Seven Habits of Incredibly Frugal College Students

Barry Lenson

Seven Habits of Incredibly Frugal College Students

College life is so full of immense fees – like $53,000 for tuition – that it’s easy to forget that saving a few dollars every day can really add up and cut the cost of attending college.

Here are some simple habits and the money they can save . . .

  • Habit #1: Make the most of shuttle buses and other free transportation options for students. There could be free buses on your campus, or free buses that run between campuses in your area.  If you learn to use them, you won’t need to own a car, pay for public transportation, or take cabs. The result? You could save hundreds of dollars or more every month.
  • Habit #2: Make your own coffee. You can do the math. If you spend $4.00 or more a day on barista drinks, that can easily add up to more than $120 a month, or nearly $1,000 every academic year.
  • Habit #3: Cook your own meals in your dorm room, for savings even greater than those estimated in Habit #2 above. Also . . . select a college or dormitory that is within walking distance of a Trader Joe’s market. There is no better source of good food that fits a student budget.
  • Habit #4:  Share textbooks with other students in your class. With the price of many texts soaring well beyond $150, you can save more than $1,000 a year with this simple strategy.
  • Habit #5: Get a work/study job on campus. Many jobs – like manning the check-in desk at the gym or the student health center – allow you to study while you are earning money. Over the course of a school year, those dollars can really add up.
  • Habit #6: Find inexpensive off-campus housing, after comparing the costs to college dormitories. Also consider signing up for reduced meal plans that offer a limited number of meals a week in college dining halls. (Don’t forget that the bagel that you “accidentally” pocket at breakfast could become your lunch – you’ll get two meals for the cost of one.)
  • Habit #7: Use online courses to slash your tuition fees by as much as 90%. StraighterLine’s Freshman Year of College for $999 is one powerful way to hit that benchmark.

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