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How to save money in college

 Written by    February 1, 2018

You’re young. You’re newly independent. And you’re also broke, but you need money to do literally everything. Now’s when you need to learn how to save your money, when to save your money, and why you should save your money. Below, I have a list of a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up on saving money in college, which will hopefully benefit you, too.

Rent your textbooks, or buy secondhand and sell them back. Listen to me: YOU DO NOT NEED NEW TEXTBOOKS. YOU ALSO DO NOT NEED TO KEEP YOUR TEXTBOOKS AFTER THE CLASS IS OVER. The goal is to find the cheapest option. Renting often cuts the price down (and don’t worry, you can still highlight and annotate in rented textbooks). Another great option is finding secondhand textbook stores and websites. Sometimes your books will be on Amazon, and sometimes on awesome places like Chegg or ThriftBooks. Plus, after you buy them secondhand, you can sell them to back to places that buy textbooks for a little extra money.

Utilize OSU’s free recreation activities, instead of paying to do something. Just by being a student, you can go swimming, rock climbing, take yoga/spin classes, play ball or even relax in a sauna without paying needless money. In most buildings, you don’t even have to leave your dorm to play pool or ping pong. Don’t spend your cash trying to have fun when you can literally do it for free. Check out the school’s Recreational Sports page to find out where all the previously mentioned things are.

My favorite place, rock climbing at the ARC. Photo courtesy of The Lantern

Create a limit for how much you can eat on High Street. Listen, I get it, it’s tempting. You have snacks in your dorm and you have a meal plan, but Chipotle is beckoning you to stop by. You have to limit yourself so you don’t blow all your money getting takeout instead of going to Kcomm. Whatever is best for you; telling yourself you can only go once a week, telling yourself you can spend no more than $10, stick to some rule that will inhibit your drive to get a baker’s dozen at Buckeye Donuts.

Don’t buy your groceries at the close-to-campus stores. CVS knows it’s got everything you need and it’s conveniently located, so they charge you $4 million for a bag of chips and paper towels. Try to stock up on things you need while home, or hop on the COTA and go where prices are a bit more reasonable.

And finally, the most important one . . .

Please, try hard in your classes. It’s ridiculous to pay for a class just to not pay attention and have to retake it. There’s no reason not to give a class your all. Don’t waste your own time and money because you’d rather goof off for a semester, because you can bet that you’ll regret it later. Only pay for the same class once.

Author, Student Life

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