Student debt is the highest it’s ever been in the history of the world, topping over $1.3 trillion dollars in 2016. That’s right—1.3 TRILLION DOLLARS. That sounds like something Dr. Evil would say, but this isn’t a joke. We’re in a crisis.
Student debt is currently growing at a rate of almost $3,000 per second. So what does that look like? Watch America’s student debt grow right before your eyes!
One trillion is an absolutely ridiculous number to look at. Just stop looking at it; you’ll just stress yourself out (trust me). What if I told you that over half of outstanding student loans are in deferral, delinquency or default? These are all great reasons why you should be spending less and saving more. Here’s how to save some quick money while you’re in college.
Rent or borrow your textbooks.
You can go broke by textbooks. We’re talking hundreds of dollars for a book that’s going to be outdated by next semester. When I started college, I would just buy the books new, only to see myself spend all of my summer savings on four textbooks. The next semester I thought I was coming out ahead by buying the books used, saving about $100 on the big books (which I didn’t even fully read, by the way.) Don’t judge.
Then I discovered that you could rent textbooks and my life was changed! I went from spending over $600 each semester on books to less than $100, making my wallet super happy. If you’re looking for an even better deal, check out the campus library. They usually have some textbooks on reserve that you can use while you’re there.
Mix and mingle on campus.
So you want to save money but don’t want to ruin your social life, right? That’s cool; I feel you on that one. Check out what’s happening on campus with the student newspaper or on the website. There is always something fun (and usually free) happening on campus, whether it’s a meet-and-greet, concert, play or sporting event. Some of these events even serve food and drinks, so you don’t have to spend money on eating for the night AND you get free entertainment, too!
Stock your pantry.
If you find yourself without enough food for the week or spending too much money going out to eat with your friends, it might be time to start stocking the pantry. Get food that doesn’t expire fast, like oatmeal, granola bars, cereal, microwavable dinners and every dorm room staple—ramen. When you’re in a jam and starving but don’t have any more of your meal plan left, you can grab something quick without the unnecessary spending.
Use your student discount EVERYWHERE.
Anytime you go anywhere, keep your student ID on you and make sure to ask if they student discount. You can get money off of your purchases at stores like Apple, Sam’s Club, State Farm and AT&T just by showing them your student ID. That’s not all, though! Most movie theaters and even clothing stores give student discounts if you just ask.
Don’t forget to show your ID to fast food and fast-casual restaurants, because there’s a good chance you can get a freebie. Sure, it’s just a drink or side item for free, but that money adds up over your college career. It might seem awkward and uncomfortable to ask at first, but your checking account will thank you later.
That gym membership you have? Get rid of it.
Now I don’t want you thinking that I’m saying to stop going to the gym; far from it. Chances are that your university offers a gym and that you’re already paying for it. Most of the time, your tuition has subsidized fees for the gym included in it!
So you’re paying for a gym that you’re not even using. Yeah, let that sink in for a bit.
Many of these gyms even have the latest training equipment that normal gyms wouldn’t have. Universities need to keep their workout equipment upgraded for their sports teams, so all of the students get to enjoy the benefits! Free or close-to-free gym membership with the latest equipment? That’s something to cheer about.
What are some ways that you’ve saved money in college? Let us know in the comments below!