely matter then, if at all).

  34. throwaway03249328023

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Don’t do drugs. That includes weed. I have seen people blow through their rent, food, tuition money for this stuff, not to mention all of the negative health benefit

  35. oldknees90

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Wear a condom, or insist your partner does. Carry them, it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. No one will judge you that matters.

  36. darqhuntress

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Get a credit card with a REASONABLE LIMIT and use it only for purchases you would have had to make anyway, and pay it off in full every single month. This means use it only for gas, grocery store purchases, textbooks, etc. It’s a good way to track your spending and build a credit history while being responsible. Don’t let yourself get a limit higher than you could pay off every month, it’s an easy trap designed to get college students into bad financial habits.

    I’d recommend allocating yourself a “fun money” budget that you can keep on hand each month in cash (if you need help controlling your spending) to go towards the occasional eating out or going to drinks with friends purchase. Allow yourself a modest budget for this rather than thinking you can strong arm yourself into never spending money outside of your absolute needs. In my experience it’s much more pragmatic to set a reasonable expectation and hold yourself to it.

    As another poster mentioned, if you are a coffee fan make it for yourself. That adds up crazy quick. And having drinks with your friends at a BYOB place or a house is so much better than hitting a bar.

    Lots of great resources for reasonable food options. Budget Bytes website is a gold mine for this, I highly recommend it.

    Live off of campus as quickly as you can, it’s always overpriced. Try to avoid campus food and stores like other commenters have mentioned. Do try to find a home near the campus bus line. Saves you a ton of time and energy.

    Lastly, I happened to be a really good student and found that I never really used my textbooks. Hardly ever. And they are a huge expense. I basically stopped buying or even renting them. The library always has a couple of copies on hand you can go scan pages out of, or ask to borrow a classmates for an evening to scan what you might need. It worked fine for me, but adjust it as necessary for your learning style. Some books can be found online too, and buying an older edition is almost always perfectly fine even if the prof says not to. You can always take a look at a classmates book to see what’s different and make note in yours. It’s typically just a few sections or the questions which have changed, so verify that.

  37. scapeity

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Learn the college transportation system. Many of them have free busses and such. I parked my car and went out to make sure it still ran about once a month for four years.

    Saved untold amounts of money.

  38. wilwarinandamar

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Don’t fill up your dorm with stuff, and resist impulse purchases.

    Many regrets were had at buying video games and DVDs when I needed food.

  39. Rndy_Bbndy

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If you are taking out loans, only take the amount you need to pay for tuition, room/board etc. don’t take out extra because you can or because you think you’ll need it.

  40. Raeladar

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    DON’T GO RIGHT AWAY! Wait until you have a good idea of what you actually want to do. Ask me how I know…

  41. ironysparkles

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Definitely see if you can a balance a job while at school. I worked for my university’s theatre doing scene building and lighting work, and they were super flexible with the schedule (until hell week came around) and paid well enough.

    If you have to get a meal plan, *use it*. If you’re not obvious about it, you can smuggle out snacks/cereal/bread/whole sandwiches for late night munching. Bring a travel mug and take out juice or coffee for later. Be nice to the people working the caf and don’t make a mess. It makes all your lives easier and they’re more likely to be lenient if you come in right before close or want to sneak out a meal.

    Check with your professors if older editions of your textbooks are acceptable. This can save a TON of money. If you can use them electronically, search online or ask /r/slavelabor for PDFs.

    Walk if you can. If you need a car, don’t go driving people around constantly unless they’re willing to chip in for gas. My school had a shuttle to the grocery store in town.

  42. kyleclements

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Start learning and practising good study habits and active reading. Learn how you learn, so you can soak up every last drop of knowledge.

    And money wise, it’s not always the big things that get ya, it’s the little things that accumulate.

    $5 in coffees per day might not seem like much, but it adds up to nearly a grand a year. And while a text book can also cost that much, you can at least resell the book and get part of that back, money spent on coffee is gone forever.

    Buy a thermos, a french press, a nice grinder, high quality specialty beans, and make yourself coffee that blows away the drip coffee you overpay for at the cafe, while still saving yourself a decent chunk of money.

  43. TheTUkid

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    DO. NOT. GET. A. CREDIT. CARD.

    It’s really that simple. That little piece of plastic makes you think you can buy anything. “Oh, I’ll just pay for it later!” No! If you can’t pay for it in cash/debit, you can’t afford it or better yet, you probably don’t need it. “But I need a credit card to build a credit score!” No! If you take out loans, repaying your loans on time or ahead of schedule will build your credit.

    I’ve seen too many friends graduate and have student loans, credit card debt, car payment, rent, etc. Save yourself the trouble.

  44. eugenos

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If you have a meal plan in the dorms, use it. Don’t waste your money by going out to eat instead.

  45. xCentrino

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Keep your head down. Go to class, study, eat, sleep.

    You can party over breaks when not working. Not saying you have to be a shut in book worm, but stay focused. No matter where you go, YOU make the best out if it.

