5 Easy Ways to Save Money In College

This is a guest post from our new Campus Ambassador Series.  The author, Catherine Pylant, attends University of South Florida (USF) and is involved with PRSSA, wakeboarding, and field hockey.

Check out Cat's video here: http://bit.ly/c9Lfg7

It's not a secret that college kids are not made of money. Aside from the rising cost of tuition and going completely bankrupt buying books every semester, scrounging for lo0se coins in the couch never seems to add up to be enough dough!

So what is a college student to do in order to get some extra money? A lot of people would say, “Get a job!” but sometimes that may not even be an option to a student taking a full course load along with trying to manage an internship on the side. So the student finds his or herself right back where they started: What should I do?

I currently manage school, extracurricular activities, and an internship. Unfortunately there is not one easy sure shot way to land extra spending cash, but I have come up with some options to cut a few corners here and there in order to keep a few dollars in your bank:
1. BECOME A COUPON COLLECTOR! Usually on every business’s website they have a place to enter your email to sign up for newsletters and coupons. If you’re really against e-mails then do it the old fashion way, thumb through the local newspaper for coupons, or search for coupon websites online.

2. STOP EATING OUT SO MUCH! College students love to go out to eat; it’s easy and social! Personally, I am guilty of doing this a couple times per week. If this is really depleting your spending resources (like mine), try going to lunch instead of dinner. Usually the prices are less, but the portions are also smaller. When it comes to ordering a beverage, go for the FREE option, Water. If plain water is too bland, ask for a slice of lemon or lime for taste. Cutting a few bucks out of the check for ordering water accumulates! Also if you usually go home with a doggie bag at the end of the meal, try sharing! If you are someone with a bottomless stomach, check out “All you can eat,” nights at restaurants.

3.  FIND THE DEALS! No college student enjoys being stuck at home while his or her friends are out having a good time. When choosing where to go out for the night, do some research. I like to check out places that have specials or discount prices for students. Be sure to pull out that ID at most college area establishments because it could mean some real savings!

4. RENT YOUR TEXTBOOKS! This is a recently new option for college students, and it is a GREAT one. I did it this semester for the first time and needless to say I did not feel the need to cry when getting my books! There are numerous websites (Ex: http://www.Chegg.com) that offer this alternative. This service can save a student hundreds of dollars a semester!

5. KNOW YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA! With the huge craze of social media, I found businesses are using these popular sites to promote themselves. Check out the deal of the day on sites like http://www.Groupon.com, “Like” a place on Facebook for free products, or follow your favorite places on Twitter for instant updates on special prices, you can find a way to save!

So unless you are extremely lucky enough to win the lottery, or a miracle happens and tuition prices go down and books are free, hopefully my 5 easy steps can help you not die on the vine while just trying to live your everyday college life!