Top 10 Saving Tips for the College/University Student

With a new term just beginning, Credit Canada offers their Top 10 Savings Tips for Students.

As a university or college student you have to learn how to make your dollars stretch, and you’ve got to learn fast. So here are a few tricks of the trade to get you through the semester with some extra change in your pocket.

1. Meet Mr. Noodle – by the end of your university or college career you and Mr. Noodle will have forged a relationship with memories that will last a life time. When you are hungry, Mr. Noodle is there.  When you’re strapped for cash, Mr. Noodle says, “No problem, I got you.” When it is cold out, and you’ve just received a C+ on an essay or bombed a midterm, don’t worry. Mr. Noodle is waiting for you in your dorm room, ready to bring you that warm fuzzy feeling to your stomach.

2. Fight for Your Right to Party – as a university/college student, you will acquire excellent research skills. But why limit using these skills to the classroom alone? No, young grasshopper, you must learn to use your power for good, not evil. In other words, figuring out which are the best spots to visit and when to go for cheap drinks and no cover. Different clubs and pubs will have different deals, like cheap pitchers of beer, depending on the day of the week so do your homework and share the info with your fellow party-goers.

3. Your Closet is My Closet – let’s say you’ve got a hot date but you’ve got nothing to wear. Do you go shopping? Heck, no! You better save those student dollars for more cheap beer and Mr. Noodle.  See, there’s a certain code of ethics when you’re a student that allows you to get away with things that you may find unacceptable later in life and having full-reign over your roommates’ closet, anyone on your same floor’s closet, and the closet of those people who you’ve recently met is just one of those special perks you get when you’re a college or university student. But remember that you will probably need to request resources from these people again, so don’t burn bridges and treat the clothes you borrow with the utmost of tenderness and care. And ALWAYS read the instructions of how to clean the garment before you attempt to wash it. Too many lucky sweaters have been destroyed by the good intentions of friends. 

4. Swap Party – whenever you begin to feel that your closet needs to be revamped, organize a swap party with a few of your friends. This is a great opportunity for you to mingle while getting rid of things that you no longer use. Remember that you don’t have to limit swapping to clothes. You can also swap beauty products, furniture, accessories, music, and boyfriends, I mean old movies. A new wardrobe, a new excuse to get together with friends, and not a single penny spent. Not too shabby.

5. Study Group Potluck – you will have countless nights when you’ll be cramming with your friends. Rather than spending over $10 on the highly anticipated study break, consider bringing the snack yourself. Not only will this keep those coveted $10 in your pocket, but this will also serve as a great excuse to procrastinate: you can’t study because you’ve got your study group snack to make! The best part is that the more you procrastinate by making an excellent snack, the more everyone will like you.

6. Go Big or Go Home – go grocery shopping with friends and roommates so that you can take advantage of the discounts you get when buying in bulk. Remember to invite someone who has a car, that way you can all save on transportation costs and not have to carry everything on the bus, or even worse, carry it home walking.

7. Get Booked – textbooks will probably cost you around $1,000 per academic year or about $500 per semester, so if you can cut this cost down you’ll be saving big time. One trick is to buy the books you need from people who have already taken the course; however, sometimes instructors will change the textbook they use from year to year so make sure you have an up to date list of the books you need. Another option you have is to split the cost of the textbook and share it with other students in your class.  Ensure that you come-up with a feasible schedule for sharing the book. This will also help you keep on top of your readings since you’ll know you only have the book for a couple of nights a week. 

8. Dating on a Dime – we know the deal. You meet a girl, you’d like to take her out but you’ve got no cash. What most people don’t understand is that you don’t need a lot of money to have an awesome date; you just need to put a little more effort and creativity into it. You can cook dinner for your date then head out to a venue to watch some live (and free) music, or go to an art show, or a live poetry reading. Remember to keep an eye out for interesting events your campus is hosting and suggest going to one with your date, such as guest lectures, music recitals, art exhibitions and plays. The great thing about campus events is that they’re pretty good, often free of charge, and they usually have refreshments, which means free food.

9. Looking Good and Feeling Better – life on campus can get pretty stressful at times, especially during midterm and exam periods. So when the going gets tough, the tough should head to the gym to let off some steam. Most colleges and universities have their own gyms and recreational centres and as a student you have access to these facilities for a minimal fee, something like $10 for the entire academic year, so take advantage of them.

10. Say it Loud, Say it Proud – most stores, movie theatres, attractions, and fast food chains offer discounts to students, even if they don’t advertise it. So when you go to the check-out counter remember to tell the sales clerk that you’re a student and see if you can get a deal.

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