  46. bobo311

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    You have to develop and learn food saving tips. This sub is rich with frugal ways to eat. Rice and beans are a common recommendation. That will get you far. Lots of spices, although initially expensive, will last you a long time and will add variation to repetitive meals.

  47. masterbate-n-switch

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Work full time and go to night school. Attempt to work in an area related to your field of study.

  48. pumaboy55

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    As an incoming senior, never pay full price for pizza! There’s always deals and promos that the big companies are running. I would recommend creating an account to whatever is nearest to you.

  49. Jotun1775

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    A ROTC scholarship will often provide a commitment free tuition waver for the first two years.

  50. jtg1988

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Avoid bars, typically you can go to a house party for $5 a cup. If you must go to a bar pre game prior.

    If you’re forced to have a meal plan while living on campus, use said meal plan instead of stocking your dorm with food.

    Show up to class no matter how tired or hung over you are, you’ll more than likely learn more in that hour of class then an hour of studying on your own time.

  51. ironysparkles

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Check with your school for student discounts on software! Copies of Windows and Microsoft Office were cheap af when bought directly from the university IT department.

  52. plexluthor

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Roommates. Not other people who live in the same apartment as you. People who live in the same room as you.

    Also, sleep well, and actually study. “Education seems to be in America the only commodity of which the customer tries to get as little he can for his money.” –Max Leon Forman

  53. TheSixthVoice

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Do yourself a massive favour and learn how to shop for food properly, and cook economically. Go to green grocers, look on the reduced isle, if you’re a meat eater buy the inexpensive cuts of meat (like beef shin, oxtail, or go for full chickens instead of paying over the odds for individual breasts), go for the own brand tinned and dried goods that are exactly the same as the others. Don’t get roped into offers, be frugal with what you need, and if you can avoid the convenience/express stores then do. Choose the supermarkets that have the reputation for being easier affordable.

    When you make meals, make them in big portions and utilize your fridge and freezer – soups, stews and one pots are your go-to! On that note, be resourceful with taking drinks and lunches to classes so you don’t have to needlessly spend on your break too. If you’re not so great in the kitchen, get learning this seriously handy life skill.

  54. AlamosBasement

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    I worked at a restaurant while in college. You usually have an opportunity to earn a free meal each shift and you make money while working few hours and still have time to do homework/study.

  55. olivertoad

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Take advantage of all the free resources around. I found a location at my school that allowed you to print for free (color as well) but didn’t discover it until after a year or so. Ask administrators and workers about some free resources your college offers.

    Look at student discounts or special offers your school offers as well but only buy the essentials. Id say the biggest expense was food. It’s so hard to pass up a calzone at 2AM but having your dorm stocked can help mitigate late night spending.

  56. PhucCheet

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    After your freshman year, cohabit. Live with as many friends as possible. Rent/dorms are the most expensive thing you’ll pay for other than tuition. The more ways you split costs, the cheaper it is.

    Don’t try to “keep up”. Some friends will seem like they always have money to go to bars, spend on Spring Break, etc. They might have rich parents, or they might be heavily in credit card debt. Don’t try to match their spending. Stick to your own budget.

  57. dpjonestown

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Do the reading on time.
    Take good notes in class.

  58. DickFeely

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Work! Find jobs that contribute to your education and goals, including things like startups and internships. Have fun, take risks, but get serious and dont get sucked into extended adolescence.

  59. jack3moto

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If you’re going to drink and don’t have a drinking problem then buy in bulk! 1.75L bottles of liquor cost less per ounce than .75L of liquor. Buying a 6 pack on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is going to cost more than buying a 24 pack on Thursday.

    My roommates always tried to cheap out and over the course or 4 years I’m sure they spent way more money than me when we consumed basically the same amount.

    When it comes to chasers look into chasers you can make for cheap. Like a powder Gatorade or fruit punch powder mixed with water and sugar. Obviously sugar plus drinking equals hangovers but personally most of my friends could drink for days on end between 18-22 years old without dealing with much more than an occasional headache. This changes as you get older but while you’re young it could be a good frugal tip if you don’t experience hangovers.

  60. Salihafa

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    GO TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE FIRST. Honestly. (1) You’ll probably be able to do it for free or close to it, (2) It’s easier (which isn’t a bad thing, CC is designed for non-traditional students you’ll get out of it what you put in) and you’ll likely be able to get through the first two years worth of gen ed stuff much more quickly (I did 4 semesters worth of credits in 2 by taking heavy class loads and enrolling in accelerated courses), (3) most states have a program in which you can transfer your Associates degree to the local state university and keep all your credits, (4) people at community colleges are way cooler than young, right out of high school kids who don’t really even know who they are yet. You’ll meet a lot of neat people who have already tried a bunch of different things and if you’re good at making friends they can give you valuable information.

    This is how I got my Associates and Bachelor’s for free. Just graduated Law School with significantly less debt than my peers. If I could give you anymore advice, I’d say get your an associate’s in something that’ll transfer as general credit but also lead to a job right off the bat–like nursing. Getting a degree in mass communications is great. Getting a degree in mass comm. with a solid back up plan and an already established career that provides you with the sort of mobility necessary to chase your mass comm. dreams? Even better.

