How to Save Money and Eat Less Ramen Noodles While You’re in College

Save money in college by following these money saving tips.

College students are notoriously broke and living on ramen noodles.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here are some ways to save money while you’re in college:

1.  Create a budget for yourself

Money can dwindle away so easily.  By knowing exactly how much money you have coming in and setting that number against your expenses, you will be much more aware of where your money is going...and how to save it. 

2.  Be smart about your living expenses

If you’re out of the dorms, plan to find an apartment and split the rent with roommates.  Speaking of apartment hunting, do you really need to move into that new apartment building with all of the bells and whistles?  If you’re on a budget, choose an apartment option that is safe and won’t break the bank.  Work out a plan to split food and utilities with your roommates.

3.  Don’t pay full prices for your books

College bookstores are convenient, but pricey.  Textbooks can get incredibly expensive and make a huge dent in your budget.  Resolve to buy used books when possible.  To take it one step further, see if you’re able to rent your books for your classes.  This alone can save you tens if not hundreds of dollars.  Finally, if you do buy your books, don’t forget to sell them back.  Who doesn’t love to get cash back?  Again, while your college bookstores are on campus, you will get more money back by going through an online source.  Marathon books offers used books, book rentals and is also a great book buyback resource. 

4.  Find a job

If you can fit it into your busy class schedule, a part-time job is a great way to bring in some extra income and give y­ou some more flexibility with your spending. Waiting tables or working on campus can give you much appreciated money in your pocket.

5.  Don’t eat out all the time

You’re busy, we get it.  We also get that parents are not there to cook your meals.  However, eating out every night gets expensive and not to mention, can be unhealthy.  Teach yourself how to cook and make it a point to cook your meals at least a few times a week.  You can even make it a fun event where your friends come over and help!

With the right mindset and know-how, it’s possible to make it through college without always being broke.  Furthermore, creating good financial habits can help you stay financially fit for the rest of your life.  

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Bob McBride March 15, 2013 at 08:22 PM
You said that in a much nicer way than I did the other day (prior to deleting my comment), Randy. I'd suggest that if the extent of a recruiter's initial in-depth analysis consists of culling resumes on something so superficial as whether or not the applicant went away to school and could afford the leisure time to participate in a lot of extra activities, perhaps that explains why they're a dime a dozen as well.
Randy1949 March 15, 2013 at 11:06 PM
@Bob McBride -- It's very telling that we had one of our rare moments of accord on this. I react badly to people who judge on superficialities. It starts so early these days. Little Tiffany came in second in her toddler gymnastics competition and she didn't get into the highly rated Fluffy Bunny Pre-school, so she might as well kiss Harvard good-bye and will end up as a barrista at Starbucks for her entire life. People who really need work and would be excellent at the job can't even get a foot in the door because they went to the wrong school or have too long a hiatus between jobs. Never mind why. I knew a young man who was working virtually full-time during high school and was providing much of the support for his family. He didn't have time for all those impressive extra-curriculars.
Lyle Ruble March 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM
@Randy1949...Not everyone needs to get a BA/BS. But, there are tremendous needs for technicians in all fields, which usually involves two years of training. For those that don't want the full education experience, I suggest non-degreed programs. A liberal arts degree in a variety of majors is a clear indication of an "educated person". However, we must ask, is there a place for an educated person in today's world or is it just about what one can do to make the most money possible?
CowDung March 16, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Randy: That is one of the reasons why colleges have essays as part of their application. It gives students the opportunity to tell their life story and the challenges they have faced and have overcome. Working to support one's family while going to school does demonstrate initiative and responsibility--traits that are looked upon favorably by college admissions officers as well as employers.
Randy1949 March 16, 2013 at 12:54 AM
@Cow Dung -- Only if you have the money to got to that college one you get admitted. You not only have to be admitted to the institution, you have to be able to pay for it, unless you get a scholarship. I once knew a fellow who was on full scholarship to Harvard, and my hat was off to him because he had to be incredibly brilliant. But I also knew some meiocre folks whose parents could afford to both prod them into extra-curriculars and then send them off to whatever college would take them. Mr.Turner is just a sign of our times.


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