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8 Great Ways to Save Money in College

  • The Free Checking Advantage

    When you go to school, you will need to have a bank account that is easily accessible. Compare the checking and savings account options offered through local banks. Many of them offer free checking, and among the institutions that do, some offer sign-up bonuses. If your bank doesn't offer a completely free checking account, switch now and inform them of why you are doing so.
  • Preferred Customer Awards

    The grocery store is uncharted territory for most college students. Sign-up for the preferred customer card at the grocery store that you plan on using so that you can receive extra savings.
  • Coupon Clipping

    Your grandmother does it. Your mother probably does it. You should definitely do it. In fact, when you do, check out the bottom of your receipt next time you apply your coupon collection at your next visit to the grocery store. You can easily save $20-30 bucks buy doing so.
  • Tipping in School

    If you receive a service that requires a tip, by all means do so. If you receive a service for which a tip is not standard, don't. College kids are often gullible (I was one, I know) and we genuinely want to help out the workers in our community because we know what it's like to be on a tight budget. We give excessive tips unnecessarily. That's fine and good until it catches up with your own budget. If possible avoid services that require a tip, because the bottom line is that you cannot afford to have someone wait on you. 'Nuff 'said.
  • The "10,000 Dollar Shoe Box"

    This is a tip that I learned from a very wise teacher. Keep your receipts forever. Every single one—from jewelry to notebooks. How many times have you wanted to return an item and lost the receipt? Not only do you not get your money back, but you acquire a belonging that you neither need nor want. This situation can be avoided by putting all your receipts into an old shoe box or if you have an incredible number, a boot box.
  • Avoiding Late Fees

    By nature, students are procrastinators. Returning a movie or library book is never quite as difficult as you built it up to be. Late fees can quickly take a bite out of your spending money and if they occur too frequently will affect how you live in college. They add stress and eat cash, so avoid them.
  • Selling Used Books

    If you aren't attached to the curriculum you purchased for your classes, sell the books back to your university or to other students. There is usually a small window of opportunity to do this after each semester ends, so find out beforehand about any book return deadlines.
  • Open a Store Credit Card

    When you make a very large purchase at a store, consider opening a store credit card if they offer a 10 to 20 percent discount. A word of caution: only use this option if you have the cash to pay your first bill in full. When it's paid, cut the card in half. Also, be aware that applying for any credit card authorizes a credit inquiry and too many of these can impact your credit score.

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