The Road to Saving Money in College


Alejandro Romero

Returning and prospective students wait in line at the Ybor campus to register for the spring semester.

Pamela Tavarez, Contributor

  Saving money has turned into a sixth sense, or as some would say, a human instinct nowadays. Students everywhere are looking for ways to save a couple bucks, and there is absolutely no shame in the trial and errors.

  Some students resort to eating ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner; but there is a better future out there waiting. It is one that could save you money, and keep you from such extremes.

  All colleges and universities are different, but they are all packed with students that share a common goal. The common goal is to gain financial stability and achieve a higher quality of life and education.

  Most college students are young adults with little to no experience in the field of money management. Therefore, learning different tricks, perspectives and ways to spend and save money could make a great difference.

  According to Study Breaks College Media, a survey of 500+ college students demonstrates that students spend around $6,000 each year on basic living expenses. Furthermore, the survey reveals 66 percent of students are spending $1,200 or more every year on entertainment options.

  A great way to lower those numbers is to follow a few tips from educational websites, and college students whom themselves have gathered experience.

  There are various scholarships available online at websites such as Cappex. com that can make it easier for students everywhere to find the scholarships that are right for them.

  Scholarship essays are one of the best ways that organizations can get to know students and make connections. Getting a scholarship provides students a sigh of relief, and provides a sense of financial relief as well. Most schools also offer a large range of internal scholarships.

  University of South Florida student, Anneka Mistry, says you can save money on books as well. She advises, “Check all places for textbooks such as Chegg, Amazon, and friends who have taken the class already.” She adds, “Also, don’t buy textbooks unless you are 100 percent sure that it will be needed in class.”

  Learning to buy, rent, and sell textbooks is an essential step for all college students, and it is especially crucial for freshman students. Some students in Concordia resorted to using an app called studEtree that allows students to buy and sell books to each other. It was a result of frustration overpriced bookstore markups.

  A good tip is to remember that there are always book options outside of the campus, and all one has to do is get creative and search.

  When roaming the outsides of the campus areas, keep in mind that most places offer student discounts. Hillsborough Community College student, Samantha Graves, explains that in her experience with working at the Westfield Brandon mall and as a student, student discounts are almost always available at most places.

  Whether students are shopping for clothes, foods or basic needs, always ask about student discounts, as most places offer up to 20 percent off.

  Other alternative ways to stretch a couple bucks are to use the important resources on campus such as tutoring opportunities, free printing at the library, exclusive gym membership plans, and cheaper or free SGA and student related social events. Saving money is never an easy thing to do, especially with certain life circumstances and all sorts of spending temptations roaming around.

  Every student’s journey into the world of finances and adulthood is different.. However, it is an open road full of improvements for the future. The key to saving money is to become aware of one’s spending and to think of creative ways to get around it.

  Researching statistics and asking others how they save money could help shape a better road for others. Applying some of these tips could help change a student’s lifestyle. A change, no matter how big or how small is a change in the right direction.