    TL;DR, GO. TO. COMMUNITY. COLLEGE.

  61. crack_a_toe_ah

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Learn to cook, and then do it.

  62. redditP

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Get a used bike and a u-lock! Good luck, mate.

  63. chiggins17

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Use ratemyprofessor/any program that rates different professors. There are several situations where I have seen two professors that teach the same class required for a major where the exact same effort to get an A is equal to getting a C in another class.

  64. diduxchange

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Go to school for something useful so you don’t waste your tuition.

  65. gracease

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    The biggest financial challenge in college is having friends who can only hangout by spending money. I spent almost all my savings my freshman year because my friends and I didn’t have creative ways to hangout that didn’t cost money.

    My tip: Find friends who are happy just hanging out, talking, going on walks, studying, going to free events on campus, making cheap food together and eating at home, etc…. it’s the friends with money/ wanting to spend money you’ve got to watch out for because they’ll kill your savings.

  66. toromio

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Take as many of the Gen Ed courses at a nearby community college for a fraction of the price a d graduate with considerably less debt and most likely a semester or two early

  67. vlunkr

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Community college worked great for me. In my experience, the only places that care if your degree is from an expensive university aren’t the type of place I’d want to work anyway. With scholarships and stuff I paid for less than half of tuition and graduated debt free.

  68. babyd42

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If you’re serious about being frugal:

    Go to community college for the first two years then transfer.
    Many community colleges are a quarter or less of the price of a university, and you only cover prerequisites the first two years anyway. Heck, in Tennessee there is a program for totally free community college for recent high school graduates. Take advantage of everything.

  69. Phildout

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Trade school.

  70. PurpleTeapotOfDoom

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Consider applying to a county where it’s a fraction of the cost and you can study in English such as Germany.

  71. WarKittyKat

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If you need time off, take it. There’s no sense messing up your grades in order to try to push through when you’re not ok.

  72. phazer29

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    scholarships and grants. There’s money out there waiting to be harvested

  73. raptor_face

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Actively hunt grants and scholarships. If a class needs “volunteer hours” find a paid position and double dip.

  74. Brainroots

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Sometimes you can buy the previous edition of a textbook used and save hundreds of dollars, then copy the chapter questions from a friend with the current edition to do homework. Sometimes the crumby textbook manufacturers require an online code to do homework in their proprietary, very expensive systems. 🙁 I had a couple of nice professors who didn’t utilize textbook questions at all and allowed notes into exams, so I never bought a book at all. Obviously this is more of a panic situation than a serious recommendation, if I could have afforded to buy I would have. Plus I was accused of cheating when I did well in the open-book tests with no book.

    I ate a lot of potatoes, rice, lentils, bread and chicken. It’s less expensive to shop at the edges of the store. Occasionally, you won’t be able to take eating only subsistence food anymore and you’ll binge on candy and steak. That’s fine as long as you can afford it. Don’t get scurvy from eating a ramen diet, and if you do eat ramen, add tomatoes, eggs, veggies and meats to it instead of eating it plain. No one in Asia eats it plain, you don’t need to either. Better Ramen is in international grocery stores, which also offer cheaper spices (Indian and Mexican grocers).

    Utilize the freebie section of Craigslist without shame. I went to college too, I’m happy to give to help someone else along.

    Apply for low-return scholarships. People are always focused on the big money, so effort on low-return scholarships sometimes works out better in the end. If there’s not much to the application, it’s probably more governed by nepotism than merit and you won’t do well to waste time on it compared to others. Fill out the FAFSA RIGHT AWAY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. It’s a horse race!

    You’ll probably have to suffer roommates. Choose them very, very wisely, not based on how much you like them but based on how they live their lives and whether that’s compatible with your personal wishes. You don’t have to be best friends to get along with someone, but you do have to be able to cope with them clogging the shower drain with hair, the sink with dirty dishes, or making noise late at night, or smoking pot, or whatever.

    Learn to work on your own car, connect with the local car enthusiast community and someone will likely be happy to help you if you don’t know how to do it yourself or don’t have all the tools.

  75. Jnlybbert

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    If you work for dining services on campus, you can usually get a discount on food.

  76. WeddingShit

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Make your own coffee!

  77. medsandmoodswings

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Learn to cook, and shop sales. I always look up the sales ads for my local grocery stores to compare prices.

  78. -JRMagnus

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Packing a lunch/food in general and bringing your own coffee will save you an immense amount of money.

  79. Windmere00

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    I went to CC for the first two years. While there are benefits of doing the straight 4 years at a university, I saved 20 grand by doing the basics at a CC.

  80. NoMeHableis

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    My college offered a subsidized bus pass each semester. This saved me hundreds.

  81. Mumfo

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Park offsite and walk. Doubles as exercise while saving on a parking pass.

  82. Anonymous

    July 19, 2017 at 2:47 am

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