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How a College Scholar Can Stretch a Dollar

Later this month we’ll say goodbye to our summer intern, Stephanie. In addition to being smart, talented, and loads of fun, she is also quite frugal. As a college student, she has to be. Here are some of her tried and true money-saving tips that have helped her over the past four years.

My name is Stephanie and I am a college senior. College is expensive, especially if you attend a private school like me. And I recognize that money is hard earned and easy to lose. I’ve followed these money-saving tips for college students to help keep a little more money in the bank:

Textbooks

Everyone needs them. Thankfully there are places to purchase textbooks other than the school store, where they are often overpriced (even if they are used!). There is a site, Chegg.com, which allows you to rent your textbooks at a low price.  At the end of the semester, just place the books in a box, attach the pre-paid shipping label and return them to Chegg. Then you don’t have to worry about trying to sell back books that are probably outdated already.

Transportation

Gas is expensive and, depending on your school, parking can be expensive too. If you need a car on campus, try opting for the cheapest parking rate even if it means a longer walk. Try to carpool with friends and split the gas money, or take turns driving. Many schools even offer a shuttle service, taking students to local grocery stores, malls, or the movies.

Entertainment

College isn’t ALWAYS about studying and going to class, I know. For fun, hit up a matinee showing of new movies or plays. Many local businesses even offer a student discount just for showing your college ID. Also, use your college gym and workout center instead of paying for a gym membership.

Bills

Make sure you pay your bills on time, as late fees add up quickly. Ask your bank about online services to pay bills and track spending. Search for student versions of credit cards that may offer lower rates and smaller credit limits. And see if your college offers a work-study program that lets you work a couple hours a week to put towards your tuition.

Groceries

Buying store brand rather than name-brand products can surprisingly add up your savings. Buying in bulk is also really helpful especially for products like shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, and soap. Opt for washing dishes instead of using paper plates and plastic utensils. Lastly, resist impulse buys while waiting in line at the register – go in with a list and stick to it!

Thanks for the great ideas and for all your help at Susquehanna Bank, Stephanie!

Have a money-saving tip for college students that you’d like to share? Send us a comment to post so others can stretch a dollar, too!

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Posted in Banking Basics, Financial Education.

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